HAR6522: Confronting Public Health Problems


Introduction

ScHARR is well known for its high-quality and impactful research. Engaging with the research process on relevant public health topics through problem-based learning will provide students with practical skills not just for future research but also transferable skills for other areas relating to public health, for example policy making and designing and implementing public health interventions. This module is offered as an optional module on the MPH, and it will complement the core modules in allowing students to concentrate on specific aspects of public health practice and research, and develop and advance transferable employability skills.

Objectives

The aim of this module is to provide students with:

  1. Practical skills in collaboration
  2. The ability to apply public health principles to solving problems in public health through research
  3. The ability to apply research (specifically designing and evaluating public health research) and reflection to public health problems
  4. The opportunity to engage with key areas of research at ScHARR

Learning outcomes

By the end of the module, students will be able to:

  1. Describe, synthesise and critically evaluate research around potential solutions to problems in public health
  2. Critically evaluate and apply public health knowledge, principles and key issues
  3. Design and evaluate interventions to improve the health status of individuals, communities and populations
  4. Work collaboratively in a group to solve public health problems related to ScHARR research
  5. Reflect on their own practice, learning and group working

Teaching Methods

Mixed (lecture and groupwork) sessions (2 x 2hrs) will introduce students to problem-based learning and encourage/embed positive group dynamics (LO4).

The first problem-based learning ‘set’ (weeks 3-6) will consist of student-led, facilitated groupwork sessions (3 x 2hrs), where students examine a public health problem in small groups (facilitated by tutors with expertise and direct research experience in this area of public health specialism) and develop a research proposal to offer a solution, which is to be presented to an expert panel for assessment in the fourth week (week 6), along with the other groups (1 x 2hrs) (LO1, LO2, LO3, LO4). Students will get feedback from the expert panel on this assessment, which they can apply to their next assessment. In addition to the expert panel, students will also undertake peer assessment (within each group), which will incorporate elements of the group working process. The grade given to each student during each research proposal presentation will be comprised of 75% grading given by the panel and 25% assigned by the students’ peers. Students will be expected to undertake 60 hours of independent study during this problem-based learning set, and this will be guided by the facilitation provided by the tutors in the classroom sessions.

A seminar/tutorial (1 x 2hr) in week 7 will be set up to encourage students to reflect on the group work, what they have learned and the skills they have gained, and consider how they can apply this learning to the next PBL set (LO5).

The second problem-based learning ‘set’ (weeks 8-11) will consist of student-led, facilitated groupwork sessions (3 x 2hrs), where students examine a second public health problem in small groups (again, facilitated by tutors with expertise and direct research experience in this area of public health specialism) and develop a (second) research proposal to offer a solution, which is to be presented to an expert panel for assessment in the fourth week (week 11), along with the other groups (1 x 2hrs) (LO1, LO2, LO3, LO4). Students will also undertake peer assessment (within each group), which will form 25% of their grade for this piece of work (with the other 75% being from the panel – as per the first problem-based learning ‘set’). Students will be expected to undertake 60 hours of independent study during this problem-based learning set.

A seminar/tutorial (1 x 2hr) in week 12 will be set up to encourage students to reflect on the process as a whole and the learning and insights they have gained (LO5). Students will be expected to undertake 6 independent study hours on reflection-related activities throughout the 12 weeks of the module (including undertaking the reflective diary assessment).

Assessment

Component Weighting
2 Group presentations 40% each
1000 word reflective diary

20%

There are three assessments on this module that students are required to undertake:

1. A 15-minute group presentation to present a funding proposal to a panel of ScHARR experts in the field for the first problem-based learning topic (40% of the total mark for the module) (LO1, LO2, LO3, LO4);
2. A 15-minute group presentation to present a funding proposal to a panel of ScHARR experts in the field for the second problem-based learning topic (40% of the total mark for the module) (LO1, LO2, LO3, LO4);
3. A 1000-word reflective diary (20% of the total mark for the module) (LO5).

Students are required to pass all three assessments in order to pass the module.

The grade for each student for assessments (1) and (2) will be comprised of 75% grade from the panel members and 25% from each students’ peers within each group.

The pass mark is 50%.