HAR6041: Health Needs Assessment, Planning and Evaluation

The Health Needs Assessment, Planning and Evaluation module is led by Robert Akparibo. It runs in the Autumn semester and is worth 15 credits.


It is one of the modules on:

  • European Masters Programme in Public Health (core)
  • Master of Public Health (Health Services Research) (option)
  • Master of Public Health (Management and Leadership) (core)
  • Master of Public Health (MPH) (core)
  • MSc Clinical Research (NIHR for Academic Clinical Fellows) (option)
  • MSc Clinical Research (standard route) (option)

This module is available as a CPD option

This module is available Faculty-wide in any year as a DDP module


Assessing health needs and tackling health inequalities are key aspects of public health work at the local, national and international level. The 'Assessing Health Needs and Addressing Inequalities' module will provide students with an understanding of the main approaches to, and methodologies for, conducting Health Needs Assessments and will equip them with an understanding of the key approaches and interventions available to tackle the health inequalities that are identified.


This unit aims to give students a systematic understanding of the planning cycle with a specific focus on health needs assessment techniques, programme planning, and the monitoring and evaluation of programmes.

Learning outcomes

By the end of the unit, a student will be able to:

  • Explain the concepts of health need, demand and supply
  • Understand and identify health inequalities
  • Describe and apply key approaches and methods for conducting a systematic health needs assessment
  • Understand the key principles of health planning
  • Understand and devise an appropriate plan for monitoring and evaluating health programmes
  • Work effectively in a group setting to deliver common objectives

Teaching methods

Lectures will be used to present much of core knowledge and techniques needed in the module. Tutorials will be used to enable students to look at specific concepts raised in the lectures in more detail, offering the opportunity for discussions within small groups.

Teaching methods include:

  • Problem solving scenarios will be used to enable students to apply the learning from the module based on case studies
  • A seminar at the end of the module will require students to devise and present an action plan for tackling health inequalities
  • A group assessed project forms an integral teaching method to develop collaborative group working skills amongst the students
  • An individual written assignment will provide students with an opportunity to present in a written format a cogent plan for devising a health needs assessment


As this is a 15-credit module, the expectation is that you will spend around 150 working hours on it (including teaching).

So apart from being expected to attend all 24 teaching hours, you are also expected to spend in the region of 15 full days or 30 half-days doing self-study – a considerable amount of time. This includes revision, reading the materials suggested by lecturers and located yourself, and working for assessments.

Merely attending the taught sessions is unlikely to give you enough knowledge to pass the module assignments.

The content of our courses is reviewed annually to make sure it is up-to-date and relevant. Individual modules are occasionally updated or withdrawn. This is in response to discoveries through our world-leading research, funding changes, professional accreditation requirements, student or employer feedback, outcomes of reviews, and variations in staff or student numbers. In the event of any change we'll consult and inform students in good time and take reasonable steps to minimise disruption.

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