HNE-33806 Public Health Practice


Credits 6.00

Teaching methodContact hours
Learning supported by IT12
Project learning6
Course coordinator(s)dr. ir. A Haveman-Nies
Lecturer(s)dr. ir. A Haveman-Nies
prof. dr. ir. P van 't Veer
dr. ir. ID Brouwer
dr. ir. JMA van Raaij
ir. R de Vlaming
MSc MCE Fries
prof. dr. ir. FJ Kok
Examiner(s)dr. ir. A Haveman-Nies

Language of instruction:


Assumed knowledge on:

HNE-24806 Introduction to Epidemiology and Public Health


The courses Public Health Practice and Public Health Nutrition are the core-courses for future public health professionals aiming at a career in the public and private sector in developing and developed countries (western and non-western). In this first course students become familiar with the public health system, and learn more specifically how public health policy is made and how (cost-) effectiveness of policies is measured.
Health is a resource for everyday living. It enables children to go to school and develop their potential, adults to work and care for their families and elderly to remain involved in society. Therefore, it is of great importance to optimize health and its related lifestyle factors (healthy diet, moderate alcohol consumption, non-smoking, physical activity, etc.). Analysis of major health problems and their determinants is needed to develop public health policies and programmes that intend to result in considerable health gains in the long term.
In this course methods will be introduced and explained that support the planning, implementation and evaluation of public health policies and programmes. Relevant theories, concepts and tools will be presented, and illustrated with practical examples. For this purpose, the public health cycle will be introduced. This planning model provides a basic frame work for professionals working in the field of public health that can be used for planning, implementing and evaluating policies and programmes. This planning model includes the following seven steps: conduct a needs assessment, support priority setting, formulate aims and objectives, construct a logic model, develop an evaluation plan, perform quality control, and analyse processes and outcomes. During the lectures, training modules and the groupwork you are learning to work with the public health cycle by practicing these seven steps.

Learning outcomes:

After successful completion of this course students are expected to be able to:
- explain the public health system and working processes that are applied in the public health sector, namely the seven steps in the public health cycle: conduct a needs assessment, support priority setting, formulate aims and objectives, construct a logic model, develop an evaluation plan (e.g. choose an appropriate evaluation design), perform quality control, and analyse processes and outcomes (e.g. apply statistical tests and interpret results);
- appraise public health policies by applying principles of evidence-based decision-making;
- compose evaluation designs for policies and programmes conducted in a real-life setting and reflect on their strengths and weaknesses.


Students will apply the theory from lectures and study book in a group assignment and training modules. End result of the group assignment is a memo and a simulated policy debate. The course includes 12 lectures of 2 hours, 2 training modules of 4 hours, and working class meetings in subgroups of 6 persons. These subgroups will meet 6 times under supervision of a staff member and 5 times on their own.


The final mark is calculated as the average of:
- the (electronic) exam with closed questions (multiple choice);
- written memo, group debate, work book;
A mark of 5.5 for each individual part is required to successfully complete the course.


-Haveman-Nies A, Jansen SC, van Oers JAM, van 't Veer P (2010). Epidemiology in public health practice. Wageningen Academic Publishers, The Netherlands. ISBN 978-90-8686-140-8. Available at the WUR-shop in Forum or to be ordered via internet
- Recommended literature and PowerPoint presentations are available on Blackboard.

Restricted Optional for: MNHNutrition and HealthMScA: Epidemiology and Public Health5AF
MNHNutrition and HealthMScB: Nutritional Physiology and Health Status5AF