CHL-32806 Public Health Practice

Code last year: (CPT-39506)


Credits 6.00

Teaching methodContact hours
Group work6
Course coordinator(s)dr. ir. A Haveman-Nies
Lecturer(s)M L'Hoir
dr. ir. A Haveman-Nies
prof. dr. ir. P van 't Veer
EJI van Dongen
Examiner(s)dr. ir. A Haveman-Nies

Language of instruction:


Assumed knowledge on:

HNH-24806 Introduction to Epidemiology and Public Health.


Note: This course can not be combined in an individual programme with CPT-39603 Epidemiology and Public Health Policies (DL) and/or CPT-39703 Evaluation of Public Health Interventions (online).

The course Public Health Practice is meant for future public health professionals aiming at a career in the public or private sector in western and non-western countries. In this course students become familiar with the public health system, and learn more specifically how public health policy is made and how they can support the policy-making process, and how policies and programmes can be implemented and evaluated in a real-life setting.
In our society, health is an important asset as it 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. Health is more than an individual matter; the functioning of our society depends on healthy people. 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 group work 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.
Specific attention will be given to stage 1 (Agenda setting) and stage 4 (Evaluation) of the public health cycle:
- describe and prioritize determinants related to health problems, based on scientific literature and research reports (e.g. WHO);
- develop an evaluation study for policies and programmes conducted in a real-life setting.


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 report and an oral presentation.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);
- report and an oral presentation.
A mark of 5.5 for each individual part is required to successfully complete the course.


Haveman-Nies A, Jansen M, van Oers JAM, van 't Veer P. (2017). Epidemiology in public health practice. Wageningen Academic Publishers, The Netherlands. Available at the WUR-shop in Forum or to be ordered via internet

Restricted Optional for: MNHNutrition and HealthMScB: Nutritional Physiology and Health Status5AF
MNHNutrition and HealthMScA: Nutritional and Public Health Epidemiology5AF