HNE-33806 Public Health Practice


Credits 6.00

Teaching methodContact hours
Learning supported by IT12
Problem-based learning6
Course coordinator(s)dr. ir. A Haveman-Nies
Lecturer(s)prof. dr. ir. EJM Feskens
dr. ir. A Haveman-Nies
prof. dr. ir. P van 't Veer
prof. dr. ir. D Kromhout
ir. R de Vlaming
Examiner(s)dr. ir. A Haveman-Nies

Language of instruction:


Assumed knowledge on:

HNE-24806 Epidemiology and Public Health


Public Health is defined as the science and art of preventing disease, prolonging life and promoting health through the organised efforts of society. Currently Public Health ranks high on the political agenda, because considerable part of mortality and morbidity is related to an unhealthy lifestyle behaviour (diet, alcohol, smoking, physical activity, etc.). Prevention should not only focus on the individual behaviour but also on social and environmental factors that enables people to live a healthy life. As health is multi-dimensional and is influenced by many factors, an integral health promotion approach is required. In the Netherlands, as well as worldwide, new approaches on public health interventions could result in considerable health gain.
In the course, the Public Health Cycle will be introduced including seven steps for proper planning. This planning model provides a basic framework for public health practitioners working in the field of public health that can be used for planning and evaluating health promotion activities. During the lectures, training modules and the POL (Problem oriented learning task) you are learning to work with this planning model. Each working group consists of 5 to 6 members and represents a group of policy-makers of a specific country. Based on literature, you should address a specific health problem within the broad field of public health and develop, according to the planning model, a strategy to combat this health problem.
Within the course, attention will also be paid to the structure of the public health system in the Netherlands within the international context. The broad context of the public health system will be outlined by guest lecturers of local and national public health organisations (like RIVM, GGD, TNO, Health Council). During these lectures, topics as policy-making, communication, and ethics come up for discussion.

Learning outcomes:

At the end of the course, the student is expected to be able to:
- have insight in the factors that play a role in public health, like health indicators, health determinants, (lifestyle, social and physical environment, health care services), interventions (health education, community/setting development), organisational factors (methods, policy), and societal factors (trends, demography, culture);
- have experience with the working processes that are applied in the public health sector.
Students should be able to apply the following seven steps of the Public Health Cycle:
- conduct needs assessment, set priorities, formulate aims and objectives, construct a logic model, develop an evaluation plan, perform quality control, analyse processes and outcomes;
- have an overview of the public health system and the professionals working in this field.


The course includes 12 lectures of 2 hours, 3 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 teaching method during the subgroup work is problem-based learning.


Two marks will be given: one on the POL-task (report, oral presentation); one on the written exam.


Study material:
- A new book on this topic will be published .Title and ISBN number of the book will be made available on Blackboard.
- A course reader 'Public Health & Practice' will be available at WUR-Shop, Forum.

Compulsory for: BGMHealth and SocietyBSc3WD
Restricted Optional for: MNHNutrition and HealthMScB: Nutritional Physiology and Health Status3WD
MNHNutrition and HealthMScA: Epidemiology and Public Health3WD