Policy and public health
This module aims to provide students with: an understanding of the process of policy-making in relation to public health in national and global public health contexts; the role the political environment plays in shaping policies; how to frame public health issues to maximise public and political acceptability; ways to engage constructively with policy decision-makers. The module builds on core learning in term 1 and the Health Economics module, which discusses how resources and resource constraints influence public health and health care systems.
Module Learning Outcomes:
By the end of the module, students should be able to:
- Identify pressing public health problems and critically discuss the policy solutions that have been, and have the potential to be, implemented to tackle these issues
- Critically apply analytical frameworks describing the process of policy-making, implementation and evaluation in public health contexts
- Describe the roles of key stakeholders (e.g. government and its agencies, scientific experts, public health experts, industry and the media) in the development of policy relevant to public health
- Differentiate issues relevant to making policy at local, national and supranational levels
- Define the ways in which contexts influence policymaking and employ systems thinking when developing and evaluating public health policy
- Discuss processes and problems of mobilising scientific evidence to inform policy and critically apply theories of knowledge exchange, such as identifying pathways to impact, the role of advocacy, and the challenges of identifying and evaluating impact.
Principles of Epidemiology, Principles of Public Health, Research Skills, Health Economics.
The module will be delivered using a combination of lectures, workshops, small-group exercises, and class discussions. Some reading may be required prior to some sessions. The module is structured around a series of case studies which are used to illustrate key points.
30min small group (3 – 5 students) presentation; 50% of module grade; each group speaking for ~20min, with 10mins Q&A involving peers and tutors. Each group will select and present a critical analysis of a national public health policy from any country as a case study. Each group is expected to hand in their topic at the end of the second day of teaching to the module leader. Students will be expected to arrange time to work together on their case study before the presentation. On the last day of the module, groups will present their case study to the rest of the class and the lecturers. This should be a critical analysis of the public health problem, the scientific and other evidence to underpin relevant public health intervention(s), and an analysis of the policy process using one or more of the policy analysis frameworks taught in the course to identify the key factors influencing the policy process, implementation and outcomes. A group mark will be given for overall content and analysis, as assessed by module leaders.
Students will also submit an individual report of 750 words, in the form of a policy briefing to the director of a public health authority. Students will be able to choose from a list of topics. 50% of module grade. To be submitted 2 weeks after the end of the module.
Module Length and Dates: 4 1/2 days