Course List

Course Code
Course Title
Core / Elective
Principles of Environmental and Occupational Health

This public health oriented course addresses how the environmental and occupational (work-related) factors affect human health and what we can do to prevent or minimize the negative impacts. Whereas environmental science tends to address how human beings affect the environment, this course focuses on how the environment affects human health. Topics include an introduction to major categories of environmental hazards that impact population health; environmental epidemiology methods in assessing the impact of environmental exposures on human health; the evaluation and control of common hazards in the work place; and the impacts of global environmental changes on health.

Contemporary Health Issues

This course will introduce various contemporary health issues, such as prevention of non-communicable diseases, nutrition and obesity-related health problems, physical activity, tobacco and alcohol use, illicit drug use, intentional and unintentional injuries, to the students in a seminar series.

Health Education and Health Behaviours

The objectives of this module are teaching students the concept of health in relation to health education and health promotion in community. Different theories, models and approaches will be explored. This module will also look into how health promotion practice links to different models of health behaviours . Through understanding of human behaviour, modifications for healthy lifestyle can be planned within the social and cultural context. Students will learn how to put theory into practice.

Planning and Evaluating Health Promotion Programmes

This course aims to provide introductory concepts of programme planning and evaluation, including their design, implementation, and other skills related to the process. Planning well in advance of implementing any community health promotion programme is oftentimes more integral to the programme’s success than creativity and innovation. An equally important process is programme evaluation, which is used not only to prove that a health promotion programme is effective, but also to identify ways of improvement in order to maximize its efficiency and sustainability. Over the duration of the course, students will learn about the importance of the planning and evaluation processes, and how to design a proper planning blueprint and assessment tools to evaluate a health promotion programme.

Settings-Approach for Health Promotion

Community health intervention is putting more emphasis on modification of health risk behaviours and building up the personal, cognitive and social skills which determine the ability of the individuals to gain access to, understand and make use of the information to promote and maintain good health. In many countries, there is a well-structured health care system to address diseases and illnesses but there is no system addressing health particularly on promotion of positive health. Healthy Setting is a value-based approach which has the ability of translation into language to fit the context of the particular setting. It can balance the long term community development with short term goals, and combining the top-down management with bottom up engagement and empowerment. The concept of Healthy Setting evolves from Ottawa Charter for Health Promotion by building healthy public policy, re-orientation of health services, strengthening community actions, building up personal health skills and health advocacy. Setting approach does not only recognise the contextual issue but also argues for investment in social systems in which people spend their daily lives.

This module will discuss the role of different settings in promoting health of the population. Students will gain basic understanding of healthy cities, health promoting school, health promoting workplace, health promoting university and health promotion in health care organizations.

Health Communications

This module will discuss various communication theories and their application in health promotion message design.

Research Methods in Community Health

This module will focus on using mixed methodology (quantitative, qualitative) to study community health practice. Students will learn how to develop appropriate tools for measuring the desired health outcomes and translating the evidence into practice.

Management of Non-Governmental Organisations

This module will discuss the management and operation of non-governmental organisations (NGO) of varying sizes.

Social Marketing Methods

Physical inactivity, unhealthy diet, smoking, people nowadays are often living an unhealthy lifestyle. Education and the rule of law have been used in attempts to change people’s behaviour with limited success. Social marketing is a systematic planning process that utilizes commercial marketing techniques to change people’s behaviour and achieve social good. The primary difference between social and commercial marketing is that the ultimate goal for commercial marketing is financial gain, whereas for social marketing, it is societal gain.

This course will focus on the social marketing planning process, which includes scoping, target and behaviour selection, understanding of facilitators and barriers, and design of social marketing campaigns.

Community-Based Rehabilitation and Self-Care Management

Although health advice and/or education is routinely given in day to day consultation with health professionals, more intensive self-management programmes should be designed for better control of chronic illnesses. Care in community is way forward for sustainable development of health care system. Patients including their caregivers need to be better equipped to maintain their functional capacity at optimal level. Students will learn the fundamental principles and concepts of community based rehabilitation by improving the health status of people with chronic visceral disability so they would live independently as far as possible. Students will also learn the skills to empower patients and families in self-management of chronic illness in community setting, and improving their health conditions.

Designing Health Promotion Materials

The ability to properly develop and disseminate health education materials, especially a health education workshop, is a crucial skill for all community health practitioners. On one hand, the advances of technology have broadened the number of ways in which health information can be delivered. However, despite these potentially new trends of informational delivery, a traditional workshop remains the most popular means of health education. This course will discuss the merits of high-quality written and verbal health materials, describe the strategies in developing such materials and instructions for dissemination, and actively engage students in the actual processes.

Practicum in Community Health Practice I

This module will prepare the students for their upcoming field placements (CHPR4902). Students will learn about the mission, vision and values of various community placement sites and the communities served by these organizations with the specific health needs of these communities. A learning plan for the upcoming field placement will be devised.

Practicum in Community Health Practice II

This module will provide opportunities for experiential learning for students in community settings related to health promotion or health service. This experience is designed to place the students into a real work setting and be part of a team with other community health workers and provide opportunities for the students to apply their acquired knowledge and skills as they participate in health promotion or health services activities of designated community organizations.

Foundations in Public Health

This course will introduce undergraduate students to the discipline of public health and its basic academic framework, concept and methodology. The objective of the course is to provide a broad intellectual perspective of public health and presents both local and global public health challenges that are facing our society in the 21st century. The various academic disciplines within the domains of public health that include environmental health sciences, health policy and management, social and behavioral sciences and basic science will be introduced and discussed. The impact of these public health problems in relation to our society and our everyday lives will be emphasized. An analytic public health problem solving framework will be used to enable students to appreciate and learn the problem solving methodology in evaluating and appraising various public health problems.

Biological Basis of Health

The course will cover the basics of health sciences. It will introduce the overview of basic scientific mechanisms, concepts and principles in health and in the pathogenesis of disease. It provides clinical scientific foundation for applications to the practice of public health.

Principles of Infectious Diseases

This course provides an introduction to the causation, epidemiology and prevention and control of infectious diseases in a public health context. Essential microbiology and immunology would be included. Concepts of the relationship among agent, host and environment will be covered. Impacts of infectious diseases on society will be discussed. Illustrations will be given using both historical events and topical issues.


This course will provide an overview of the use of basic statistical concepts and methods in the public health field. Emphasis will be placed on conceptual understanding of statistical approaches to medical data rather than on theory and equations. Students will learn the importance of the correct use of statistical techniques in addressing questions of public health importance. The course will enable students to develop the statistical literacy necessary to interpret the vast amounts of information they must process for personal decision making and become less vulnerable to manipulation. Students will also be introduced to a user-friendly software for performing basic statistical analyses.


This course aims to provide a basic understanding of the fundamental principles of epidemiological methods and their applicability to the field of health research. Students will grasp the basic skills needed to critically interpret scientific studies and to conduct simple epidemiological studies.

Food Security: Global and Local Perspectives

Despite the advancement in economic development and food technology, there are people living without the basic supply of sufficient and clean foods require for their physiological well-being. The World Food Summit of 1996 defined food security as existing “when all people at all times have access to sufficient, safe, nutritious food to maintain a healthy and active life”. This course introduces the factors affecting the sustainability of the contemporary food systems at both global and local perspectives. Areas including technological advancement, economic drive, political stability, as well as socio-cultural influences will be analyzed critically as insights to tackle the challenge of future food crisis. The concept of food safety will be introduced as a sub-topic of food security.

Mental Health as a Public Health Issue

The course aims to help students understand how knowledge in public health and behavioral sciences applies to mental health issues. Contents of the course include 1) the epidemiology of mental health problems among urban people; 2) relationships among sociocultural factors, interpersonal resources, individual characteristics, and mental health; 3) mental health issues after adverse life events; 4) concepts and theories related to mental health promotion in the community; and 5) community health services and interventions to improve mental health.

Nutrition and Health

This course provides the foundation background of nutritional science and its application to the primary prevention of diet-related illness. It will look into the importance of nutrition throughout the lifespan and in different population sub-groups. The wide variety of nutritional issues in both developed and developing countries will be discussed. There will be a specific focus on the challenges of obesity and chronic non-communicable disease.

Global Health

This course will introduce how public health principles may be applied to understand and examine health issues and initiatives in global settings.

Public Health Ethics and Law

This course will introduce students to the basic concepts of ethics and law and explore their relevance to professional and clinical public health practices. It will introduce students to the role of ethics and law in promoting and protecting public health. Case studies will be used to highlight contemporary ethical and legal issues in public health in Hong Kong.

Evidence Based Public Health and Healthcare

Building on students’ skills in epidemiology and biostatistics, this module will introduce advanced concepts and skills in evidence-based public health and healthcare. Students will acquire the skills in turning public health and healthcare queries into focused questions on effectiveness, diagnostic and screening performances and cost-effectiveness. Students will be equipped with skills to critically appraise the validity and generalizability of research findings, to synthesize evidence and to translate knowledge into action.

Environment and Health

This course addresses how environmental factors affect human health and what we can do to prevent or minimize the negative impacts. It examines the environmental health issues and recent development in industrialized and developing countries. It also covers risk analysis and communication, environmental health policy, and emerging environmental health problems.

Work and Health

This course adopts a systematic approach to the study of occupational health and hygiene, and addresses both the effects of work on health and the effects of health on work. It covers the scopes and principles of occupational health and hygiene, toxicological assessment and occupational exposure limits, ergonomics and injuries, occupational epidemiology and exposure assessment, as well as public health issues in occupational health. In addition, ethical issues, common cancers in Hong Kong and the related occupation and environment, as well as challenges of occupational health practice in Hong Kong and China are also included in this course.

Environmental Health Field Studies

This field study course is supplementary to the three classroom-based courses CHPR2001, PHPC2009 and PHPC3016 on the environmental factors in public health. Students can gain first-hand experiences and grasp certain practical skills by conducting the field studies in Hong Kong and Mainland China. Environmental health is about how the environmental factors may adversely impact the public health and what we can do to prevent or minimize these impacts. By the scale, the hazards can be local (e.g., industrial and household pollution, traffic exhaust), regional (e.g., deteriorating regional air quality), or global (e.g., climate change); by the relationship to social development, the hazards can be traditional (e.g., household hygiene) or modern (e.g., new chemicals). Without field studies, the students may have difficulties in understand the broad scopes of environmental health practice. This course is to fill in this gap by conducting local and regional field studies and equipping the students with practical skills (e.g., air sampling techniques) in environmental monitoring, risk assessment and management. Students are first required to select a study topic of interest, for example air pollution and respiratory diseases, water pollution and metal industry, and social development and sustainability, and then to review literature, to collect information from the places visited, and to write up a final report.

This course will be held during term breaks under the supervision of one or more faculty members. Students are responsible for all travel expenses in the field study, including transportation, food, accommodation, and travel insurance.

The objectives of the course are three-fold: (1) to offer students a field-based education early in their undergraduate programs for the extension of classroom learning through direct observation and experience; (2) to deepen students’ understanding on relationships between environment and health, with emphasis on pollution, social development, and sustainability; and (3) to provide students a comprehensive view on local and regional public health issues.

Economics and Financing in Healthcare Systems

In every health system, health economics plays an important role in service delivery as well as policy and operational decisions. The course will focus on principles of health economics and its applications to the health system, covering a wide range of topics, such as resource allocation, equity and efficiency, demand and supply of health care, and techniques of economic evaluation. The course will also introduce healthcare financing from different functional perspectives, including revenue collection, risk pooling and purchasing mechanisms. Through discussions and case studies, students will be able to develop understanding of different models of healthcare financing around the world.

Health Care Quality

This course will use the philosophy of health care quality in patient-centered care & safety to examine the roles of healthcare professions, patients and carers in the healthcare system; concept of care; and drivers for healthcare quality. Case scenario will be used to foster better understanding of the course content.

Healthcare Organisation and Management

This is an introductory course on the management, organizational structure and behavior, and leadership of health care institutions. This course will use lectures, case studies, and team-based learning to teach students about basic theories, skills, and concepts about managing people and situations unique to health care settings. In addition to introducing students to how health care organizations work on a business level, this course also emphasizes on developing their leadership skills, working in a team, and communication skills that are necessary for health care managers.

Introduction to Exercise Physiology

This course is designed to examine the basic concepts of energy metabolism, nutrition, physiological responses to exercise and training. Emphasis will be placed on the application of such knowledge upon teaching physical education and the improvement of physical performance. Laboratory classes will enable students to learn basic techniques in exercise physiology.

Physical Fitness Appraisal and Exercise Prescription

This course aims to help students to acquire knowledge of the basic concepts of fitness testing and exercise prescription for general healthy population. Major health-related fitness components including cardiovascular fitness, muscular fitness, flexibility, body composition, and neuromuscular relaxation will be covered. Other than theoretical lectures, practical laboratory experience for students to acquire important skills for conducting fitness assessment is provided.

Education and Promotion of Exercise and Health

Guided by health behaviour theory and research, this course is designed to enable students to gain an in-depth understanding of the complex problems associated with exercise and health education and promotion, and to acquire the knowledge and skills to develop, implement, supervise, and evaluate effective exercise and health education and promotion programmes. Upon completion of this course, students will be able to: 1) demonstrate the ability to utilize both up-to-date knowledge and skills in advanced exercise and health promotion, research methodology, and assessment techniques, to make informed administrative decisions; and 2) develop, implement, supervise, and evaluate effective programs that promote health and wellness.