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Environmental Health - BSc (Hons) - Video

An innovative and dynamic programme with excellent career opportunities.

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Graduates from this course have gained employment with a wide range of organisations

  • Avondale Foods
  • Belfast City Council
  • Dunnes Stores
  • Foyle Meats
  • Genesis Crafty
  • Kerry Foods
  • Moy Park

Graduates from this course are employed in many different roles

  • Environmental Health Officer
  • Health and Safety Officer
  • Quality Assurance Auditing
  • Emergency Planning Officer
  • Compliance Auditor
  • Graduate Trainee Manager


Important notice – campus change This course will move to the Belfast campus.  Students will change campus part way through this course. Find out more

In this section

An innovative and dynamic programme with excellent career opportunities.


Have you ever wondered what happens behind the scenes of restaurants, shops, businesses and government?

Would you like a knowledge of issues such as food safety, health and safety, housing, public health or pollution?

Do you want a degree that leads to a career where you are out of the office meeting people and dealing with different challenges each day? A degree that has very good employment prospects, locally and internationally, in well paid graduate jobs?

Would you like to study on a course that provides this, plus lots more? Then come and study Environmental Health at Ulster.

Our graduates are equipped to find employment in a wide range of environmental health activities across public, private and voluntary sector organisations. Environmental Health Practitioners (EHPs) can take their skills into a huge variety of roles. It is a career where you are dealing with different challenges every day.

This BSc (Hons) Environmental Health programme has great strength in delivering the practical and academic skills required for a career in environmental health including problem solving, communication, research and management skills. It also aims to facilitate the development of your own personal, communication and intellectual abilities.

The course includes the core subjects of food safety management, health and safety at work, environmental protection, housing and public health. The areas of sustainability, quality of life, health inequalities, law and spatial planning are also integrated throughout the programme.

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About this course

In this section


Structure & content

Normally you will complete the programme in four years, including an optional one year professional placement in year 3.

You will study a range of modules covering all aspects of environmental health including

• Occupational Health and Safety;
• Food Safety;
• Planning;
• Housing;
• Public Health;
• Environmental Protection.

The course also delivers a depth of understanding of the holistic and integrative nature of environmental health.

Some areas of environmental health such as public health, health inequalities, health improvement and sustainable development benefit from being delivered in conjunction with others. These are referred to as ‘overriding themes’ and are integrated into most modules.

The course has great strengths in delivering operational skills. These skills include communication, research skills, managerial skills and team work.

Associate awards

Diploma in Professional Practice DPP

Diploma in Professional Practice International DPPI

Find out more about placement awards


The course will last for four years (including one year placement, year 3).

You are expected to attend lectures, seminars, tutorials, laboratory practicals etc, on campus, usually 3.5 days per week (approximately 17 hours/week). Significant independent study is undertaken in addition to these activities.

Start dates

  • September 2019
How to apply


Here is a guide to the subjects studied on this course.

Courses are continually reviewed to take advantage of new teaching approaches and developments in research, industry and the professions. Please be aware that modules may change for your year of entry. The exact modules available and their order may vary depending on course updates, staff availability, timetabling and student demand. Please contact the course team for the most up to date module list.

In this section

Year one

Applied Sciences for Health

Year: 1

The chemical and biological aspects of this module are targeted to provide the students with a deeper understanding of the underpinning principles pertaining to the evolution of various stressors, in natural and built environments, that affect human well-being. The learning of the basic principles of environmental chemistry, radioactivity, cellular basis of life and microbiology will be vital for the subsequent study of environmental health and to enable students to devise appropriate interventions in practical scenarios.

Introduction to Food Safety and Occupational Health and Safety

Year: 1

This module is designed to provide detailed introductions to the subjects of food safety, nutrition and occupational health and safety. It will start with the historical context and progress to the modern settings in which food safety and occupational health and safety stressors are identified and controlled.

Introduction to Innovation and Entrepreneurship

Year: 1

The module will provide the opportunity for students to be creative, innovative and entrepreneurial within a defined structure but with the latitude and freedom to identify and seize opportunities and enhance their learning experience. The desired outcome is the enhancement of their innovation and entrepreneurship skills that contribute to Ulster's aspirational graduate qualities. It also builds on effective collaborative work, conflict resolution, communicating to a variety of audiences.

Environmental Health, Public health and Nuisances

Year: 1

This module facilitates the start of the multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary approaches that continue throughout the programme. It will require the students to participate to the integrative symposium. Additionally it will introduce students to the environmental health profession and introduce them to public health, epidemiology, nutrition and public health nuisance.

Environmental Cycles Protection and Impacts

Year: 1

This module introduces the basic concept necessary to understand environmental protection. It focuses on the natural and built environment, environmental pollution and their impacts on sustainability and environmental health as practiced by the modern environmental health practitioner. It considers the processes involved in the realisation of a sustainable built environment which meets the needs of humans in relation to health and quality of life.

Building Structures and Services

Year: 1

This module introduces the basic concept necessary to understand building structures and services. It focuses on the built environment and its impact on environmental health as practiced by the modern environmental health practitioners with an emphasis on the core area of Housing. It considers the processes involved in the realisation of structures and services within buildings which meets the needs of humans in relation to health and comfort.

Law, Government, Health and Social Policy

Year: 1

Environmental Health practitioners must be aware of the legal boundaries, government structures and social policies within which they will operate. They must have knowledge of and a practical understanding of the legal rules which regulate transactions and relationships. They must appreciate and understand the fundamental principles of the legal and governmental framework within which they operate. They must also appreciate and understand the fundamental principles of the social policies issues affecting health and well-being The module is designed to develop in students an understanding of the above and will enable them to appreciate the importance of the correlation that exists between law, government, social policy and the specific discipline of environmental health.

Year two

Occupational Health and Safety

Year: 2

This module builds upon the foundation provided by ENH120 and provides students with a detailed understanding of the subject of workplace health and safety, together with practical application skills. It is concerned with the identification, measurement and risk assessment of work and workplaces stressors and the selection and management of physical, procedural, legal and educational interventions to eliminate or reduce their impacts on the health and safety of employees and others.

Environmental Protection

Year: 2

This module gives the student a detailed knowledge and depth of understanding of principles and concepts of the various environmental stressors which can have harmful or detrimental impacts on health and on the environment together with the consideration of interventions to control the impacts. Biological, chemical, physical, social and psychosocial environmental stressors are examined and are converged to facilitate the development of the holistic viewpoint.

Food & Consumer Safety and Nutrition

Year: 2

This module is designed to build on the knowledge and understanding, gained in ENH120, of stressors within the food chain and the potential use of this knowledge and understanding in the management of their risk, by interventions, to eliminate or minimise their impacts on human health. The focus is on the areas of food hygiene and related legislative provisions and protocols.

Data collection Methods, Communication and Statistics

Year: 2

Almost every aspect of the work of the environmental health practitioner requires good communication skills and an understanding of data collection methods and analysis. This module combines the development of communication and research skills with numeracy skills necessary for data analysis and interpretation. Candidates will be provided with opportunities to review and evaluate common communication methods and technologies and to develop their skills appropriate to the delivery of academic papers, professional reports, health promotion and training. Fundamental research methods, statistics and statistical packages will be covered through knowledge dissemination and participation.

Spatial Planning for Housing and Health

Year: 2

This module gives the student an awareness of the impacts that poor housing and spatial planning policies can have. It also considers interventions such as legislative, policies, strategies and procedures and their affects on the environment and health.

Regulation and Enforcement in Practice

Year: 2

This module is designed to introduce students to the fundamental elements involved in the application of risk based formal and informal interventions to achieve compliance with legislation with the appropriate regard to the associated standards and guidance. Case studies, debates, discussions and role-play are used to enable students to develop awareness of the importance of inter-agency working and the necessity to adopt a holistic approach to any proposed intervention. An overarching theme of this module is the political context of regulation and enforcement.

Developing Innovation and Entrepreneuship

Year: 2

The module will provide the opportunity for students to be creative, innovative and entrepreneurial within a defined structure but with the latitude and freedom to identify and seize opportunities and enhance their learning experience. The desired outcome is the enhancement of their innovation and entrepreneurship skills that contribute to Ulster's aspirational graduate qualities. It also builds on effective collaborative work, conflict resolution, communicating to a variety of audiences.

Year three

Environmental Health Professional Training

Year: 3

This module is designed to allow the student to undertake supervised environmental health professional training in a workplace environment and develop their practical, professional and employability skills. The Programme is designed to facilitate learning by observation and practice. The training includes the requirements of the accrediting body, the Chartered Institute of Environmental Health, which will allow professional recognition. Successful completion of the training will lead to the award of the Diploma in Professional Practice on graduation.

Year four

Environmental Health Research

Year: 4

This module provides an opportunity to apply previous learning and complete a research dissertation on a topic relevant to environmental health with the potential for this work to be submitted for publication.

Environmental Protection: Strategies for Sustainable Development

Year: 4

This module enables the student to explore interventions aimed at reducing and mitigating the impacts of environmental stressors. In particular integrative, holistic and multi-disciplinary interventions will be appraised. The module aims to provide the opportunity for the student to: further appreciate the impacts of environmnetal protection stressors in relation to housing air, water and land and the acoustic environment, synthesise protection and control interventions, and evaluate monitoring programmes for the detection and control of environmental pollutants

Food and Nutrition Policies and Standards

Year: 4

This module aims to develop students' ability to appraise current enforcement policies and strategies, relating to food safety, and recognise their influence on the interventions available to a range of agencies to eliminate or minimise the risk from related stressors on human health. Particular emphasis is placed on the management strategies available to enhance food safety practices. To enhance the application of a holistic approach, students will undertake a complex case study which may include a range of interventions by various agencies and the resulting legal outcomes, both criminal and civil.

Public Health and Housing Management

Year: 4

This module succulently draws together two core aspects of the strategic environmental health agenda: public health and housing. In doing so the module ensures that students consider, explore and understand the need for the modern day Environmental Health Practitioner to look beyond the immediate and consider the wider and related issues and as such facilitate the development of holistic strategic thinking. Students, as such, will be encouraged to appreciate their role in strategic issues such as the creation of sustainable communities, the impact of the buit environment on health, and the relationship between improving living conditions in the promotion of human health.

Integrated Environmental Health Professional Practice

Year: 4

An ability to study in depth, reflect holistically, garner and synthesise information from diverse sources and to apply critical thinking to solve or manage problems are key skills required by contemporary environmental health practitioners. The case studies in this module are either based on real events or closely reflect real incidents and are designed to provide settings in which the above skills, plus the skills of teamwork and communication, can be developed.

Leadership in Innovation and Entrepreneurship

Year: 4

Changing employment patterns and changing organisational expectations have impacted on the demand for new skill-sets. Employees are expected to be more flexible and adaptable, with a broader range of skills and be better able to manage their own career and development. To this end, the module will provide the opportunity for students lead on creativity, innovation and entrepreneuriship in order to enhance the skill sets that employers require.

Workplace Management and Safety Systems

Year: 4

This module is designed to introduce the student to the principles of organisation and management in a range of organisations in the public, voluntary and private sectors. The focus is on how the management principles impact on the public sector with particular reference to local government. The module is also designed to focus on the policies and strategies which influence the organisational management and control of occupational health & safety

Entry conditions

We recognise a range of qualifications for admission to our courses. In addition to the specific entry conditions for this course you must also meet the University’s General Entrance Requirements.

In this section

A level

The A Level requirement for this course is ABC including one Grade A from Physics, Mathematics, Chemistry, Biology, Geography, Home Economics, Food, Nutrition and Health or Health and Social Care.

Applicants can satisfy the requirement for one of the A level grades (or equivalent) by substituting a combination of alternative qualifications recognised by the University.

Applied General Qualifications

Successful completion of BTEC National Diploma/OCR Extended Diploma in science based subject, with DDM profile (to include 9 Distinctions) with merits in appropriate science modules.

Irish Leaving Certificate

The Irish Leaving requirement for this course is H3, H3, H3, H3, H3 to include one in a science based subject (ie. Chemistry, Mathematics, Physics, Biology, Geography or Home Economics).

English at Grade H6 or above (Higher Level) or Grade O4 or above at Ordinary Level.

Scottish Highers

The Scottish Highers requirement for this course is BBBCC to include grade B in one science (ie. Chemistry, Mathematics, Physics, Biology, Geography, Home Economics or Food, Nutrition and Health).

Scottish Advanced Highers

The Scottish Advanced Highers requirement for this course is CCC to include one science (ie. Chemistry, Mathematics, Physics, Biology, Geography, Home Economics or Food, Nutrition and Health).

International Baccalaureate

Overall International Baccalaureate profile minimum 26 points with 13 at higher level to include one science (ie. Chemistry, Mathematics, Physics, Biology, Geography, or Home Economics).

Access to Higher Education (HE)

Science Access Diploma with a minimum mark of 70%. At least three quarters of the modules must be at level 3 in science subjects ie Physics, Chemistry, Biology, Mathematics and/or General Science.


GCSE Profile to include Grade C in English and Mathematics.

English Language Requirements

English language requirements for international applicants
The minimum requirement for this course is Academic IELTS 6.0 with no band score less than 5.5. Trinity ISE: Pass at level III also meets this requirement for Tier 4 visa purposes.

Ulster recognises a number of other English language tests and comparable IELTS equivalent scores.

Additional Entry Requirements

Other UK university validated science access qualifications with an overall average mark of 70%. At least three quarters of the modules must be at level 3 in science subjects ie physics, chemistry, biology, mathematics and/or general science.

Teaching and learning assessment

Teaching Methods

A range of teaching and learning methods are used to encourage you to embrace a knowledge seeking approach, to build up confidence in your own ability to learn, to encourage reflection and to make reasoned judgements based on available evidence.

The teaching and learning methods are designed to allow you academic and subject progression from Year 1 to final year.

Year 1 – the emphasis is on raising your knowledge and understanding of a broad range of environmental health stressors and their health impacts.
Year 2 – selected environmental health stressors, impacts and interventions are studied in greater depth and the interrelationships are considered.
Year 4 – studies will concentrate on research, strategies, policies, partnership working, synthesis and evaluations.

In Year 1 the teaching is delivered in lectures, tutorials, laboratory work, group work and seminars, complemented by visiting professionals. In subsequent years you are increasingly directed to student centred learning, through individual reading, research groups, projects, case studies, oral and visual presentations and interviews. In the final year a high proportion of the learning process is by directed study through integrative case studies and the research project.

Case Studies
Case studies develop skills including the ability to study in depth, solve or manage problems and are therefore used throughout all years. In addition to background knowledge of the scientific, technological and legislative aspects of the issue and the ability to draw information from a variety of sources, there is a need to apply critical thinking which is key to the problem solving process. A final year module is designed to simulate real case scenarios and provide opportunities for students to develop problem solving skills and exercise collaborative management to arrive at solutions.

Exemptions and transferability

The vast majority of students enter Year 1, although admission to Year 2 is possible if evidence of previous environmental health work experience and/or relevant study is provided demonstrating achievement of the Year 1 learning outcomes.

Careers & opportunities

In this section

Graduate employers

Graduates from this course have gained employment with a wide range of organisations. Here are some examples:

  • Avondale Foods
  • Belfast City Council
  • Dunnes Stores
  • Foyle Meats
  • Genesis Crafty
  • Kerry Foods
  • Moy Park

Job roles

Graduates from this course are employed in many different roles. Here are some examples:

  • Environmental Health Officer
  • Health and Safety Officer
  • Quality Assurance Auditing
  • Emergency Planning Officer
  • Compliance Auditor
  • Graduate Trainee Manager

Career options

Many graduates find employment in the public sector as environmental health practitioners. Increasingly, opportunities exist in other government agencies and within private sector companies and consultancies in the areas of food safety, environmental protection, occupational health and safety and energy efficiency.

As the course is accredited by the CIEH, you have the opportunity to work in countries outside the UK and Ireland that have a similar approach to environmental health such as Australia, New Zealand and Canada.

Opportunities exist for postgraduate study and research at masters and doctorate level.

Work placement / study abroad

The Environmental Health placement is designed to complement your academic study and is designed to facilitate your learning by developing essential professional and employability skills. Placement provides you with the opportunity to complete the professional requirements of the Chartered Institute of Environmental Health.

Many students obtain placements with local authorities in Northern Ireland although a significant number successfully obtain placements within relevant industries, GB local authorities, and placements outside the United Kingdom.

Successful completion of the professional placement year leads to the award of a Diploma in Professional Practice (DPP) upon graduation.

Professional recognition

Institution of Occupational Safety and Health, the (IOSH)

Accredited by the Institution of Occupational Safety and Health as meeting the academic requirements for the purpose of eligibility to apply for Graduate membership leading to Chartered membership.

Chartered Institute of Environmental Health (CIEH)

Accredited by the Chartered Institute of Environmental Health (CIEH) for the purpose of partially meeting the requirements for registration as an Environmental Health Practitioner with the Environmental Health Registration Board (EHRB).

Academic profile

All of the core environmental health teaching staff have been awarded Fellowship of the Higher Education Academy demonstrating expertise in and commitment to teaching, learning and the student experience.

As well as teaching, members of the programme team are actively engaged in academic enterprise and research that informs their teaching.


How to apply Request a prospectus

Applications to full-time undergraduate degrees at Ulster are made through UCAS.

Start dates

  • September 2019

Fees and funding

In this section

Fees (per year)

Important notice - fees information Fees illustrated are based on 18/19 entry and are subject to an annual increase. Correct at the time of publishing. Terms and conditions apply. Additional mandatory costs are highlighted where they are known in advance. There are other costs associated with university study.
Visit our Fees pages for full details of fees

Northern Ireland & EU:
England, Scotland & Wales:
£9,250.00  Discounts available
£13,680.00  Scholarships available

Scholarships, awards and prizes

Graduates of the programme have regularly featured in award lists for national academic and professional awards. The Northern Ireland Chatered Institute of Environmnetal Health (CIEH) region also awards the highest achieving student with the David Montgomery Award.

Additional mandatory costs


Tuition fees and costs associated with accommodation, travel (including car parking charges), and normal living are a part of university life.

Where a course has additional mandatory expenses we make every effort to highlight them. These may include residential visits, field trips, materials (e.g. art, design, engineering) inoculations, security checks, computer equipment, uniforms, professional memberships etc.

We aim to provide students with the learning materials needed to support their studies. Our libraries are a valuable resource with an extensive collection of books and journals as well as first-class facilities and IT equipment. Computer suites and free wifi is also available on each of the campuses.

There will be some additional costs to being a student which cannot be itemised and these will be different for each student. You may choose to purchase your own textbooks and course materials or prefer your own computer and software. Printing and binding may also be required. There are additional fees for graduation ceremonies, examination resits and library fines. Additional costs vary from course to course.

Students choosing a period of paid work placement or study abroad as part of their course should be aware that there may be additional travel and living costs as well as tuition fees.

Please contact the course team for more information.


The course was excellent and whilst I have not gone down the Environmental Health Officer route, I feel the course benefited me greatly as I have an appreciation of both the local authority & industry perspectives. Angela McAloran.

“The course covers a very broad range of topics and provides you with a good understanding of the key environmental health functions including legislation/guidance etc. It sets you up well to be able to work as an Environmental Health Officer. The course is well delivered”. Ruth Patton.

“Very good and enjoyable four years, provided me with great knowledge and experience for me to get into employment. Thanks” Cathal O’Neill.

“The variety of the course covering all aspects of environmental health this has assisted me in moving between different teams within environmental health with my current role in port health/health and safety also food safety and pollution teams when required”. Mark O'Neill.

“The main strength of the environmental health degree is the wide variety of topics covered, this allows the student a choice of which area to follow in or it can provide the student with adequate qualifications across a number of fields, to aid in achieving employment when completing the course”. Mark McCann.

“The broad range of topics studied while at UU equipped me for temporary jobs in food hygiene, home safety and my permanent post inenvironemnatl and health and safety in construction”. Clare Scott.

“Broad range of areas covered, allows for numerous career choices. Wide ranging work skills achieved”. Aran Hennessey.

“The lecturers were practising EHPs and their personal experience gives an excellent insight into the practical work involved which helped give a better understanding of the theory around environemental health topics. Having a choice of placement in the middle of the course because this really helped with final year exams having experienced being out in the field”. Stephanie Rock.

“The broad range of topics that were studied, which (in theory) would open up more job opportunities. Also, the lecturers themselves, as many come from a working environmental health background so were able to provide better teaching experiences with real-life cases”. Kathy Ewing Graduated 2010.

“The course is good”. John Flannery.