2020/21 Full-time Postgraduate course
Master of Science
Faculty of Computing, Engineering and the Built Environment
Belfast School of Architecture and the Built Environment
This course is taught online so you can study where you want, when you want.
This unique programme focuses on the global role of Environmental Health in protecting communities and delivering a healthy sustainable future.
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The MSc Global Strategy in Environmental Health and Sustainability is a perfect choice if you are passionate about the future health and well-being of our planet and its inhabitants.
The programme embeds the core principles of environmental health throughout the programme directly linked to the attainment of UN Sustainability Goals. It will equip you with the critical thinking skills, knowledge and understanding necessary to become an environmental health professional. Throughout each element it links the cross-cutting themes of strategy, policy and intervention. You will be equally at home in a strategic or operational role, in a local or global setting.
You will be taught by skilled academics and experts in their field and study a range of modules aligned to the Chartered Institute of Environmental Health Professional Standards Framework.
Sign up to register an interest in the course.
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This new programme is primarily focused on the global dimension of environmental health and the role it can play, along with other disciplines, in the delivery of the UN sustainable development goals. The course, and teaching, is built around the five core disciplines of environmental health:
- food safety and integrity
- public protection and well-being
- health & safety
- housing and communities, and
- environmental protection and sustainability,
and the underpinning six principles of environmental health:
- the maintenance and protection of human health is at the centre of all environmental health action
- the protection of the most disadvantaged who suffer disproportionately
- the need for democratic government and governance
- cooperation and partnership
- sustainability, and
- environmental health issues are truly international in character.
This degree addresses a key niche in the global market and aims to produce graduates who can deliver impact on both the local and world stages. Delivered entirely by distance learning, it will enable you to study at a time and pace of your own choosing. It will also facilitate engagement with, and learning from, a diverse pool of peers from around the globe. Learning and assessment will be delivered through the Blackboard Learn Virtual Learning Environment using an extensive range of digital tools to encourage engagement and enhance your experience. It will also be supported by a team of dedicated academics and researchers. Extensive contributions will also be made by recognised visiting experts from various related disciplines.
If you are an existing environmental health practitioner, the course will be attractive for professional development reasons. If you are from another discipline with an interest in the topics described, it will be equally attractive as a route to a rewarding career in environmental health. We are currently working towards CIEH accreditation for the programme and it is our expectation that this will be in place for September 2020
Students are expected to attend all classes associated with the programme and be punctual and regular in attendance.
A student who has not been in attendance for more than 3 days through illness or other cause must notify immediately the Course Director. The student shall state the reasons for the absence and whether it is likely to be prolonged. Where the absence is for a period of more than 5 working days, and is caused by illness which may affect their studies, the student shall provide appropriate medical certification in accordance with the General Regulations for Students.
Students who are absent without good cause for a substantial proportion of classes may be required to discontinue studies, in accordance with the General Regulations for Students.
The content for each course is summarised on the relevant course page, along with an overview of the modules that make up the course.
Each course is approved by the University and meets the expectations of:
As part of your course induction, you will be provided with details of the organisation and management of the course, including attendance and assessment requirements - usually in the form of a timetable. For full-time courses, the precise timetable for each semester is not confirmed until close to the start date and may be subject to some change in the early weeks as all courses settle into their planned patterns. For part-time courses which require attendance on particular days and times, an expectation of the days and periods of attendance will be included in the letter of offer. A course handbook is also made available.
Courses comprise modules for which the notional effort involved is indicated by its credit rating. Each credit point represents 10 hours of student effort. Undergraduate courses typically contain 10- or 20-credit modules (more usually 20) and postgraduate course typically 15- or 30-credit modules.
The normal study load expectation for an undergraduate full-time course of study in the standard academic year is 120 credit points. This amounts to around 36-42 hours of expected teaching and learning per week, inclusive of attendance requirements for lectures, seminars, tutorials, practical work, fieldwork or other scheduled classes, private study, and assessment. Part-time study load is the same as full-time pro-rata, with each credit point representing 10 hours of student effort.
Postgraduate Master’s courses typically comprise 180 credits, taken in three semesters when studied full-time. A Postgraduate Certificate (PGCert) comprises 60 credits and can usually be completed on a part-time basis in one year. A 120-credit Postgraduate Diploma (PGDip) can usually be completed on a part-time basis in two years.
Class contact times vary by course and type of module. Typically, for a module predominantly delivered through lectures you can expect at least 3 contact hours per week (lectures/seminars/tutorials). Laboratory classes often require a greater intensity of attendance in blocks. Some modules may combine lecture and laboratory. The precise model will depend on the course you apply for and may be subject to change from year to year for quality or enhancement reasons. Prospective students will be consulted about any significant changes.
Assessment methods vary and are defined explicitly in each module. Assessment can be a combination of examination and coursework but may also be only one of these methods. Assessment is designed to assess your achievement of the module’s stated learning outcomes. You can expect to receive timely feedback on all coursework assessment. The precise assessment will depend on the module and may be subject to change from year to year for quality or enhancement reasons. You will be consulted about any significant changes.
Coursework can take many forms, for example: essay, report, seminar paper, test, presentation, dissertation, design, artefacts, portfolio, journal, group work. The precise form and combination of assessment will depend on the course you apply for and the module. Details will be made available in advance through induction, the course handbook, the module specification and the assessment timetable. The details are subject to change from year to year for quality or enhancement reasons. You will be consulted about any significant changes.
Normally, a module will have 4 learning outcomes, and no more than 2 items of assessment. An item of assessment can comprise more than one task. The notional workload and the equivalence across types of assessment is standardised.
Calculation of the Final Award
The class of Honours awarded in Bachelor’s degrees is usually determined by calculation of an aggregate mark based on performance across the modules at Levels 5 and 6, (which correspond to the second and third year of full-time attendance).
Level 6 modules contribute 70% of the aggregate mark and Level 5 contributes 30% to the calculation of the class of the award. Classification of integrated Master’s degrees with Honours include a Level 7 component. The calculation in this case is: 50% Level 7, 30% Level 6, 20% Level 5. At least half the Level 5 modules must be studied at the University for Level 5 to be included in the calculation of the class.
All other qualifications have an overall grade determined by results in modules from the final level of study. In Master’s degrees of more than 200 credit points the final 120 points usually determine the overall grading.
The University employs over 1,000 suitably qualified and experienced academic staff - 59% have PhDs in their subject field and many have professional body recognition.
Courses are taught by staff who are Professors (25%), Readers, Senior Lecturers (18%) or Lecturers (57%).
We require most academic staff to be qualified to teach in higher education: 82% hold either Postgraduate Certificates in Higher Education Practice or higher. Most academic staff (81%) are accredited fellows of the Higher Education Academy (HEA) - the university sector professional body for teaching and learning. Many academic and technical staff hold other professional body designations related to their subject or scholarly practice.
The profiles of many academic staff can be found on the University’s departmental websites and give a detailed insight into the range of staffing and expertise. The precise staffing for a course will depend on the department(s) involved and the availability and management of staff. This is subject to change annually and is confirmed in the timetable issued at the start of the course.
Occasionally, teaching may be supplemented by suitably qualified part-time staff (usually qualified researchers) and specialist guest lecturers. In these cases, all staff are inducted, mostly through our staff development programme ‘First Steps to Teaching’. In some cases, usually for provision in one of our out-centres, Recognised University Teachers are involved, supported by the University in suitable professional development for teaching.
Figures correct for academic year 2019-2020.
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.
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This module introduces the student to the concept of sustainable development, how it has evolved and how it can be delivered and measured. It explores a range of economic, environmental and social challenges to determine how these overlap with the UN Sustainable Development Goals. It provides for an appreciation of the policy and actions needed to stimulate government, corporate and individual change to help deliver the wide-ranging SDGs.
Students will study law set in a global context, the legal and constitutional foundations that exist within it, and how this impacts on environmental health practice. On completion they should be able to critically appraise how law and regulation is implemented, the links to human health and well-being, the protection of the environment, and understand this in the broader context of its key contribution to sustainable development.
This module provides students with a broad understanding of research methods and techniques, and how these can be used to investigate a research problem in any context. Students will be provided with the necessary theoretical foundations in statistical research, including the ability to plan research ethically and conduct a literature review. Students will also be able to record, analyse, interpret and present qualitative and quantitative data appropriately.
This module is optional
This module examines the supply of sustainable, safe, nutritious food in a global context. It explores the threats and impacts on public health of the current food environment. It equips students with knowledge, understanding and critical reflection on the role of global food policies, of governments and other stakeholders (food production, processing, marketing) in the delivery of sustainable, future food systems so that consumers can access safe, healthy, low-impact food.
This module is optional
This module provides an in-depth knowledge and understanding of the purpose, processes, principles and skills required in the practice of occupational health and safety within the context of the international sustainable development agenda.
Students will have competency in recognising relevant information to identify hazards, evaluate risks and deliver intervention strategies to solve organisational, cultural and physical threats to the health and safety of people at work.
This module is optional
Students completing this module will have in-depth knowledge and understanding of the purpose, processes, principles and skills in the practice of environmental protection and sustainable technologies within the context of the sustainable development agenda. This includes protecting life on land and in water, taking action on climate change, and promoting responsible consumption and production. Students will develop critical skills in strategic planning, policy and intervention to achieve this.
This module is optional
The United Nations decrees that adequate housing is a basic human right. Healthy, sustainable housing includes the physical structure and how it is influenced by the surrounding physical, social and economic environment and it is directly related to public health and well-being. This module includes the study and critique of issues linking housing and communities to public health and wellbeing, and in determining what is required to ensure adequate housing.
This module is optional
Students completing this module will understand the strategic, moral and humanitarian motivation for emergency planning. They will understand the complexities, core principles, mechanisms and partnerships involved and the essential role of crisis communication. Students will develop key skills in strategic planning and policy to deliver interventions successfully that deal with emergencies which threaten the lives, livelihoods or well-being of citizens across the world.
This module is optional
Effective communication is an essential skill for all practitioners to advocate for their profession and influence sustainable change. This will be key to deliver the environmental health and sustainable goals that are needed to overcome current and future environmental challenges.
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.
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A second class honours degree or better from a university of the United Kingdom or the Republic of Ireland, or from a recognised national awarding body, or from an institution of another country which has been recognised as being of an equivalent standard; or an equivalent standard (normally 50%) in a Graduate Diploma, Graduate Certificate, Postgraduate Certificate or Postgraduate Diploma or an approved alternative qualification.
In exceptional circumstances, as an alternative to the above, where an individual has substantial and significant experiential learning, a portfolio of written evidence demonstrating the meeting of graduate qualities (including subject-specific outcomes, as determined by the Course Committee) may be considered as an alternative entrance route.
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.
Typically we require applicant for taught programmes to hold the equivalent of a UK first degree (usually in a relevant subject area). Please refer to the specific entry requirements for your chosen course of study as outlined in the online prospectus. We consider students who have good grades in the following:
|Level 12 English Lang in HSD|
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There is significant demand for environmental health practitioners in many countries working in a variety of fields directly and indirectly related to environmental health. They are employed in local and central government roles, voluntary sector organisations, and in the private sector across a wide range of disciplines including environmental protection, health and safety, housing standards, food safety, health promotion and emergency planning.
Analysis of advertised jobs within United Nations (UN), World Health Organisation (WHO) and The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) web sites indicates a demand for graduates at MSc level for a wide range of posts working on and leading projects across the globe. The skills and knowledge base of graduates from this course are designed to match many of these jobs and the learning outcomes are aligned to UNESCO sustainable development educational goals.
As an existing environmental health practitioner the MSc will provide you with the skills and knowledge to progress your career, gain promotion and take on a leadership role. As a graduate from another discipline the skills and knowledge gained on the MSc, combined with your existing knowledge, will prepare you for a career as an environmental health practitioner providing access to the many career opportunities in this field.
Successful completion of the programme will also be an excellent preparation for further postgraduate study at PhD level. This will provide various career routes including into research and academia.
Sharon Moore, Admissions
Mr Robert Cameron, Course Director