2022/23 Full-time Undergraduate course
Bachelor of Science with Honours
Faculty of Computing, Engineering and the Built Environment
Belfast School of Architecture and the Built Environment
The UCAS code for Ulster University is U20
Environmental Health professionals are at the forefront of designing and improving the public’s health and wellbeing.
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.
Sign up to register an interest in the course.
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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
• Food Safety;
• Occupational Health and Safety;
• Environmental Protection;
• Public Health.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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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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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.
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.
This module provides a general introduction to construction technology with specific emphasis on the sustainable construction of small-scale, low-rise buildings.
The module also introduces the factors that affect and systems that control the internal environment of domestic buildings.
This module introduces students to the environmental health profession and its interdisciplinary nature. Students will develop an understanding of public health and its key concepts, the environmental health profession and its role in protecting public health, and epidemiology.
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 eco-systems, 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.
This module introduces students to the fundamental principles of governance and the legal framework in contemporary society. Students examine the interrelationship between governance actors, the legal system and social policy for advancing sustainable development and improving social, economic and environmental well-being.
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.
This module gives students a detailed knowledge and depth of understanding of the impacts of environmental pollution from a variety of sources and the interventions available to control/mitigate their impact including legislative requirements and regulation in order to ensure environmental protection. It provides practical skills on the use of specialist equipment and the analysis of environmental protection related data.
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.
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.
This module gives the student an awareness of the impacts housing and the living environment on health. It considers the effects interventions such as legislative, policies, strategies and procedures have on the environment and health.
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.
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.
This module provides undergraduate students with an opportunity to gain structured and professional work experience, in a work-based learning environment, as part of their planned programme of study. This experience allows students to develop, refine and reflect on their key personal and professional skills. The placement should significantly support the development of the student's employability skills, preparation for final year and enhance their employability journey.
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.
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
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.
This module 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 built environment on health, and the relationship between improving living conditions in the promotion of human health.
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.
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.
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
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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The A Level requirement for this course is ABC to include grade A from Mathematics, Physics, Chemistry, Biology, Geography, Life and Health Sciences (single or double award) Home Economics, Food, Nutrition and Health, Nutrition and Food Science, Health and Social Care (single or double award) Environmental Technolog, Environmental Science or Applied Science.
Providing the subject requirements is met, 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.
The Faculty of Computing, Engineering and the Built Environment accept a range of alternative combinations of qualifications such as:
BTEC Extended Awards
BTEC Level 3 QCF Extended Diploma in Science, Health Science, Health and Social Care or Construction with overall award profile DDD.
BTEC Level 3 RQF National Extended Diploma in Science, Health Science, Health and Social Care or Construction with overall award profile DDM.
A levels with
BTEC Level 3 QCF Subsidiary Diploma;
BTEC RQF National Extended Certificate;
BTEC Level 3 QCF 90-credit Diploma
BTEC Level 3 RQF National Foundation Diploma;
BTEC Level 3 QCF Diploma or BTEC Level 3 RQF National Diploma.
OCR Nationals and Cambridge Technical Combinations do not satisfy the subject entry requirement for this course and will be accepted as grade only when presented with A level(s) in the relevant subject(s).
The subject requirement must be met.
For further information on the requirements for this course please contact the administrator as listed in the Contact details section below.
Entry equivalences can also be viewed in the online prospectus at http://www.ulster.ac.uk/apply/entrance-requirements/equivalence.
120 UCAS Tariff Points to include a minimum of 4 subjects at Higher Level and 1 subject at Ordinary Level. Higher Level subjects must include one H3 grade from Mathematics, Physics, Chemistry, Physics/Chemistry, Biology, Geography or Home Economics. The overall profile must include English at Grade H6 or above (HL) or Grade O4 or above (OL). If Maths is not being offered at Higher Level grade O4 at Ordinary Level is also required.
The Scottish Highers requirement for this course is BBBCC to include grade B in one from Mathematics, Physics, Chemistry, Biology, Geography, Home Economics or Food, Nutrition and Health.
The Scottish Advanced Highers requirement for this course is CCC to include one from Mathematics, Physics, Chemistry, Biology, Geography, Home Economics or Food, Nutrition and Health.
Overall International Baccalaureate profile minimum 26 points with 13 at higher level to include one higher level science subject from Mathematics, Physics, Chemistry, Biology, Geography, Home Economics, Food, Nutrition and Health or Health and Social Care. Grade 4 in English Language also required in overall profile. If Maths is not being offered as a subject then it is required at Grade 4 in the overall profile.
Science, Science and Technology, Bio-Science, Combined Science Access with an overall mark of 65%. At least three quarters of the modules must be at level 3 in science subjects ie Physics, Chemistry, Biology, Mathematics and/or General Science for year 1 entry.
GCSE English and Mathematics at grade C or 4.
Please note that for purposes of entry to this course the Level 2 Certificate in Essential Skills - Application of Number is NOT regarded as an acceptable alternative to GCSE Maths.
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.
HNC requirement in a Food Production, Environmental Science, Healthcare Practice or Applied Biology subject is overall Distinction to include 90 level 4 credits at Distinction for year one entry.
HND requirement in a Food Production, Environmental Science, Healthcare Practice or Applied Biology subject is overall Merit to include 60 level 5 credits at Distinction for year one entry.
Successful compeltion of Foundation degree in a Health and Social Care, Food Manufacturing, Science or Construction subject area for year 1 entry.
There is no advanced entry route to year 2 available for this programme.
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.
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Graduates from this course are now working for:
With this degree you could become:
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.
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 and private industries within Northern Ireland. However, students are increasingly sucessful in obtaining placements in GB, Ireland and further afield widening their outlook.
Successful completion of the professional placement year leads to the award of a Diploma in Professional Practice (DPP) upon graduation.
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).
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.
Applications to full-time undergraduate degrees at Ulster are made through UCAS.
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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.
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 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.
“The course is good”. John Flannery.