Environmental Health BSc (Hons)
COURSE INFORMATION (2013 ENTRY)
3 years full-time or 4 years sandwichEngineering and Environment
Ellison Building, Newcastle City Campus
Northumbria's Environmental Health degree is an exciting modern course offering an accredited honours degree that will set you on a path towards becoming a registered Environmental Health Practitioner.
Once qualified, you will be able to enter a tremendously varied and exciting profession which offers excellent prospects and the opportunity to work in disciplines such as public health, food safety and nutrition, environmental protection, housing standards and workplace health and safety.
An exciting first year programme will introduce you to key concepts in environmental science, biology, microbiology, housing, public health, food science and environmental management. During this year you will also develop your skills across a range of areas in preparation for the rest of the degree course, for example in IT, report writing, laboratory work, presentations and field work.
Having laid the foundations in the first year, the second year starts to tackle the key areas of environmental health such as pest control, housing and regeneration, pollution monitoring and control, health and safety, epidemiology and enforcement. A variety of approaches to delivery are adopted: for example you will be asked to present the prosecution case in a mock courtroom as part of the enforcement module; you will carry out a pest control inspection of a kitchen and you will prepare a health and safety audit of a workplace. A variety of specialist software is available to support the course, for example software to model and map dispersion of atmospheric pollutants, and to model the outbreaks of disease.
Whilst not compulsory, students are strongly recommended to arrange a placement in the third year. Most of our students go to work for local authorities; however there are also placement opportunities in government bodies such as the Health Protection and Food Standards Agencies, and in the private sector.
In this year there is an emphasis on independent learning; the biggest piece of work is the dissertation, which will give you the opportunity of producing some novel research in your favoured field of environmental health; previous topics have included air quality, regeneration, health promotion, licensing and food hygiene. In addition, there are several modules that explore the wider issues of environmental health, with a particular emphasis on how different agencies and groups can work together to make a real difference to peoples' lives.
LEARNING AND TEACHING METHODS
You will experience a diverse range of teaching methods combining lectures, small tutorial groups, one-to-one with tutors, sessions in workshops and laboratories, and online, as well as residential field visits in rural Northumberland and cosmopolitan Amsterdam to see how the diversity of environmental health challenges are addressed in real life. There is also the option for you take part a fully supported work placement which further enhances your practical skills and employability.
All classroom activities are supported by an e-learning portal giving you 24/7 online access to a diverse range of learning materials.
Our programme and student experiences support the transition from dependent to independent learning and, as you progress, you will find there is less reliance on formal scheduled teaching and more on guided independent study.
You will be supported throughout your degree by a guidance tutor who will provide you with one-to-one academic and pastoral support, enable you to develop your independent study skills and provide any other help and guidance you may need.
You will experience a wide range of assessment methods on this course – from giving evidence in a mock court case to practising your food inspection skills to applying your advocacy and debating skills in assessed discussions. We also use more traditional methods including examinations, coursework essays, laboratory reports, inspection reports, presentations, interviews and posters.
The balance of marks contributing towards your final grade is made up across this range of so that no one type of assessment has too much influence. As you progress through the course the role of written examinations for assessment declines, with other forms of coursework designed to develop real-life and employability skills becoming more significant.
Feedback is provided on all coursework and exams to allow you to continually improve and you are encouraged to discuss your work with staff. We practice an open door policy to help facilitate that process. In the final year, you will receive particularly close supervision and one-to-one support with your dissertation.
The Environmental Health degree at Northumbria is fully accredited by the Chartered Institute of Environmental Health (CIEH), including provision of an accredited Practical Food Inspection module. This means that this acts as the first step to your rewarding career in the environmental health profession.
Environmental Health graduates are in a very strong position to enter employment in a wide range of areas related to the profession. Many start their professional career working as Environmental Health Officers with local authorities but there are also job opportunities in many other parts of the public and private sectors – recent graduates are working for the Environment Agency, ASDA, Northumberland Water and GE UK.
Well equipped lecture theatres, laboratories, IT suites and an excellent library all ensure that you will have a great learning environment.
The staff contributing to this degree have a diverse range of backgrounds; several are qualified environmental health officers, some have worked in industry and the public sector in environmental protection, and there are experts in food hygiene, public health, housing and law. In addition, we bring in guest lecturers from industry and the public sector so that the latest developments and innovations are fully covered.
Many of the staff teaching on the degree have topical research interests in environmental health. Recent projects include: evaluations of the Safer Cities initiative and the ‘Scores on the Doors’ approach to rating eating establishments; modelling of industrial pollution in Thailand; and an investigation of the environmental risks posed by pesticide use in Cambodia.
When you join the course you will receive free student membership of the Chartered Institute of Environmental Health, and as such will be entitled to attend courses and conferences in the region and nationally. These are exciting events that cover the latest developments in environmental health practice and also afford the opportunity for networking with colleagues in the profession.
Once qualified, there are a variety of opportunities for postgraduate study, for example the Masters degree in Public Health. Northumbria University is also currently developing a series of awards that will give credit to projects carried out in the workplace; these can be range from Postgraduate Certificates to PhDs.
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Northumbria University has taken reasonable care to ensure that the information published is accurate at the time of publication. However, the University gives no warranty or representation as to the quality, accuracy or completeness of the information.