Peoples-uni Open Online Courses

Peoples-uni Open Online Courses


Peoples-uni Open Online Courses are short self-study courses, available free for all, and usually contain 5 topics. Students could earn a certificate of completion, but there was no formal accreditation for these courses. Each one would take around 5 hours to explore and contained links to relevant resources on the web. These courses were continually under review and new courses regularly added. Note: all courses are published under a Creative Commons licence. Please contact us if you wish to have copies. The following details are from the original Peoples-uni site when these were being delivered by us.


Public Health - the basics

provides basic introduction to key aspects of the discipline of public health.

  • Definitions and roles of Public Health
  • Epidemiology
  • Health systems
  • An evidence base for Public Health
  • Health inequalities
  • Health promotion
  • Workforce needs in Public Health

Public Health practice - understanding diseases and effective actions

this course builds on the course Public Health - the basics to explore the burden, causes and interventions of major diseases, and how to evaluate the interventions to reduce the burden of illness:

  • Patterns and major categories of disease in developing countries
  • Evaluation

Environmental Health

Provides an introduction for health professionals to the causes of environmental threats to Public Health, the size of the problem and how to utilise an evidence based approach to reducing these environmental threats to health.

  • Interaction between the environment and health
  • Identify environmental hazards and the health risks associated with exposure to these hazards
  • Health impacts of chemicals, air pollution, water and sanitation, and waste
  • Mitigation measures
  • Review and action

Climate Change and Public Health

The Public Health aspects of climate change and its impact on populations

  • Introduction to climate change
  • Climate change and human health
  • Climate change in the context of environmental sustainability
  • Climate change, policy and politics
  • What can we do about climate change?

Global Health Informatics

This course aims to provide a framework and some resources to help those in low resource settings meet knowledge needs.

  • What is information/informatics and why is it important
  • Produce, Collect and Collate information
  • Access information - make it available
  • Use information for evidence based practice and policy
  • Evaluating the benefits of health informatics


Provides basic introduction to key aspects of the prevention of ill health (some duplication from Public Health – the basics)

  • Population-wide strategies for prevention
  • Social Determinants of Health
  • Health Promotion
  • Policy implications of prevention

Global Health Informatics

This course aims to provide a framework and some resources to help those in low resource settings meet knowledge needs.

  • What is information/informatics and why is it important
  • Produce, Collect and Collate information
  • Access information - make it available
  • Use information for evidence based practice and policy
  • Evaluating the benefits of health informatics

Human Rights and Public Health

Designed to help understand the importance of Human Rights to Public Health.

  • General introduction
  • Humanitarian crises
  • Reproductive health
  • Universal health care
  • Provision of health services
  • Legal aspects of Human Rights


Disease in developing countries #

Provides the opportunity to find out about health in a particular country, or region, and about major disease categories facing populations in the world.

  • Global burden of disease
  • Communicable diseases
  • Non-Communicable diseases
  • Neglected Tropical Diseases
  • Injury
  • Mental illness

Maternal Mortality

Maternal morbidity and mortality remain major problems in many parts of the world - one of the most important threats to Public Health. The purpose of the course is to provide the people who may be able to help tackle the problem with the knowledge and skills to do so. We will focus on identifying the size of the problem, the causes, and the evidence base behind interventions to improve the situation. We will end by identifying ways to implement evidence based solutions in your own setting.

  • Magnitude of the problem of Maternal Mortality
  • Causes and epidemiology
  • Evidence based solutions within the health system
  • Evidence based solutions outside the health system
  • Implementing an intervention

Injury prevention

How to collect information on the burden of injury, understand the causes and risk factors for injury, and develop and evaluate relevant intervention programs. Underpinned by the principles and characteristics of a public health approach to prevention.

  • Burden of disease from injury
  • Principles and conceptual frameworks
  • Risk factors and causes of injury
  • Development of interventions
  • Implementation of prevention strategies

Global Mental Health

Aims to help you understand some of the risk factors, and size of the burden of mental illness and think about policies and interventions that can help tackle this neglected public health issue.

  • Introduction to global mental health
  • Health promotion and epidemiology
  • Suicide - epidemiology and prevention
  • Evidence-based interventions
  • Planning and implementing mental health interventions

Non-Communicable Disease

The course aims to help practitioners understand the size of the NCD problem in low resource settings and its causes, and to develop policies to reduce the growing burden on developing country populations.

  • Burden of disease
  • Causes
  • Appraising the evidence for international prevention
  • How can we make health policy to reduce the burden
  • Implementing intervention programmes

Physical inactivity and Obesity

Because of the relationship between obesity and physical inactivity, we are considering both in the course, which is designed to help understanding of not only the size of the problem, the causes, health effects and benefits of prevention and management of both issues through exercise and weight loss, but also to explore the relationship between obesity and physical inactivity.

  • Physical inactivity and health
  • Obesity and health
  • Physical activity and obesity - are they related?
  • Evidence based interventions

Refugee Health

designed to provide information on the threats to the health of refugees and asylum seekers, and canvass potential methods to help improve the situation. The focus is global, but there is a focus on refugees settled in developed countries

  • The refugee problem
  • Details of health effects on refugees
  • Models of healthcare for settled refugees
  • Politics - a global issue
  • What can we do?


Health systems

The course aims to explore health systems, focusing on those in low- to middle-income countries

  • Health systems - attributes, governance and strengthening
  • Health care financing
  • Quality and information
  • Case study - vaccines
  • Health workforce


Pharmaceutical or health technology product development

This course is designed to help with the development of pharmaceutical or healthcare technology products. It should help you:

  • Start a discussion with relevant partner and/or to take forward an idea into a phase of development that is regulated.
  • Identify appropriate future markets for your idea and how to navigate the regulatory practices that may be applicable
  • Evaluate risks and prepare safe conditions for the investigation of your idea


Medical ethics online

Designed to cover key constituent parts of medical ethics; it is suitable for any healthcare professional wanting to acquire a basic grounding in the subject.

  • Rights and responsibilities:
  • Ethico-legal frameworks
  • Beginning and end-of-life
  • Governance
  • Healthcare

Medical Professionalism

Designed to explore the concepts of Medical Professionalism and how they might be applied in various settings

  • Introduction and definitions
  • Altruism and commitment to patients’ interests
  • Physician self-regulation and maintenance of competence
  • Civic engagement
  • Relevance to today/tomorrow

Patient Safety

For all healthcare professionals across the world with an aim to equip them with the basic concepts

The course is divided into 11 topics. Each topic has:

  • Learning Outcomes

  • Resources: Real Patient Story followed by an introduction to the topic with - links to the relevant WHO handout and optional reading.

  • Reflection: You will be asked a question related to the patient safety topic being studied to prompt you to apply the knowledge gained from the topic in the setting you work. You can post your reflection, and will then be enrolled in the forum and will be notified of others who may also post their reflections - you are welcome to reply to them also.

  • Quiz: MCQs are a useful self-assessment tool so at the end of every topic you are invited to answer a few MCQs


The course aims to provide a practical guide to help health care workers understand the basics and start their journey of reflection to become more effective practitioners. The course includes two self-study exercises and covers:

  • The basics of reflection
  • How to do it
  • Getting started