September heralds the start of a new academic year so if you are about to commence your studies, have you alredy decided what courses to take and if not, what issues are helping to shape your decision?For those of you familiar with Peoples-uni and the courses offered, it will come as no surprise that we offer approximately 15 modules every semester. If you're studying with us for the first time, how do you make the choice about which course to take?Much of your decision will be based on your motivations to study. What do you hope to achieve? Are you looking for a short course as an introduction to a subject? Do you want to sharpen your skills in a key area that you are working in? Is this for Continuous Professional Development or are you looking for a full academic programme of material?So, what does Peoples-uni offer you?For the 14B (2014 September) semester, we are offering courses in :Biostatistics: Anyone who strives to improve human health based on empirical evidence must understand how to draw conclusions about populations based on data obtained from samples. The module presents statistical concepts without invoking mathematical complexity. Instead, the emphasis is on intuitive, easy to grasp, explanations and lots of examples drawn from the medical literature. Upon completion of the module you should be able to more confidently read the results sections of medical journals and to perform and interpret the results from frequently used statistical procedures.Communicable Disease: produce a major burden of illness globally, but particularly in low-income settings. There are also a number of real or potential emerging communicable diseases, as evidenced by the emergence of swine flu, and an understanding of the causes, transmission and methods of prevention and control of communicable diseases is major global Public Health priority. This course module covers the Public Health aspects of communicable diseases including transmission and surveillance of diseases of public health importance, the application and design of control programmes, the epidemiology of common communicable diseases, immunisation, and how to respond to an outbreak. Disaster Management: All communities are vulnerable to emergency situations. The question is not "if" a disaster will occur, but "when". The ability to assess the hazards and to address them can help reduce the risks of a disaster occuring. This is more effective and as important as responding to disasters and dealing with the consequences. This module has been developed to introduce you to the concepts and processes of emergency planning and management of disasters within a developing world context.Evaluation of Interventions: Public health interventions increasingly need to respond to the problems of implementing complex interventions. Many of the important issues in public health today (how to address inequalities in health, how best to organize the delivery of health care for deprived populations, how to involve ‘hard-to-reach’ in the management of their health) are not easy to solve and require complex interventions to address.This course will focus on the implementation of innovative and rigorous evaluation methods to evaluate public health interventions. Evidence Based Practice: Evidence based practice is cited as the basis of all our public health and healthcare decisions, but what does that mean in practice? How do we know which evidence to use? When there is so much research evidence, why is there still so much controversy over the best course of public health action? Students are likely to benefit most from this module if they have a basic understanding of epidemiology.Health Economics: There is never enough money to provide all the health services that are needed, but some countries and health systems have used their resources well and obtained excellent results, while others have not. At the core of economics is the study of how individuals, organizations, and governments deal with limited resources – how they can be allocated fairly and used effectively to meet needs. This Module focuses on why economics is especially relevant to public health and health policy.  Knowing about the basic economic factors related to health and healthcare will provide you with a deeper understanding of how healthcare is organized (and why), how consumers make choices, how health policies are developed, and how well health systems serve different groups, deliver essential services, and cope with emerging problems.Health Promotion:  Health promotion is defined as “the process of enabling people to increase control over, and to improve, their health” (Ottawa Charter for Health Promotion, 1986). This course unit is designed to explore the concepts and theories, values and principles, and key strategies that underpin the discipline of health promotion. The unit then explores the planning and implementation process required for a health promotion intervention, and ends with the design of a health promotion plan.HIV/AIDS:The HIV epidemic is changing. It has been over 30 years since the disease was identified and new approaches are required. Topics in this module include the epidemiology of transmission, the size of the problem and how to measure it, the impact of health service functions and organisation on finding solutions, how to identify evidence-based solutions, and how to implement interventions.Inequalities and the Social Determinants of Health:  In January 2009, the Executive Board of the WHO recommended to the 62nd World Health Assembly to adopt a resolution calling on the international community, the UN agencies, civil society, private sector and member states to take into account health inequities (HI) in all its policies, address social determinants of health and the social gradient of health, and develop capacities for their measurement, knowledge generation and action. The implementation of the recommendations on a global or regional scale requires key stakeholders to become aware and knowledgeable about the issues in relation to SDH and HI. This must be done soon in order to harness the momentum created by release of the Commission Report. It is therefore opportune to offer a basic course that is dedicated to global / regional health inequities and social determinants of health.Introduction to Epidemiology: This module introduces the concepts underlying epidemiology and the main methods employed by the discipline. On completing the module students should have a good grasp of why epidemiology underpins much of the effort of those whose work involves promoting population health and providing health services. Students should also learn to approach published material based on epidemiological methods in a more critical and informed manner. 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 module 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.Non Communicable Diseases: Despite a focus on the control of communicable diseases in developing countries in the past, it is now apparent that non-communicable diseases have crept up on these populations and create a major threat. The module aims to help practitioners understand the size of this threat and its causes, and to develop policies to reduce the growing burden on developing country populations. We cannot cover all non-communicable diseases in this module, and have chosen to focus on CVD and Diabetes. Preventing Child Mortality: This module will focus on understanding the burden of childhood disease that results in morbidity and mortality in this vulnerable population. Children are an invaluable population resource and childhood mortality has great importance in terms of a nation’s development, prosperity and well-being. This module has a multi-disciplinary focus that will help students appreciate this complex concept.Public Health Concepts for Policy Makers: This module is designed to provide an introduction to aspects of Public Health that are important for making policy which impacts on the health of populations. It includes an understanding of what is Public Health and the determinants of health, how to assess the health of the public, methods of intervention, how to use evidence in Public Health policy-making and evaluate the implementation of health policy with a Public Health perspective.Public Health Nutrition: This module focuses on the whole population rather than individuals and their dietary needs. The emphasis is on prevention and promotion of health at the population level, but it also includes, to a great extent, identifying and mitigating ongoing nutritional problems in such populations.There are a wealth of courses to choose from. Are you looking to build yourself a programme along a theme or are you looking to 'dip in' an take one or two modules here and there? For more information about our courses and who should apply visit: http://peoples-uni.org/content/who-should-apply

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