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GEOG3010 Environment and Health

Module Overview

Health and the provision of health care are important issues in our everyday lives. Many of the debates surrounding health are inherently spatial in nature and as such geographers are well placed to play an important role in informing research and providing evidence for decision making. This module aims to develop an in-depth understanding of the concepts, methods and applications involved in evaluating links between the environment and health. In this context, we define ‘environment’ in its broadest sense, incorporating aspects of the natural, built, social, economic and cultural environment, all of which we argue have a potentially important role to play in determining our health. In this module, we focus particularly on aspects of the built, social and economic environment, employing predominantly quantitative approaches to the study of environment and health. By the end of the module, students should be able to critically evaluate contemporary developments in health from a geographical perspective.

Aims and Objectives

Module Aims

To enable students to develop the necessary knowledge base and skills to critically evaluate contemporary developments in environment and health from a geographical perspective. In the longer term, this should provide the basis not just for informed decisions about the health of themselves and others, but also enable them to potentially contribute to environment and health debates and policy-formulation in their future academic, professional and personal lives.

Learning Outcomes

Learning Outcomes

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • Apply and discuss the contribution of geographical knowledge towards the understanding of environment and health
  • Be aware of the role and importance of evidence-based research
  • Critically evaluate literature from a range of disciplines contributing to contemporary health debates
  • Assess the merits of contrasting geographical theories, explanations and policies
  • Structure conceptual and empirical geographical material into a reasoned argument.
  • Understand the relationships between physical and human processes in shaping the health of individuals and groups
  • Critically evaluate the various approaches available for representing health and health-related phenomena
  • Have a critical and reflexive sense of the nature of the discipline as dynamic, plural and contested
  • Demonstrate a critical awareness of a range of analytical and observational strategies
  • Pursue knowledge in an in-depth, ordered and motivated way
  • Produce fluent and comprehensive written reports on complex topics
  • Marshal and retrieve data from library and internet resources
  • Use interpersonal skills in group activities


Themes explored are likely to include: methods and approaches to defining and measuring health, exposure monitoring and modelling, assessing causality, identifying clusters of disease, explaining and understanding health inequalities.

Learning and Teaching

Teaching and learning methods

Teaching and learning activities comprise a range of activities designed to facilitate student learning allowing for the range in individual learning styles. Activities include: lectures, online activities, group activities, seminars and independent study. The activities range from lecturer-led to student-led, and provide important opportunities for formative feedback from both lecturers and peers. The majority of learning activities are directly linked to specific learning outcomes and to the module assessments.

Independent Study120
Total study time150

Resources & Reading list

Bambra C (2016). Health Divides: Where you live can kill you. 

Gatrell A and Elliott S (2015). Geographies of Health: An Introduction. 



MethodPercentage contribution
Coursework  (2000 words) 40%
Exam  (2 hours) 60%


MethodPercentage contribution
Combined assessment methods 100%

Repeat Information

Repeat type: Internal & External

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