Public Health and Physical Activity


This module examines the health benefits of physical activity and its potential function in disease prevention, treatment and its role in promoting and maintaining public health.


The aim of this Module is to provide the student with an appreciation and understanding of the role of physical activity in improving public health and preventing and controlling lifestyle diseases.

Learning Outcomes

By the end of this module the student should be able to:

1.  Critically examine the relationship between physical activity and public health.

2.  Provide an overview of the current UK health status in relation to diseases and conditions associated with physical inactivity.

3.  Evaluate the current research literature pertaining to the use of physical activity as a treatment for hypokinetic diseases and the potential impact on public health.

Indicative Content

1 Relationship between physical activity and health.

Physical Activity and Disease Mortality Morbidity. Historical perspective to present day.

2 Epidemiology of physical activity

Concepts and Methods in Physical Activity Epidemiology Epidemiological Measures

3 Variations in health status

Influence of age, gender, social status, education

4 Determinants of participation in physical activity

Challenges of engaging people in physical activity

5 Physical activity recommendations

Physical activity recommendations

6 Place and emphasis of physical activity in health policy

Identified role of physical activity in policies to promote health. Developing role, adoption and promotion of physical activity as a tool to promote health of the nation

7 Role of physical activity in promoting physical and mental

Physical and mental health benefits of regular participation in physical activity

Statement on Teaching, Learning and Assessment

Teaching will comprise of lectures and directed tutorials. Lectures will introduce key concepts and theory whilst the tutorials, will focus on developing deeper understanding and analysis of these. Initial tutorials will be comprised of directed reading. Tutorials in the last quarter of the semester will focus on key issues that require the student to identify readings/evidence to demonstrate deeper understanding. The requirement for the student to access and interpret research will encourage enquiry based learning. This will be particularly in relation to developing deeper knowledge of the subject area and identifying current trends in Physical Activity and Health research.

Teaching and Learning Work Loads

Total 200
Lecture 12
Tutorial/Seminar 22
Supervised Practical Activity 0
Unsupervised Practical Activity 0
Assessment 40
Independent 126

Guidance notes

Credit Value – The total value of SCQF credits for the module. 20 credits are the equivalent of 10 ECTS credits. A full-time student should normally register for 60 SCQF credits per semester.


We make every effort to ensure that the information on our website is accurate but it is possible that some changes may occur prior to the academic year of entry. The modules listed in this catalogue are offered subject to availability during academic year 2019/10 , and may be subject to change for future years.