PROGRAMME SPECIFICATION Programme title: Final award (BSc, MA etc):

Programme title:
Population Health
Final award (BSc, MA etc):
(where stopping off points exist they should be
detailed here and defined later in the document)
UCAS code:
(where applicable)
Cohort(s) to which this programme
specification is applicable:
2015 intake onwards
(e.g. from 2015 intake onwards)
Awarding institution/body:
University College London
Teaching institution:
University College London
Population Health Sciences
Parent Department:
Institute of Epidemiology and Public Health
(the department responsible for the administration of
the programme)
Departmental web page address:
(if applicable)
Method of study:
Criteria for admission to the
AAB at A level plus a pass in a further subject at AS level or
A or A* in GCSE Mathematics or Statistics or equivalent
Length of the programme:
Three years
(please note any periods spent away from UCL, such
as study abroad or placements in industry)
Level on Framework for Higher
Education Qualifications (FHEQ)
(see Guidance notes)
Relevant subject benchmark statement
(see Guidance notes)
n/a Interdisciplinary, no SBS
Brief outline of the structure of the
(see guidance notes)
The degree offers a quantitative approach to measuring health. In
year 1 students will study Measuring Population Health, Social
Determinants of Health, Epidemiological Transition, Introduction to
Quantitative Research Methods (Q-Step shared module), Principles
of Social and Political Analysis I (Q-Step shared module) and
Research Methods in Population Health.
In year 2 students will take the compulsory modules in Population
Health Seminar Series, Social Theory, Data Analysis (Q-Step shared
module), Health Demography, and the Life Course Seminar Series,
and choose 2 from 3 options in Health and Behaviour, Acute and
Chronic Infectious Diseases, and GIS and Geodemographics.
In year 3 students will take compulsory modules in Quantitative
Policy Analysis (Q-Step shared module) and a Population Health
dissertation and then choose 2 options from Global Health Policy,
Health, Poverty and Development, Population Studies, Welfare
Politics, Health Economics, Ageing, Philosophy of Social Science,
Geodemographics and Population Geography, Health Psychology
and Public Health Genomics and Genetic Epidemiology.
We would anticipate that by 2017/18 there will be additional modules
for the students to select from.
The course will be asses through a mixture of in course assessment,
end of year exams, practical statistical analyses and a dissertation.
Board of Examiners:
Name of Board of Examiners:
BSc Population Health Exam Board
Professional body accreditation
(if applicable):
Date of next scheduled
accreditation visit:
The Institute of Epidemiology and Health Care proposes a unique, new quantitatively oriented social science UG
degree in Population Health. This recognizes an urgent need in a mixed health economy for numerically literate
health-oriented social scientists in the NHS, local authorities, commissioning groups, pharmaceutical,
actuarial/insurance companies and charities. Knowledge of the social, economic and demographic distribution of
health and disease, and an ability to analyze data in these domains, will be key to future health service
commissioning, welfare provision and health care allocation. The degree will provide training in health demography
and psychology, quantitative medical sociology and health economics, taking a life course approach that UCL is
uniquely qualified to give. Drawing on existing PG teaching strengths, we will provide a range of cross-disciplinary
opportunities for engagement with major national and international studies in a data-rich environment. We plan for a
first student cohort in 2015.
The programme provides opportunities for students to develop and demonstrate knowledge and understanding,
qualities, skills and other attributes in the following areas:
A: Knowledge and understanding
Knowledge and understanding of:
Intellectual (thinking) skills:
1. reason critically;
2. apply epidemiological and statistical,
and social science concepts;
3. identify and solve problems;
4. analyse and interpret;
5. demonstrate and exercise
independence of mind and thought
Teaching/learning methods and strategies:
Acquisition of 1 is through small-group classes, tutorials,
with emphasis on group discussions. Acquisition of 2-5
is through a combination of lectures, classes and
tutorials; and regular (assessed and non-assessed)
coursework. Throughout the learner is encouraged to
undertake independent reading both to supplement and
consolidate what is being taught/learnt and to broaden
their individual knowledge and understanding of the
Testing of the knowledge base is through a combination
of unseen written examinations, assessed coursework in
the form of essays, other set assignments or tasks
undertaken under examination conditions and a
B: Skills and other attributes
1. reason critically;
2. apply epidemiological and statistical,
and social science concepts;
3. identify and solve problems;
4. analyse and interpret;
5. demonstrate and exercise
independence of mind and thought
Teaching/learning methods and strategies:
Intellectual skills are developed through the teaching
and learning programme outlined above. Each course,
whatever the format of the teaching, involves discussion
of key issues, practice in applying concepts, analysis
and interpretation of material, and individual feedback
sessions for students on work produced.
The variety of assessment methods employed all place
great emphasis (as shown in their assessment criteria)
on the learner's ability to demonstrate skills 1-5 through
the production of coherent written and oral responses
either to problems or tasks set; although not a course
requirement, most learners produce at least one
extended essay during their studies which provides a
perfect vehicle for the demonstration of these skills, and
those who do not will demonstrate them all severally if
not collectively.
C: Skills and other attributes
Practical skills (able to):
1. retrieve, sift and select information
from a variety of sources;
2. plan, undertake and report a
bibliographically-based piece of
3. analyse quantitative data from a
variety of sources and write reports
about data;
4. apply key methods and concepts of
epidemiology, statistics and social
Teaching/learning methods and strategies:
All learners receive initial guidance on how to identify,
locate and use material available in libraries, on line and
elsewhere. Comprehensive bibliographies are provided
for each course at the outset, as are guidelines for the
production of coursework. Classes and tutorials are
given on epidemiology, statistics and social science
concepts. Throughout their studies, learners take
quantitative methods courses.
Skills are assessed through both the assessed
coursework (i.e. essays produced by learners at home),
and assessed in unseen written examinations in these
areas. Quantitative data analysis is assessed
throughout by computer practicals, coursework and
unseen written examinations.
D: Skills and other attributes
Transferable skills (able to):
1. structure and communicate ideas
2. manage time and work to deadlines;
3. participate constructively in groups;
4. work independently;
5. find information and use information
6. analyse quantitative data
7. be self-reliant;
8. assess the relevance and importance
of the ideas of others.
Teaching/learning methods and strategies:
Most courses will require regular written work, usually in
the form of essays, and regular feedback on this is given
to the learner to develop not only their understanding but
also their powers of expression (skill 1). Skill 2 is learnt
(rather than taught) through the management of time to
meet the various and sometimes conflicting deadlines
(all notified at the outset of each course) for submission
of coursework. Skills 3 and 8 are developed in classes,
seminars and tutorials, which rely on discussion and
interaction, as well as presentations given by individuals
or groups of students. Skills 4 and 7 are particularly
developed in the dissertation. Skills 5 and 6 are
developed through practical classes and lecturer.
Effective communication of ideas is an important
criterion in assessing all areas of a learner's work, and
the regular feedback as well as the final mark reflect
this. Skills 4, 6 and 7 are assessed by both the
coursework and extended essays produced, which,
although supervised, are nevertheless the results of
independent thought and work/research by the learner.
Skill 5 is assessed through the assembly of necessary
information for essays, etc., and their production on
PCs. Skills 2 and 3 are assessed indirectly.
The following reference points were used in designing the programme:
 the Framework for Higher Education Qualifications:
 the relevant Subject Benchmark Statements:
 the programme specifications for UCL degree programmes in relevant subjects (where applicable);
 UCL teaching and learning policies
 staff research.
Please note: This specification provides a concise summary of the main features of the programme and the
learning outcomes that a typical student might reasonably be expected to achieve and demonstrate if he/she takes
full advantage of the learning opportunities that are provided. More detailed information on the learning outcomes,
content and teaching, learning and assessment methods of each course unit/module can be found in the
departmental course handbook. The accuracy of the information contained in this document is reviewed annually
by UCL and may be checked by the Quality Assurance Agency.
Programme Organiser(s)
Dr Nicola Shelton and Dr Stephen Jivraj
Date of Production:
May 2014
Date of Review:
November 2015
Date approved by Chair of
Departmental Teaching
Date approved by Faculty
Teaching Committee
November 2015
November 2015