This two-unit course introduces topics of interest to health science students relevant to their subsequent studies. It will include topics traditionally covered in the pre-2012 upper high school curriculum in chemistry, biology and biophysics and include organic chemistry of life, biomolecules, chemical reactions and catalysis, basic enzymology, bioenergetics, basic cell biology, cellular organization and tissues of the body, basic human physiology and genetics, growth, development and nutrition. Other chemical science and physical science topics relevant to health science will also be included: gases and fluids, solutions and colloids, nuclear chemistry, basic atomic physics for nuclear medicine, wave and electromagnetism. Although the broad themes are similar, there will be slight variation in the depth and emphasis for MBChB, Nursing, Pharmacy and Public Health students.
Public Health & Healthcare Ethics
This course serves as an introduction to Public Health, Medical Ethics, Medicine and Law and some aspects of Chinese Medicine. It enables students to
1) understand some of the wider concepts of health, disease and disease prevention;
2) have some preliminary appreciation of essential public health principles and practice;
3) appreciate some aspects of various modes of health care delivery;
4) gain insight into patients as complete people, members of a family and a community and to establish caring attitudes;
5) appreciate medical ethics and to practice with a high ethical standard.
This course trains students to be good listeners who can communicate with accuracy, efficiency and empathy. Students will learn and practice basic communication and presentation skills in four workshops, including non-verbal communication, questioning, active listening, responding and public speaking. Small group format with videotaped role-play interviews, and constructive feedback by tutors and classmates, will be used.
Practical Skills in Literature Search and Scientific Paper Writing
This course will prepare the beginning public health students with basic skills in study and research including forming a question, literature search, project planning and research ethics. Students will also be trained to develop proper communication skills including oral presentation skills and the art of scientific writing and manuscript submission format.
Principles of Infectious Diseases I
This course provides an introduction for students on the causation, epidemiology and prevention and control of infectious disease in public health context. Essential microbiology and immunity would be included. Concept of agent host environment relationship will be covered. Impact of infectious diseases to society will be discussed. Illustrations will be given using both historical milestones and topical issues.
Cornerstone in Public Health
Biological Basis of Health
The course will cover the basics of health sciences. It will introduce the overview of basic scientific mechanisms, concepts and principles in health and in the pathogenesis of disease. It provides clinical scientific foundation for applications to the practice of public health.
This course will introduce how public health principles may be applied to understand and examine health issues and initiatives in a global setting.
Infectious Diseases of Public Health Importance
The course provides a comprehensive overview of the epidemiology of infectious diseases of global and local public health concern. Sexually transmitted infections, waterborne and foodborne infections, vector borne infections, tropical infections, infections transmitted through air, droplets, direct contact or blood will be included. Tropical diseases, oncogenic and vaccine preventable infections will also be discussed. Risks for transmission will be explored from different levels, ranging from a molecular level to a social perspective. Principles of infectious diseases management and prevention and control strategies will also be discussed.
Overview of Public Health
Lifestyle and Health
This course is a substantive overview of the major lifestyle and behavioural issues in contemporary public health. Each behavioural issue will be covered indepth to help students understand the complex causes and public health significance. The course will apply the basic concepts of primary, secondary and tertiary prevention, and the conceptual framework of health promotion to each of these major behavioural health problems. Lastly the course will give a brief overview of the health promotion framework used in public health to tackle these health issues. The course will also illustrate the needs of having good theoretical support, systematic processes and effective skills in designing and implementing health promotion programmes.
Environment and Work
This public health oriented course addresses how the environmental and occupational (work-related) factors affect human health and what we can do to prevent or minimize the negative impacts. Whereas environmental science tends to address how human beings affect the environment, this course focuses on how the environment affects human health. Topics include an introduction to the toxicology and environmental epidemiology methods in assessing the impact of environmental exposures on human health; how the physical, chemical or biological agents in the air, water, soil and food affect human health; the evaluation and control of common hazards in the work place; and the impacts of global environmental changes on health.
Introduction to Health Systems and Services
This course aims to provide some basic concepts on health systems, how healthcare systems are organised, and how health services are delivered.
Theories and Concepts of Health Behaviours
The course lays the foundation for socio-medical behavioural sciences in public health. Contents of the course include the definitions of health and health as a socially constructed concept, some important theories that have been widely used in health promotion, interdisciplinary health concepts, as well as key concepts about health promotion.
Public Health Tools
This course will provide an overview of the use of basic statistical concepts and methods in the public health field. Emphasis will be placed on conceptual understanding of statistical approaches to medical data rather than on theory and equations. Students will learn the importance of the correct use of statistical techniques in addressing questions of public health importance. The course will enable students to develop the statistical literacy necessary to interpret the vast amounts of information they must process for personal decision making and become less vulnerable to manipulation. Students will also be introduced to a user-friendly software for performing basic statistical analyses.
This course aims to provide a basic understanding of the fundamental principles of epidemiological methods and their applicability to the field of health research. Students will grasp the basic skills needed to critically interpret scientific studies and to conduct simple epidemiological studies.
Public Health Ethics and Law
This course will introduce students to the basic concepts of Hong Kong ethics and law and explore their relevance to professional and clinical public health practice. It will introduce students to the role of law in promoting and protecting public health. Case studies will be used to highlight contemporary debates.
Qualitative research in medicine and public health has become more important and is rapidly expanding in the recent decade. By adopting a qualitative research approach, the more in-depth cultural ideas on medicine and public health, which cannot be explained by quantitative methods alone, can be explained and explored. Having the skills in qualitative research methods enables one to answer these in-depth questions that are frequently raised in contemporary public health field.
Practical Data Collection, Management and Analysis
This course will provide practical hands-on training to students in data collection, management and analysis. Students will learn about questionnaire design, data collection methods, data entry, data cleaning, data confidentiality, data analysis and presentation of results from quantitative public health studies. The course will emphasize the quantitative and computing skills necessary for students to carry out research projects. A popular and user-friendly statistical software, SPSS, will be used.
Induction Programme I
The course aims at providing students with a series of seminars and site visits to public health service providers including government departments, non-Governmental organization and the private sector. Through these activities, the students will be able to explore and understand professional practices of public health.
Induction Programme II
This course is the continuation of PHPC1019. Seminars and site visits to different public health service providers will be arranged for students to understand and explore professional practices of public health.
Research and Practice Based Project I
Each student is requested to complete at least 100 hours of practice-based experience and conduct a research project in the chosen field of their concentration, under supervision. Students are expected to provide a protocol, an interim report and a final presentation and report of the results obtained in this project.
Research and Practice Based Project II
This course is a continuation of PHPC1014. Students are required to continue the field work, data analysis and theses writing under supervision. Students are required to compile a comprehensive report and a final presentation to summarize the experiences for assessment.
Concentration Areas and Elective Studies
Primary Care and Public Health
Enshrined in the World Health Organization Alma – Ata Declaration, Primary Healthcare (PHC) is a comprehensive public health approach to achieve Health for All. It is based on the premise that health is not merely a result of biomedical interventions but also the outcome of wider social determinants. The first half of this course aims to introduce the key principles of PHC including equity, intersectoral collaboration, community participation, health promotion and appropriate use of resources. The second part of the course will concentrate on the contribution of primary medical care to health.
Health Promotion in Practice
This course aims to equip students with skills to apply health promotion concepts to real-life public health problems. The course will give a deep examination of commonly used behavioural health models and teach practical skills in implementing prevention and intervention programmes such as the implementation process, frameworks of health promotion, health communication skills, proper methods of disseminating health messages, use of appropriate health settings and strategies for community involvement. The course will also provide hands-on training on health promotion program development.
Gender and Age-Related Healthcare
The course adopts a case-based approach to learning, with material drawn from real-life events, which include maternal and child nutrition, immunization, gender issues and health promotion.
Practical Skills in the Public Health Management of Infectious Diseases
This is a practice-based course to equip students with the knowledge and skills for working in the field of infectious diseases. Students will be introduced to methods and operations of infectious diseases surveillance and outbreak investigations. Both overseas and local cases will be used for illustration. Principles of infectious control will be discussed. Practical sessions on conducting surveillance, investigating infectious disease outbreaks and infection control practices will be included.
Environment and Health
This course addresses how environmental factors affect human health and what we can do to prevent or minimize the negative impacts. It examines the environmental health issues and recent development in industrialized and developing countries. It also covers risk analysis and communication, environmental health policy, and emerging global environmental health problems.
Work and Health
This course adopts a systematic approach to the study of occupational health and hygiene, and addresses both the effects of work on health and the effects of health on work. It covers the scopes and principles of occupational health and hygiene, toxicological assessment and occupational exposure limits, ergonomics and injuries, occupational epidemiology and exposure assessment, as well as public health issues in occupational health. In addition, ethical issues, emergency response planning in the workplace, and challenges of occupational health practice in Hong Kong and China are also included in this course.
Policy and Finance in Healthcare Systems
The course will focus on the concepts about how health policy is developed and implemented at the global, national and local levels. The role of policy in creating and maintaining health through intersectoral collaboration, and how policy can address health inequalities will be explored. The course will also develop student’s understanding of the key concepts in health economics and health financing. Students will be able to use these fundamental concepts to analyze the economic issues related to public health/healthcare scenarios, and different financing models for a health system.
Patients, Professions and Carers in Healthcare
This course will use the philosophy of patient-centred care to examine the roles of healthcare professions, patients and carers in the healthcare system; concept of care; and drivers for healthcare quality. Case scenario will be used to foster better understanding of the course content.
Healthcare Organisation and Management
The course will focus on the concepts about how healthcare organisations are organised and managed, and how the healthcare organisations respond to the health needs of individuals and society.
Nutrition and Health *
The course provides a comprehensive theoretical background and application base of nutritional science disease prevention and health promotion. It will look into a wide variety of nutritional issue with specification to different population groups across lifespan meeting the needs of different population sub-groups, diet management of common health problems in both individual and family perspectives. There will be specific focus on the challenges of obesity and non-communicable diseases.