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PUBH734 Health Protection

Due to COVID-19 restrictions, a selection of on-campus papers will be made available via distance and online learning for eligible students.
Find out which papers are available and how to apply on our COVID-19 website

Principles of protecting human health from environmental hazards and application to environmental health practice in New Zealand. Strong emphasis on developing conceptual, analytical and field-based skills for health protection.

This paper covers the principles of health protection (HP) and their application to environmental health practice in New Zealand. Topics studied include: an overview of the important environmental hazards and diseases affecting New Zealand and our region; water and air quality; food safety; indoor and work environments; infectious disease control; and environmental health emergencies. There will be a strong emphasis on developing critical skills for HP, including: environmental epidemiology; risk assessment and management; basic toxicology; HP law; HP practice to reduce health inequalities; HP indicators; public health surveillance; outbreak investigation; cluster investigation; emergency management; environmental research methods; and effective use of evidence.

View the PUBH 734 - Health Protection video for more information.

Paper title Health Protection
Paper code PUBH734
Subject Public Health
EFTS 0.125
Points 15 points
Teaching period 1st Non standard period (1 March 2021 - 2 May 2021) (Distance learning)
Domestic Tuition Fees (NZD) $1,444.50
International Tuition Fees (NZD) $5,337.00

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Limited to
MA, MHealSc, MPH, MSc, DPH, PGDipArts, PGDipHealSc, PGDipPHC, PGCertPH, PGCertPHC
(i) PGCertPHC and PGDipPHC students require approval from the Board of Studies in Primary Health Care to enrol for this paper. (ii) Includes one field day in Wellington. (iii) This paper runs for the second half of first semester. (iv) Please note that from 2019, this paper will be offered in the first half of the first semester.
Students who have completed an undergraduate degree in any discipline or recognised equivalent

Department of Public Health, Wellington campus:

Teaching staff

Professor Michael Baker (Overall Convenor)
Dr Lucy Telfar-Barnard

Paper Structure

Individual sessions will include coverage of:

  • Introductory concepts - the nature of HP, hazard and risk
  • Frameworks and methodologies
  • HP practice in New Zealand
  • HP in outdoor environments
  • HP in the workplace
  • HP in the home
  • Infectious diseases and HP


  • One assignment (in two parts) - 50%
  • Five webinar-based quiz assessments - 50%
Teaching Arrangements

Distance taught - Monday afternoon webinar sessions, 4pm - 6pm

Compulsory, full-day field trip in Wellington - Date TBC. Contact


Text to be confirmed. Please contact the Department:

Graduate Attributes Emphasised
Interdisciplinary perspective, Lifelong learning, Scholarship, Communication, Critical thinking, Cultural understanding, Ethics, Environmental literacy, Information literacy, Research, Self-motivation, Teamwork.
View more information about Otago's graduate attributes.
Learning Outcomes
Students who successfully complete the paper will
  • Understand the principles of environmental health practice, environmental epidemiology and environmental health risk assessment and management, with particular reference to New Zealand's HP framework
  • Understand and apply the major tools available to prevent or minimise environmental hazards and diseases
  • Understand and apply the major HP tools available to control and respond to important environmental health hazards and associated diseases

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1st Non standard period (1 March 2021 - 2 May 2021)

Teaching method
This paper is taught through Distance Learning
Learning management system