Please note: there may be some adjustments to the teaching arrangements published in the course catalogue for 2020-21. Given current circumstances related to the Covid-19 pandemic it is anticipated that some usual arrangements for teaching on campus will be modified to ensure the safety and wellbeing of students and staff on campus; further adjustments may also be necessary, or beneficial, during the course of the academic year as national requirements relating to management of the pandemic are revised.

Planetary Health MED5019

  • Academic Session: 2022-23
  • School: School of Health and Wellbeing
  • Credits: 20
  • Level: Level 5 (SCQF level 11)
  • Typically Offered: Semester 2
  • Available to Visiting Students: No
  • Available to Erasmus Students: No

Short Description

On this course students will develop an understanding of the relationship between the health of people and the Earth's natural systems, such as climate, biodiversity, water, food resources, air and land, and the role that the physical environment plays in health inequalities. Through interdisciplinary perspectives, students will develop the knowledge and skills required to be effective public health practitioners at a time of unprecedented environmental change.


Semester two.


Weekly sessions comprising of lectures and seminars

Requirements of Entry


Excluded Courses





1. 1,500-word policy brief -50% -ILOs 2, 4, 5

2. 2,000-word report -50% -ILOs 1, 3, 5

Course Aims

To introduce students to the core concepts and principles of planetary health, in order to equip them with the knowledge and public health professional skills required to enable healthy people and places in the context of ecological and climate crises.

Intended Learning Outcomes of Course

On successful completion of this course, students will be able to:

1. Critically discuss the related concepts of planetary health, environmental sustainability, and sustainable development

2. Critically appraise the relationship between key natural systems and human health, and intersection between environmental change and key public health challenges


3. Critically evaluate appropriate tools for public health practice to enable assessment and action on environmental determinants of health


4. Communicate with a range of stakeholders the potential areas of co-benefit and unintended consequences for efforts to address public health and environmental issues

5. Critically analyse and discuss the social, economic, political, educational, legal and ethical implications of current environmental issues.

Minimum Requirement for Award of Credits

Students must submit at least 75% by weight of the components (including examinations) of the course's summative assessment.