PUB HLTH 7113 - Environmental and Occupational Health

North Terrace Campus - Semester 1 - 2020

This course aims to introduce a range of environmental factors, which may pose a risk to the health of human populations. It also addresses risk assessment and management methods for evaluating and controlling such risks. A variety of diseases associated with exposure to common occupational and environmental factors will be discussed. In addition, there will be an overview of the historical, legislative and administrative aspects of occupational health.

  • General Course Information
    Course Details
    Course Code PUB HLTH 7113
    Course Environmental and Occupational Health
    Coordinating Unit Public Health
    Term Semester 1
    Level Postgraduate Coursework
    Location/s North Terrace Campus
    Units 3
    Contact Online - Internal mode depending on numbers
    Available for Study Abroad and Exchange N
    Restrictions Available to Grad Cert, Grad Dip, MPH students only
    Course Description This course aims to introduce a range of environmental factors, which may pose a risk to the health of human populations. It also addresses risk assessment and management methods for evaluating and controlling such risks. A variety of diseases associated with exposure to common occupational and environmental factors will be discussed. In addition, there will be an overview of the historical, legislative and administrative aspects of occupational health.
    Course Staff

    Course Coordinator: Professor Dino Pisaniello

    Course Coordinator: Professor Dino Pisaniello
    Phone: +61 8313 3571
    Location: Adelaide Exposure Science and Health Laboratory, 28 Anderson St, Thebarton

    Student & Program Support Services Hub
    Phone: +61 8313 0273

    Course Timetable

    The full timetable of all activities for this course can be accessed from Course Planner.

    Timetable details are located on MyUni.
  • Learning Outcomes
    Course Learning Outcomes
    1 Describe the nature of environmental health hazards and the ways in which they impinge upon communities and occupational groups.
    2 Outline the types of factors that influence the distribution of health disorders, within an exposed population.
    3 Explain “risk” as a central concept in describing, evaluating and managing EOH problems.
    4 Describe the roles and relationships of key disciplines (including epidemiology, toxicology, occupational and environmental hygiene and ergonomics) in the prevention, investigation and management of EOH problems.
    University Graduate Attributes

    This course will provide students with an opportunity to develop the Graduate Attribute(s) specified below:

    University Graduate Attribute Course Learning Outcome(s)
    Deep discipline knowledge
    • informed and infused by cutting edge research, scaffolded throughout their program of studies
    • acquired from personal interaction with research active educators, from year 1
    • accredited or validated against national or international standards (for relevant programs)
    Critical thinking and problem solving
    • steeped in research methods and rigor
    • based on empirical evidence and the scientific approach to knowledge development
    • demonstrated through appropriate and relevant assessment
    2, 3
    Teamwork and communication skills
    • developed from, with, and via the SGDE
    • honed through assessment and practice throughout the program of studies
    • encouraged and valued in all aspects of learning
    Career and leadership readiness
    • technology savvy
    • professional and, where relevant, fully accredited
    • forward thinking and well informed
    • tested and validated by work based experiences
    Intercultural and ethical competency
    • adept at operating in other cultures
    • comfortable with different nationalities and social contexts
    • able to determine and contribute to desirable social outcomes
    • demonstrated by study abroad or with an understanding of indigenous knowledges
    1, 4
    Self-awareness and emotional intelligence
    • a capacity for self-reflection and a willingness to engage in self-appraisal
    • open to objective and constructive feedback from supervisors and peers
    • able to negotiate difficult social situations, defuse conflict and engage positively in purposeful debate
  • Learning Resources
    Required Resources
    Specific readings and learning resources will be provided on MyUni.

    Recommended Resources

    1. Department of Health and Aging, enHealth Council (2012) Environmental Health Risk Assessment – Guidelines for Assessing Human Health Risks from Environmental Hazards (Commonwealth of Australia, Canberra) – downloadable.

    2. Reed S, Pisaniello D, Benke G, Burton K. (2013) Principles of Occupational Health and Hygiene – An Introduction. Allen and Unwin, ISBN 978-1-74331-129-5. A third edition of this book (2019) should be available for 2020.

    Online Learning
    This course uses the MyUni learning management system. Here you will see announcements, instructions and content
    related to the course as well as Discussion Boards where you will submit tutorial responses and conduct discussions with your fellow students.

  • Learning & Teaching Activities
    Learning & Teaching Modes
    As a blended course much of the contact you have with fellow students and staff will be via MyUni. You will be assigned to an online discussion group to which you will submit your answers to a series of tutorial questions. Following submission of your assignment there is a period where you will have the opportunity to read, and provide constructive comment, on the work of your fellow Discussion Group members. Participants in this course have a wide range of backgrounds and this is your opportunity to gain an insight into different problem-solving perspectives (and remember your contribution is assessable).

    The information below is provided as a guide to assist students in engaging appropriately with the course requirements.

    The University expects full-time students (i.e. those taking 12 units per semester) to devote a total of 48 hours per week to their studies. This means that, for this course, you are expected to commit approximately 12 hours per week to private study.

    Lectures, demonstrations and field activities for locally-based students may be offered during the Semester, as a supplement to the online learning. Students are encouraged to attend where possible.
    Learning Activities Summary
    This is an blended course, and available online for domestic students. A series of lectures (with invited experts), demonstrations and field visits will be offered for locally-based students. The field visits will help to contextualise the principles of occupational and environmental health management.

    The course is set up in two major sections, namely occupational health and environmental health. 

    There is a series of modules for students to progress through over the duration of the course.

    Topics include:

    Occupational Health
    • Benefits of work
    • Burden of occupational disease and injury
    • Principles of occupational health and safety management
    • Occupational health and safety policy and regulation
    • Work-relatedness of disease
    Environmental Health
    • Environmental health risk assessment and management frameworks
    • Air, food and water quality
    • Infectious diseases
    • Climate change-related health impacts
    Concepts in the course will build on principles in epidemiology, public health promotion and health protection, introduced elsewhere in the program. This includes indigenous health, where applicable.
    Specific Course Requirements
    Small Group Discovery Experience
  • Assessment

    The University's policy on Assessment for Coursework Programs is based on the following four principles:

    1. Assessment must encourage and reinforce learning.
    2. Assessment must enable robust and fair judgements about student performance.
    3. Assessment practices must be fair and equitable to students and give them the opportunity to demonstrate what they have learned.
    4. Assessment must maintain academic standards.

    Assessment Summary
    Assessment Task Assessment Type Weighting Learning Outcome(s) being addressed
    Diagnostic quiz Formative
    Occupational Health quiz
    OH Tutorial- mini assignment
    Environmental Health quiz
    EH Tutorial - mini assignment
    Major Occupational or Environmental Health Assignment Summative 30% 1-4
    Participation Formative & Summative 10% 1-4
    Assessment Related Requirements
    A mix of assessment tasks will be included.
    These include online quizzes, tutorials and a major written assignment.

    Assessment Detail

    2 online quizzes (up to 20 multiple choice or short answer questions) will be included to provide an opportunity for students to demonstrate knowledge gained of the basic principles in environmental and occupational health


    2 asynchronous online tutorials (each mini assignment, up to 1000 words)

    The tutorials provide an opportunity to respond to challenging questions and to comment on the responses of other students. The questions will be suitable for high level discussion and adult learning. They will draw upon the experiences and perspectives of the students and staff.

    You are encouraged to make comments on other students responses - indeed you are required to make 6 -10 comments during the semester.

    MAJOR ASSIGNMENT (up to 2000 words) 

    This allow you to address an issue in depth, demonstrating advanced skills in scientific literature searching, interpretation of data and concise report writing.

    Assignments relate to a topic of your choice. However, you must use the Occupational Health Hazard Management Paradigm if the choice is an occupational health topic or the Environmental Health Risk Assessment Paradigm if the choice is an environmental health topic.

    The EnHealth 2012 document provides a very detailed description of the paradigm for Environmental Health Risk Assessment.

    All extensions for assignments must be requested, at the latest, by the last working day before the due date of submission.   Extensions will generally be granted only on medical or genuine compassionate grounds.  Supporting documentation must be  provided at the time a student requests an extension.  Without documentation, extensions will not be granted.  Late requests for extension will neither be accepted nor acknowledged.

    Only the Course Co-ordinator(s) may grant extensions.

    Supporting documentation will be required when requesting an extension. Examples of documents that are acceptable include: a  medical certificate that specifies dates of incapacity, a police report (in the case of lost computers, car & household theft etc.), a  letter from a Student Counsellor, Education and Welfare Officer (EWO) or Disability Liaison Officer that provides an assessment of  compassionate circumstances, or a letter from an independent external counsellor or appropriate professional able to verify the  student’s situation.  The length of any extension granted will take into account the period and severity of any incapacity or impact  on the student.  Extensions of more than 10 days will not be granted except in exceptional circumstances.

    Late submission
    Marks will be deducted when assignments for which no extension has been granted are handed in late.

    All assignments, including those handed in late, will be assessed on their merits.  In the case of late assignments where no  extension has been granted, 5 percentage points of the total marks possible per day will be deducted.  If an assignment that is 2  days late is awarded 65% on its merits, the mark will then be reduced by 10% (5% per day for 2 days) to 55%.  If that same  assignment is 4 days late, the mark will be reduced by 20% (5% per day for 4 days) to 45%, and so on.
    The School of Public Health reserves the right to refuse to accept an assignment that is more than 7 days late.

    Assignments submitted after the due date may not be graded in time to be returned on the listed return dates.

    Students submitting examinable written work who request (and receive) an extension that takes them beyond the examination  period are advised that there is no guarantee that their grades will be processed in time to meet usual University deadlines.

    If a student is dissatisfied with an assessment grade they should follow the Student Grievance Resolution Process  <>.  Students who are not satisfied with a particular assessment result should raise their concerns with Course Co-ordinator(s) in the first instance.  This must be done within 10 business days of the  date of notification of the result.  Resubmission of any assignment is subject to the agreement of the Course Co-ordinator(s) and  will only be permitted for the most compelling of reasons.
    Course Grading

    Grades for your performance in this course will be awarded in accordance with the following scheme:

    M10 (Coursework Mark Scheme)
    Grade Mark Description
    FNS   Fail No Submission
    F 1-49 Fail
    P 50-64 Pass
    C 65-74 Credit
    D 75-84 Distinction
    HD 85-100 High Distinction
    CN   Continuing
    NFE   No Formal Examination
    RP   Result Pending

    Further details of the grades/results can be obtained from Examinations.

    Grade Descriptors are available which provide a general guide to the standard of work that is expected at each grade level. More information at Assessment for Coursework Programs.

    High Distinction Distinction Credit Pass Fail
    General description Outstanding or exceptional work in terms of understanding, interpretation and presentation A very high standard of work which demonstrates originality and insight Demonstrates a high level of understanding and presentation and a degree of originality and insight Satisfies the minimum requirements Fails to satisfy the minimum requirements
    Reading Strong evidence of independent reading beyond core texts and materials Evidence of reading beyond core texts and materials Thorough understanding of core texts and materials Evidence of having read core texts and materials Very little evidence of having read any of the core texts and materials
    Knowledge of topic Demonstrates insight, awareness and understanding of deeper and more subtle aspects of the topic. Ability to consider topic in the broader context of the discipline Evidence of an awareness and understanding of deeper and more subtle aspects of the topic Sound knowledge of principles and concepts Knowledge of principles and concepts at least adequate to communicate intelligently in the topic and to serve as a basis for further study Scant knowledge of principles and concepts
    Articulation of argument Demonstrates imagination or flair. Demonstrates originality and independent thought Evidence of imagination or flair. Evidence of originality and independent thought Well-reasoned argument based on broad evidence Sound argument based on evidence Very little evidence of ability to construct coherent argument
    Analytical and evaluative skills Highly developed analytical and evaluative skills Clear evidence of analytical and evaluative skills Evidence of analytical and evaluative skills Some evidence of analytical and evaluative skills Very little evidence of analytical and evaluative skills
    Problem solving Ability to solve very challenging problems Ability to solve non-routine problems Ability to use and apply fundamental concepts and skills Adequate problem-solving skills Very little evidence of problem-solving skills
    Expression and presentation appropriate to discipline Highly developed skills in expression and presentation. Well developed skills in expression and presentation. Good skills in expression and presentation. Accurate and consistent acknowledge-ment of sources. Adequate skills in expression and presentation. Rudimentary skills in expression and presentation. Inaccurate and inconsistent acknowledgement of sources.

    Final results for this course will be made available through Access Adelaide.

  • Student Feedback

    The University places a high priority on approaches to learning and teaching that enhance the student experience. Feedback is sought from students in a variety of ways including on-going engagement with staff, the use of online discussion boards and the use of Student Experience of Learning and Teaching (SELT) surveys as well as GOS surveys and Program reviews.

    SELTs are an important source of information to inform individual teaching practice, decisions about teaching duties, and course and program curriculum design. They enable the University to assess how effectively its learning environments and teaching practices facilitate student engagement and learning outcomes. Under the current SELT Policy ( course SELTs are mandated and must be conducted at the conclusion of each term/semester/trimester for every course offering. Feedback on issues raised through course SELT surveys is made available to enrolled students through various resources (e.g. MyUni). In addition aggregated course SELT data is available.

    On the basis of student feedback, more face to face sessions will be provided, along with the opportunity for field visits and other practical activities.
  • Student Support
  • Policies & Guidelines
  • Fraud Awareness

    Students are reminded that in order to maintain the academic integrity of all programs and courses, the university has a zero-tolerance approach to students offering money or significant value goods or services to any staff member who is involved in their teaching or assessment. Students offering lecturers or tutors or professional staff anything more than a small token of appreciation is totally unacceptable, in any circumstances. Staff members are obliged to report all such incidents to their supervisor/manager, who will refer them for action under the university's student’s disciplinary procedures.

The University of Adelaide is committed to regular reviews of the courses and programs it offers to students. The University of Adelaide therefore reserves the right to discontinue or vary programs and courses without notice. Please read the important information contained in the disclaimer.