our online Environmental Health MSc course video transcript
Hello and welcome to this webinar about the MSc Environmental Health programme here at the University of Derby.
Just like to introduce myself i'm Bruce Burkett i'm the program leader for the Environment Health programme. I have over 30 years experience of work in the Environmental Health field i'm an chartered member of the Chartered Institute of Environmental Health. I've worked both in local government and in the private industry in the Middle East in the oil industry my particular research interests are a decent home standard housing risk assessment and its application, food safety legislation and food inspection. I'm also a consultant surveyor for the office of national statistics. Also teaching on the programme are Paul Belsha, he's the module tutor for the public health and professionals issues module. He's also a chartered Environmental Health Practitioner and worked for 13 years in local government and then worked for almost 30 years in higher education teaching environmental and public health, both for postgraduate undergraduate level in the United Kingdom in Hong Kong and also in Africa. His particular research interests of public health policy and how you can affect that into effective policy and occur change.
There's also Alan Whitfield he teaches the workplace health and safety module his special interest specialist interests are environmental noise and its control and measurement. He is also involved in the development of other online modules his particular interest is in computer-based virtual reality his eyes. Also Kathy Rodenhurst she delivers a food safety and control module she's a childhood environmental health practitioner she's been working in the field for about 23 years she's also an ambassador for the Water For Kids charity and her particular research interests are food safety and public health.
So what is what is environmental health? Well environmental health encompasses public health and that generally very broad concept around health and well-being of the general population but it also encompasses food safety and how that may impact on health occupational health and safety in the workplace residential standards and how poor housing may impact on your health, and also environmental protection and that includes things like pollution control and also statutory nuisance.
So the Environment Health MSc at the university derby it's the only full fully online MSc Environment Health program available. It typically runs for about three to five years but most students take around three to four years to complete but we are quite flexible how long it takes to complete the program. It's taught by chartered professionals the teaching and assessment reflects real life in practice and what you actually do when you're working there are no course there's no coursework, no exams in in the program it's all done by coursework assessment we're have very flexible entry criteria we we don't just look for students who have or or accept applicants who have a 2-1 or above undergraduate science degree we also look at workplace experience in a few suitable experience in an area related to environmental health say you've worked in the food industry or building industry or something like that then we will take that as a suitable alternative to having a first science degree it was the first online course established in 2003 and it's also fully complies with the CIEH's core curricula.
The program is fully accredited by the CIEH we are a part a recognised partner organisation of them the CIEH was established in 1883 it has around 7000 members. It is a awarding body for professional standards environmental health so it sets the professional exams and the professional interviews which you go on after you complete the program with us. It also maintains the register of environment health practitioners and it also manages the chartered environmental health practitioners route, it's also a campaigning organisation and a lobbying organisation on environmental issues. So we have three academic terms or trimesters in an academic year and they're broken down into 10-week teaching week at the successful completion of one module you're awarded 20 academic points or credits, so if you complete three modules you're awarded 60 academic credits and you'll be therefore be able to obtain a postgraduate certificate in Environment Health, go on and complete another three you have 120 academic credits and you'll be eligible to post credit diploma in environmental health if you then go on do the dissertation or project module which is worth another six of the academic points you'll have 180 academic credits and you'll therefore be eligible for the master's MSc in Environmental Health. It should be mindful that each module takes around 200 hours of your study time to complete that's only an approximate number it might be more it might be less and so therefore that breaks down over a 10 week period to 20 hours per week for each module so you just need to be mindful of that when you enrol with us that you're going to be spending 20 hours a week potentially studying with us whilst you're over doing other things particularly if you're working full-time. So this is what we call a study pattern or delivery plan and this is the modules you'd study during your time with us, so if you start for example in September in the Autumn the first module you would do would be the Pollution Assessment and Remediation module, then you go in the Spring and you then do the Food Control module and then you do then the Sum of the Public Health module and that then would be your first year complete. When you come back to following Autumn you then do the Housing Standards module, the Professional Issues module and then the Occupational Health and Safety module and then you'd have at the end of year two all your six taught modules completed and then you'd go on then and do the Independent Scholarly activity module or your dissertational project and that would then take you approximately another another academic year and at this at the end of that you'd be eligible for the uh MSc Environmental Health and similarly if you start in January or may as you see you just start and do and carry on in the same in the same in the same manner.
So one of the most common questions i've asked by students is about assessment it is as i said earlier coursework only there are no timed exams there's never a need for you to come to derby to sit in an example which is all purely done by coursework and this coursework is designed to to reflect and emulate professional practice so we do use a lot of case studies and not just solely producing essays, there's between one and three assessments per module generally generally two and they're and then submitted in week six and week 11 of the module. Most of them are individual activities the vast majority are, however in a couple of modules you will be doing group based activities and you'll be put into groups and you'll be then doing some sort of task and you'll then produce an assignment of which you're all you're all at marked and you're given the same mark for you in the group as I said there's assignments are doing saying week six and week 11. the only variation to that is the independent scholarly activity module which is at the end and that is that takes ten months to complete and at the end of that 10 months you produce your dissertation which is generally between about 10 and 12 000 words. The submission dates are quite strict however where it or is circumstances where you are permitted extensions to your submission dates if you're ill or have some personal family crisis then you can as long as you provide some evidence of that which is commonly a doctor's note if it's for an illness then we can we can allow you extensions to your submission dates as long as you make us aware and plenty of time hopefully then you you won't you won't be penalised.
So how do you qualify as an Environmental Health practitioner in England and Wales well firstly you have to successfully complete an accredited degree course which the University of Derby is you then go on and complete a portfolio of professional practice and you submit that to the CIEH and that is that that that scheme is wholly controlled by the CIEH the university is not a part of that and once you've completed submitted your portfolio professional practice you go for a professional interview. If you're all successful in that then you again can be registered with CIEH as an Environmental Health practitioner you also have the option later on your career are going for chartered status, however you have to have a sponsor to do this because it is based on workplace practice and you do need to have at least two years postgraduate experience before before you can actually start the chartered status process.
So what do our students think what do they actually think of the course I mean obviously student student opinion is very important and we regularly engage student opinion with various surveys the most significant of which is the postgraduate taught survey which we do every every spring and in the survey of 2021 100% of the students on the programme agreed that the it enhanced their academic ability. 100% also agreed that their workload was manageable considering that the vast majority of our students are in full-time work so they could manage their studies, and their full-time work quite well at the same time and 100% of our students agreed that the IT resources at the university offer which are very significantly met their needs.
Also we've got a hyperlink here to Roland and he will talk to you about his experience whilst uh studying studying with us at the university.
So what are the career as career options once you've successfully graduated from us. Quite a lot of our students go to the armed forces or sometimes a lot already in the armed forces by the time they enroll with us in the royal army medical corps for example. We have a few students who go to government departments like DEFRA or the Environment Agency we have a few with large retailers Sainsbury's, Co-op Tesco people like where they do food safety and food quality assurance roles and occupational health and safety we've had a few in the hospitality sector work for hotel chains we've had one or two tour operators and we've you know some who've actually gone to the charitable sector like Unicef but probably the largest by far the largest about 50 percent of our students work for local authorities as environmental health officers in local in local councils where they get the opportunity to do the full range of the environment health functions that's food safety occupational health and safety pollution control and and health and safety.
So we have a global student body although most of our students are based in in Britain we do have students in Ireland we do have students also in Malta, Cyprus and throughout the EU we have students in United Arab Emirates we also have we've had students from Singapore, China and Hong Kong so we're we are we have a global student body so you don't you never know where there might be another student on the program actually quite close by to you and sometimes students do contact and network between themselves through using social media besides Facebook etc.
We do have guest lectures we've come to the program, particularly we have the CIEH director of membership he comes and talks to students probably two or three times a year we have speakers from the food standards agency and from the food industry as a whole we have local authority environment health practitioners who are actually working for local operators and come and talk to you about particular interests in case they're involved in or something like that and we also have a guest lecturers occasionally from the building research establishment in Watford who talk about housing and housing and health sort of related issues.
So what's the course content like it's not it's not just powerpoints and and text in fact that's probably the sort of minority of the of the study materials offered to you they're in it's quite interactive, there's interactive quizzes for example this on you can see on the right of the screen here we have a so it says global milestones development of health promotion if you go through that and click on each one of those one two three etc that will click onto a sub screen where you'll get more information about those sort of issues we have videos embedded in the course materials there and you see the Youtube video there, we also have in some modules we have 3d virtual environments where you can actually immerse yourself in the environment and carry out a virtual health and safety inspection or a virtual food safety inspection you create an avatar and actually you can go around and touch things interact with things in the environment so it's not just just slides and Powerpoints for instance like the slide in the top left that's probably only around half the materials are presented light up there's a lot of interaction interaction available with the learning materials and the course content.
So how do you transform your future and certainly it is a transformative process when you're with us and higher education is transformative by nature and a lot a lot of students come on to the program because it obviously enhances their career, broadens their subject knowledge and it enhances their confidence in the subject area and therefore apply for different posts or and probably a promotion to where they are currently some students go on and do do further study do another MSc or potentially can do a pHD and we do have career changes as well people are already sort of mid life and they said they don't they want to do a new career and do have a new start and have a career change so have you know we have a quite a broad range of students on the program it's not it's not just people solely in one set you just want to do it just so they can advance a little bit further.
So our our virtual campus when you're with us you have all the access to the full university experience as as a normal student would so you have access to the Union of Students you also have access to the career service and the student wellbeing service you also have access and the course does have a student rep, the student rep is a student voice of the program and they attend program committee meetings and talk with me the programme leader and raise student concerns so we're more where we're more aware of what the students need and what they want and what they'd like to see you can also join all the university clubs and associations and you carry on having access to things like the you say student wellbeing service and the career service for up to three years after you've left the university.
So how do you how does it work for you? First you need to understand the commitment that you're undertaking when you enrol with us. As I said earlier you'll be you'll be studying for approximately 20 hours per week I mean we don't actually monitor that but that's that's generally what you should be expecting to do so if you're already working full-time you need to be aware that you're doing about another 20 hours of study a week on top of that it may be more if it's subject knowledge is new to you maybe less if you're already working saying occupational health and safety then you might only do 10 hours a week but you need roughly 20 hours a week is what you should you should be aware that you're committing yourself yourself to. When you're doing that you need to regularly engage with your peers and interact with your academics academic stuff it's very clear that the students who interact more with their peers and with us as the the academic tutors they generally the ones who perform best.There's a learning portal there for you to access their regular announcements and updates and resources available to you and also always asks students so he should always log on to the university system at least once or twice a week to check for any announcements etc and we do actually do what's called engagement checks in we week three and week five and if you've not been engaging very much we might send you an email just ask asking if everything's all right you've got any any problems to see how you are and one of the golden rules is about the assessments although when you roll on a module the first assessment not what we do to week six a week eleven and that does seem a very long time away it will creep up on you very fast especially when there's a lot of new material that you're being exposed to so don't leave this submission of your assignments at the very last minute. Do start working on them well in advance and try and try and have them submitted at least a day in advance because if there's any problem with your computer or your internet connection that is not a valid excuse for late submission I'm afraid.
So how do you engage with your online community? Well first and foremost every module has a discussion forum and within that students can talk to each other about the module as if we find that this greatly helps cement learning and improves your learning outcomes because you can interact with your students if you read an article for instance you said oh i thought this then another student might have thought that and then you can discuss that online every module is broken down into units generally between 8 and 10 units which you should study one unit per week and at the end of each one of those units is a generally an end of unit activity where we might ask you to say read an article and put a posting on the discussion forum and the posting might be 50 words long something like that we don't mark those they're not they're not assessed and it is optional if you do take part in that end of unit activity but however as i said in an earlier slide the students who do best engage in these sort of end of unit activities because it helps conceptualize their learning far far better and they you know help share their experiences through them because fellow students obviously if they're already working the field may have extra knowledge which they can impart on you if you enter in this discussion with them. Also every module has a cafe forum where you can talk to other students about other things besides the actual learning materials so you say if you're a member of the student member of the CIEH something like that for example however every module has what we call blackboard collaborate sessions at least three sessions in each module visa live sessions very much like this webinar and uh students uh can drop in on these sessions and then they can interact live with the module tutor and some modules have a lot more than three sessions uh some have eight or nine sessions almost every week where you can turn up and you can talk live to the module the module tutor these are these aren't like online lectures or seminars they're purely for you to just talk to your lecturer about some part of the learning activity for that week and ask and ask questions and each one of these sessions if you can't make it they will be recorded and you can access them later. But by far the most popular way to engage with certainly with the online module tutors is through through emails and you will be given a Unimail account when you first enrolled it it is very important that you do use this Unimail account when you communicate with us and do not use a personal email account you should only use your Unimail account and generally you will get to reply to your email within two working days alternatively you can telephone us if you've got a particularly complex issue you could email us and ask us to send set up a one-to-one meeting using microsoft teams and we we're doing that more and more often now and then we just send you a an invitation and you just click accept and then you can talk to your lecturer in confidence for an hour or half an hour about you know anything anything you like really relating to the program.
So what is your support network? Your support network is obviously is me and the module tutors we really should be spoken around issues around the academic content of the program so if you've got an issue with you don't understand something about the assessment you don't understand then you need to speak to that module tutor if it's not if it's not academic related what we call pastoral issues then you need to speak to your online learning advisor so if you've got a problem say with your fees or module selection or you want to have a break in study then you need to speak to online learning advisors and they can guide you through that they're they're available through email or you can you can telephone them and as i said earlier you have you have full access to the student well-being service and and you can also talk to them if you've got personal issues for example just like any undergraduate student who attends a campus campus full-time. Obviously you have access to the library which i'll talk about in a minute you also once enroll you have access to microsoft office 365 and you get one terabyte of storage space associated with that and the online learning system is available 24 hours a day however there are brief periods generally within the summer holidays where the system might actually be partially closed for routine sort of maintenance but if that is the case you will get plenty of notices going to happen and it generally is not closed for anything or not accessible for anything more than say 12 hours or a day but it's generally that is not within teaching time it's mainly either within the christmas holidays or the summer holidays where you won't be actually being taught at the time.
So about the library resource we have a significant library resource available to you and the libraries resource, it's a lot of online books and e-journals however there's a lot of other facilities that the library offers it offers a lot of learning support so and it holds weekly webinars around things around academic writing, report writing, referencing, research skills and analytical skills all of those things if you particularly if you've not been in higher education before it's been a long time since you've been in higher education then you might want to brush up on your academic writing or referencing. University the library service offer weekly webinars around these sorts of issues of which you have you know you can have full access to and also the library is a significant building on its own it has hard books here over three floors as you see in the image and if you are wanting to come into Derby some students are quite local to us you can actually come and take books out and you can reserve them online to make sure that they're they're there and you can take books out and use them to help you fulfill your your assessment and we also have a subject librarian a specialist in the science subjects who if you can call upon you've got an issue say around you want a particular research paper to help you complete your dissertation then she they can access it for you.
So graduation so once you've successfully completed the program you can come to the graduation at Derby with us and our many of our students do take this opportunity and they travel some travel from all over the world to come to the graduation there are generally two or sometimes even three graduations every year and you'll get the opportunity to attend there's no compulsion for you to attend but if you want to you're you know you're more than welcome to do so.
So what the next step in the next steps for you obviously you need to you need to apply and we advise you do that as soon as possible certainly try and apply at least two weeks before the teaching actually starts so we can get a time to actually process your application you need to then look at course your course fees we do offer payment plans you don't have to pay for all the modules in advance, you can pay for each module as you enrol on it and i think there's even greater flexibility with within that and uh be mindful that the September intake is the most popular so if you want to start in September I advise you apply as soon as possible uh because it takes a lot you know a bit longer to process all the applicants uh applications that we we get.
So if you've got any further questions then please contact me or any member of the team here at the university of derby and uh thank you for listening.