UWE ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH PROGRAMMES GET SEAL OF APPROVAL

Issue date: 28 January 2004


ISSUE DATE: 28/01/04

UWE is the first university in the UK to have its new curriculum for Environmental Health programmes accredited by the Chartered Institute of Environmental Health. The new core curriculum – Environmental Health 2012 – was agreed in consultation with government departments and the sectors in which Environmental Health Officers operate and is practitioner-led and applied in nature. UWE is also the only University to offer both undergraduate and postgraduate accredited programmes.

In addition those who come to UWE are eligible to apply to the Local Authority Employers Organisation £200,000 bursary fund (2003/4), to study on either the BSc Environmental Health or the MSc Environmental Health. Recent TV programmes such as The Life of Grime and media coverage of Operation Meathook have brought public attention to the work of environmental health officers. However, there is still a national shortage of qualified environmental health practitioners and of students studying on qualifying programmes. This has been recognised by government agencies such as the Health Development Agency, Food Standards Agency, Local Authority Employers Organisation and in a recent House of Lords report.

Environmental Health programmes are studied by those who go on to become Environmental Health Officers. Officers play a vital role in many sectors such as local government, various government agencies and in providing environmental health consultancy advice to businesses. Increasingly, they are becoming involved in public health development within the NHS, primary health care and other public and voluntary sector organisations.

The qualifications they achieve reflect their understanding of the science involved and also reflect the diversity of the areas in which they may work – hence the new flexible curriculum which was developed with the help of academics from UWE working on the Masters in Public Health.

Melanie Grey, Head of Environmental Health at UWE said, “The new curriculum reflects the national public health agenda which places an emphasis on health promotion by focusing on prevention of ill health and tackling health inequalities. The new curriculum is flexible and adaptive to change, providing for the needs of environmental health practitioners in the diverse sectors in which they operate. The £2000 per annum student bursaries offered by The Local Authority Employers’ Organisation are a significant step in encouraging applicants to study Environmental Health at UWE and to continue on to diverse and rewarding professional careers."

For further details contact Melanie Grey, Head of School, Environmental and Interdisciplinary Sciences, e-mail: Melanie.Grey@uwe.ac.uk tel 0117 344 2521.

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