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043037P Public Health, 6 ECTS cr 
Code 043037P  Validity 01.08.2016 -
Name Public Health  Abbreviation Public Health 
Scope6 ECTS cr   
TypeBasic Studies Discipline5401 Medicine 
  Grading1 - 5, pass, fail 
Unit Medicine 

Timo Hugg 
Taina Lajunen 

ECTS Credits 

6 ECTS credits / 162 hours of work

Language of instruction 



The course is held at the 2nd spring semester (C4).

Learning outcomes 

Upon completion of the course, the student will:

-          understand the essential challenges of public health

-          identify the common chronic diseases and their risk factors

-          understand the structure and function of Finnish health care system

-          be aware of the importance of assessment and surveillance of health status and health promotion among population, and as an expert in health care sector he/she is able to put it into practice

-          understand that health is linked to the lifestyle of the individual and to social and global development

-          understand the system and the function of environmental health

-          identify the most harmful environmental factors and the health risks associated with those

-          understand the role of doctor in the field of environmental health

-          understand the basic epidemiologic thinking, is able to define the basic concepts of epidemiology, is able to identify the central                    types of epidemiologic studies and know how to apply epidemiological methods in public health



 The course consists of three parts of public health:


1. Basics of public health

-     Prevalence and incidence of population health in different phase of life

-     Lifestyle, behavior and health

-     Socioeconomic factors and health

-     Finnish health care system

-     Assessment and surveillance of health status among population

-     Health promotion

-     Global public health


2. Epidemiology

-     Causal thinking in epidemiology

-     Measures of disease occurrence and effect

-     Types of epidemiologic studies: cohort studies and case-control studies

-     Data analysis and reasoning


3. Environmental health

-     Environment and health

-     Risk factors in outdoor and indoor environments and their health effects

-     Climate change, temperature and health

-     Environmental radiation and noise

-     Microbiological and chemical risks of drinking water and food

-     Municipal environmental health control and exceptional situations related to environmental health

       -  Role of doctor in environmental health


Mode of delivery 

Face-to-face teaching and web-based teaching

Learning activities and teaching methods 

Lectures 17 h, group work 14 h, seminars 22 h, exams 4 h and independent work 105 h. Independent work includes preparation for the exams and producing the written works and/or oral presentations, Moodle exercises and presentations for the seminars. Written works and/or oral presentations, as population profile and health promotion, will be broken down in group meetings. Presentations for the public health seminar are produced from the risk factors of the common chronic diseases as a group work. Environmental health part of the course will be covered during four half-day seminars. Epidemiology exercises 1-5 will be performed as a group work, and exercise 6 “critical evaluation of an article” is an individual exercise implemented in Moodle. The course includes exams from the Public Health Science, Epidemiology and Environmental Health.

Target group 

The students from medicine and dentistry

Recommended optional programme components 

The course has to be completed during preclinical period of medical and dental studies. The course is linked to Advanced course in public health sciences (040116A, C11) –course.

Recommended or required reading 

 Required: Lecture material and exercise material.


Recommended literature:

Kansanterveystiede. Kauhanen J, Erkkilä A, Korhonen M, Myllykangas M, Pekkanen J. Sanoma Pro Oy, 2013.

Rothman KJ. Epidemiology: and introduction. 2nd edition. Oxford University Press, New York, 2012.

Mussalo-Rauhamaa, Pekkanen, Tuomisto, Vuorinen. Ympäristöterveys. Kustannus Oy Duodecim, 2nd edition, 2020. 297 pages (in Finnish).

Assessment methods and criteria 

Participation to the mandatory teaching as well as passing the written works, presentations, Moodle exercises, and exams.  The assessment criteria are based on the learning outcomes of the course.


The course utilizes a numerical grading scale 1-5. In the numerical scale zero stands for a fail.

Person responsible 

Aino Rantala (Public health), Taina Lajunen (Epidemiology) and Timo Hugg (Environmental health)


Working life cooperation 

Population profile and lifestyle guidance will be implemented during the practical training in health centers which is carried out during or before the course. Environmental health course includes the guest lectures of the environmental health experts.


Current and future instruction
Functions Name Type ECTS cr Teacher Schedule
Registration Kansanterveystiede  Course  Timo Hugg  10.01.22 -13.04.22

Future examinations
Functions Name Type ECTS cr Teacher Schedule
Registration Kansanterveystiede exam  Exam    04.03.22
Registration Kansanterveystiede exam  Exam    14.03.22
Registration Kansanterveystiede exam  Exam    31.03.22
Registration Kansanterveystiede exam  Exam    12.04.22
Registration Kansanterveystiede exam  Exam    19.04.22
Registration Kansanterveystiede exam  Exam    29.04.22
Registration Kansanterveystiede exam  Exam    10.05.22
Registration Kansanterveystiede exam  Exam    16.05.22
Registration Kansanterveystiede exam  Exam    07.06.22
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