Introducing Public Health: Its Basis and Scope

Welcome to the “Introducing Public Health: Its Basis and Scope” module.

The module aims to introduce you to a wide range of Public Health issues which will then be developed in more detail across the other five modules of this programme.

Most of you are likely to be working in the public health sector, be it as part of your country’s national department of public health, a non-governmental organization or a sector which has some linkage with Public Health. This means that you have valuable experience to bring to your studies. On the other hand, you probably have not had the opportunity to engage in much depth with the field of study which we call Public Health (with capital letters). The issues and debates that are central to this field or discipline (Public Health) are important in strengthening the health systems of “developing” countries, which are now more commonly described as “Lower and Middle Income Countries”.

This module is regarded as an orientating process – through it we hope that you will become familiar with the conceptual vocabulary and the tools you’ll need for the programme.

UWC Module Registration Number: SPH730
First published 2010; Unit 3 modified for 2014.
This Edition 2018
Writing Team: Hazel Bradley, Christina Zarowsky, Lucy Alexander, Barbara Hutton, Thuba Mathole
Editors: Lucy Alexander, Barbara Hutton, Jenny Birkett, Dawn Daniels & Nandipha Matshanda

License: Except where otherwise noted, this work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Non-Commercial-Share Alike License

Click below to download the different units of the module guide.

School of Public Health, University of the Western Cape
Robert Sobukwe Road, Bellville 7535, Republic of South Africa
Tel: +27-21 - 959 2809 | Fax: +27- 21 - 959 2872 | Email: