Durham University
Programme and Module Handbook

Postgraduate Programme and Module Handbook 2012-2013 (archived)

Module HEAS42415: Knowledge Exchange and Evidence in Health Improvement and Well-Being

Department: Health [Queen's Campus, Stockton]

HEAS42415: Knowledge Exchange and Evidence in Health Improvement and Well-Being

Type Open Level 4 Credits 15 Availability Available in 2012/13 Module Cap None.
Tied to HEAS


  • None


  • None

Excluded Combination of Modules

  • none


  • To explore the nature of ‘evidence’ and ‘knowledge’ around health improvement and well-being issues
  • To extend understanding of routine data and other sources of information related to public health and health improvement and provide grounding in how these data may be used to inform decision-making.
  • To encourage critical thinking about the uses and misuses of research evidence and other types of knowledge
  • To critically examine methods and flows of evidence and knowledge between policy, practice and research.


  • Introduction: the hierarchy of evidence: debates, controversies and implications
  • Models of knowledge transfer: from rational linearity through to complexity
  • Practical methods, routes and flows of knowledge and evidence I: Introduction to health indicators, and profiling the health of a local community
  • Practical methods, routes and flows of knowledge and evidence II: Assessing health need
  • Practical methods, routes and flows of knowledge and evidence III: Finding and using evidence for public health interventions:
  • Practical methods, routes and flows of knowledge and evidence IV: Introduction to health impact assessment
  • Engagement, uptake and resistance: the ‘politics’ within knowledge and evidence use
  • System Issues: organisational readiness and receptivity, complex adaptive systems and wicked issues
  • The possibility of the co-creation of knowledge: informing policy, practice and research.
  • Public involvement.

Learning Outcomes

Subject-specific Knowledge:
  • By the end of the module students will have developed a critical understanding of:
  • The contextual and contested nature of knowledge and evidence around health improvement and well-being
  • Practical techniques for knowledge dissemination and sharing – the sources, availability and limitations of health related data
  • Some implications of variable knowledge and evidence flow, access and use.
Subject-specific Skills:
  • Health needs assessment; health impact assessment; complex adaptive systems
  • Literature searching – students should be able to evaluate, appraise and synthesise a variety of source materials to develop their understanding of knowledge exchange and use of evidence in health improvement and well being
  • Collaborative working – students should be capable of working collectively and respectfully in groups in order to undertake class seminars
  • Organization and application of concepts learned – students should be able to recognise and apply ideas learned to real-life examples covered in class to make suggestions for improved practice in knowledge exchange.
Key Skills:
  • As they develop from the above but also to include more generic skills:
  • The ability to offer critical, creative and constructive comment and to argue coherently
  • The capacity to show enthusiasm and motivation to engage with advanced study
  • The discipline to work consistently throughout the course
  • The ability to value diversity and alternative perspectives as a strength when analysing inherently complex, multi-factorial issues.

Modes of Teaching, Learning and Assessment and how these contribute to the learning outcomes of the module

  • Lecturing – introduces the topic area and gives an overview of core issues
  • Tutorials and seminars - allows students to explore the issues introduced, listen to others, share ideas and learn collectively within a facilitated and guided discussion. Feedback and encouragement will allow students to test-out their ideas and provide formative feedback.
  • Guided reading and independent research – encourages students to take the initiative and engage more deeply with the extant literature to develop a wider appreciation of the issues covered
  • Case study analysis – allows students to spot and engage with the interplay and complexity of the issues covered when dealing with real-life examples. It allows students to explore various options for action in ‘messy and busy’ contexts
  • Final summative assessment (essay) – tests and grades students’ capacity to organise the course material (supplemented from their own research and reading) to build a coherent and persuasive argument on a topical question.

Teaching Methods and Learning Hours

Activity Number Frequency Duration Total/Hours
Lecture 10 weekly 1 hr 10
Tutorial/seminar 10 weekly 1 hr 30mins 15
Structured Reading 10 sets weekly 3 hr 30
Library Researching and independet study student initiated student initiated 95
Total 150

Summative Assessment

Component: Assignment Component Weighting: 100%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
Essay 3000 100% assignment

Formative Assessment:

Feedback on a group presentation on a pre-set topic.

Attendance at all activities marked with this symbol will be monitored. Students who fail to attend these activities, or to complete the summative or formative assessment specified above, will be subject to the procedures defined in the University's General Regulation V, and may be required to leave the University