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  • Free online course: Public Health Principles in Disaster and Medical Humanitarian Response (6th Cohort) Collaborating Centre for Oxford University and CUHK for Disaster and Medical Humanitarian Response

    Date: 25 Nov 2016 - 15 Oct 2017

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Free online course: Public Health Principles in Disaster and Medical Humanitarian Response (6th Cohort)

MAIN HOST(S): Collaborating Centre for Oxford University and CUHK for Disaster and Medical Humanitarian Response (CCOUC)

Type: Training Course Date: 25 Nov 2016 - 15 Oct 2017 Location: Online event

Course Overview

The "Public Health Principles in Disaster and Medical Humanitarian Response" online course was developed by CCOUC in an attempt to make lessons learnt from previous disasters available and comprehensible to key stakeholders in disaster risk mitigation and the civil society. It is hoped that students enrolled in the course will gain insight and theoretical understanding of the public health issues related to disaster and be empowered personally and professionally to take necessary actions in the individual, community, and national levels to reduce the health risk posed by the increasing frequency and intensity of disaster.

Course Features

  • The course teaching assistant may assist students in solving any challenges regarding the course content and answer any questions in the process;
  • The course is supported by a mobile application available for download here;
  • The course enriches students' learning with the use of real disaster case studies, online tools and relevant international publications;
  • The course offers exceptional flexibility for participants to manage their study schedule with course materials accessible online anytime, anywhere!

Target Audience

The target audience for this course is individuals studying and working in health, policy, education and humanitarian sectors. Students may be civil servants, healthcare personnel, frontline disaster relief practitioners, and postgraduate students of closely-related disciplines.

What's Included

Course Structure and Delivery Format

The course is delivered through an online virtual learning space developed by the Technology-Assisted Lifelong Learning unit of the Department for Continuing Education of Oxford University.

The course involves a total of 7 lessons, 4 short quizzes and one final assessment. Each lesson requires about one to three hours of study. All assessments are in the form of multiple-choice questions to be completed online with unlimited attempts. To progress through the course, students must obtain 80% or above in each short-quiz. Students enrolled in the course may access all learning materials and go through all learning activities online within a maximum period of seven months. Topics covered in the course are as follows:

  • Lesson 1: Public Health Approaches to Medical Disaster Response
  • Lesson 2: Disaster Concepts and Trends
  • Lesson 3: The Impact of Disasters
  • Lesson 4: The Human Health Impact of Disasters
  • Lesson 5: Responding to Health Needs in Disaster (I)
  • Lesson 6: Responding to Health Needs in Disaster (II)
  • Lesson 7: Public Health Emergency Preparedness

Course Completion and Certification

Students who obtain 60% or above in the final assessment will be issued a printable certificate in recognition of completing the course.

How to Register

To start studying the course now, please visit the course website.

Further Information

For units interested in promoting and recommending this course, please send an email to for further information.

More than 4,200 students from six continents have enrolled in the first five cohorts offered in June and November 2014, May and November 2015, and May 2016 respectively.

Registration for the 6th cohort opens until 15 September 2017. Upon registration, students are allowed to study the course until 15 October 2017 at their own pace. There is limited quota for enrolment on a first-come-first-served basis.

Event website:

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