Principles of Public Health



Number of course hours / week


Number of seminar hours / week


Total course hours in the study plan


Total seminar hours in the study plan


Course Lecturer

Seminar Assistant

Conditions for Course

Enrollment of a minimum number of students.

Conditions for Seminar

According to the Babeș-Bolyai University regulations, students are requested to attend at least 75% of seminars.

Prerequisites Based on the Curriculum

Not applicable.

Prerequisites Based on Competences

Not applicable.

Discipline Objectives

General Objectives

This course examines population-based approaches to improve the health of the public. The focus will be on learning methods for community health improvement — from assessment to finding and implementing evidence based public health interventions.

Specific objectives

Learning Objectives

  • Define public health (what it is)
  • Learn the difference between individual- and population-based strategies for improving health (how it works)
  • Know how public health is organized at the local, state, and national level; and about the core functions of public health (assessment, policy development, and assurance).
  • Describe the philosophy of public health
  • Understand the advantages and limitations of the various types of population-based approaches to improve public health (education, marketing, engineering, policy, and law)
  • Learn about evidence-based public health, and how to locate these approaches in the literature and on the web
  • Learn about the importance of interdisciplinary approaches to public health
  • Prepare an evidence-based analysis of a contemporary public health issue


Professional Competencies


  • Describe the roles biostatistics serves in the discipline of public health

Health policy and management

  • Apply the principles of program planning, development, budgeting, management and evaluation in organizational and community initiatives

Social and behavioral sciences

  • Identify basic theories, concepts and models from a range of social and behavioral disciplines that are used in public health research and practice.

Communication and informatics

  • Describe how societal, organizational, and individual factors influence and are influenced by public health communications.
  • Demonstrate effective written and oral skills for communicating with different audiences in the context of professional public health activities.

Diversity and culture

  • Describe the roles of, history, power, privilege and structural inequality in producing health disparities.
  • Discuss the importance and characteristics of a sustainable diverse public health workforce.
  • Differentiate among availability, acceptability, and accessibility of health care across diverse populations.
  • Differentiate between linguistic competence, cultural competency, and health literacy in public health practice.


  • Analyze determinants of health and disease using an ecological framework.
  • Embrace a definition of public health that captures the unique characteristics of the field (e.g., population-focused, community-oriented, prevention-motivated and rooted in social justice) and how these contribute to professional practice.

Systems thinking

  • Identify unintended consequences produced by changes made to a public health system.

Consolidated Competencies

Program planning

Describe how social, behavioral, environmental, and biological factors contribute to specific individual and community health outcomes.


  • Course
  • Seminar
CoursesTeaching methodsObservations
Introduction to public healthOral presentation1 course
Assessing needs and resourcesOral presentation1 course
Pick prioritiesOral presentation1 course
Finding programs that workOral presentation1 course
Program planning and evaluationOral presentation1 course
Leadership and professionalismOral presentation1 course
The public health systemOral presentation1 course
Community health assessment and improvementOral presentation1 course
Diversity and culture in communitiesOral presentation1 course
Evidence-based public healthOral presentation1 course
Public health communicationsOral presentation1 course
Public health advocacyOral presentation1 course
Public health ethicsOral presentation1 course
Final examination
SeminarsTeaching methodsObservations
Introduction to public healthClass discussion1 seminar
Assessing needs and resourcesClass discussion1 seminar
Pick prioritiesClass discussion1 seminar
Finding programs that workClass discussion1 seminar
Program planning and evaluationClass discussion1 seminar
Leadership and professionalismClass discussion1 seminar
The public health systemClass discussion1 seminar
Community health assessment and improvementClass discussion1 seminar
Diversity and culture in communitiesClass discussion1 seminar
Evidence-based public healthClass discussion1 seminar
Public health communicationsClass discussion1 seminar
Public health advocacyClass discussion1 seminar
Public health ethicsClass discussion1 seminar
Final examination


  1. Bernard Turnock. Public Health: What it is and how it works. 4th Edition. Jones and Bartlett, 2009.
  2. Brownson et al. Evidence-Based Public Health. Oxford, 2003.
  3. Nelson et al. Communicating Public Health Information Effectively: A Guide for Practitioners, American Public Health Association (selected chapters).