Five things you may not know about studying public and environmental health

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Public and environmental health practitioners play a vital role in protecting us from dangers and promoting wellbeing at home, at work and in public places, but to qualify to work in this sector you’ll need a degree accredited by a professional body and relevant experience.

Here are some other things you may not know about public and environmental health:

1) Public and environmental health practitioners use their skills and knowledge to implement, enforce and promote health policies and initiatives in areas such as environmental protection, food standards, housing, noise pollution, occupational and general health and safety, pollution, public health and waste management. Salaries start at around £25,000 per year, with senior or managerial level salaries rising to the region of £40,000 to £60,000 per year.

2) To qualify as a public and environmental health practitioner in England, Wales or Northern Ireland, you must complete a degree accredited by the Chartered Institute of Environmental Health (CIEH). This includes the Foundation degree and Honours Top-up at UCW, which are delivered in partnership with UWE Bristol. Our links to the professional body also extend to us having hosted regional CIEH events, and our students and graduates won the Healthy Housing Heroes and Rising Environmental Health Star prizes at the CIEH Excellence Awards 2018.

3) You will also need to complete the CIEH’s Portfolio of Professional Practice, covering the specialist areas of food safety, health and safety, housing and health, environmental protection and public health, which many people do as part of a postgraduate course.

4) Due to the wide variety of topics covered in studying public and environmental health and the requirement for professional experience, you should expect to undertake work-based learning, fieldwork and relevant trips on your degree. At UCW, for example, our students have visited specialist sites such as food manufacturers and power plants and undertaken health and safety audits at Jaguar Land Rover and the National Trust. We also offer scholarships to support students to undertake work experience for the Environment Agency in Gibraltar. Indeed, one of our graduates recently accepted a full-time role with the agency as an Environmental Health Officer.

5) But owing to the array of transferable skills developed by students on a public and environmental health degree, many graduates progress to related roles. So as well as UCW graduates working in public and private sector public and environmental health roles in the South West and also as far afield as Wellington, New Zealand, some have decided to continue their careers with global companies including financial firms Goldman Sachs and Argent Risk Management Solutions and multimedia company NBC Universal.

Please get in touch and speak to one of our higher education advisers if you’d like to find out more…