List of Free Online Public Health Courses and Classes

Jan 02, 2019

Online Public Health Course Information

Free online courses or access to course materials related to public health are available through the OpenCourseWare (OCW) efforts of a few universities. The courses and materials listed here don't offer a means of earning college credit; however, students may find and access a variety of materials that examine the history of public health, its role in modern society and ethical challenges to implementing successful public health programs, among other topics.

Johns Hopkins University

Johns Hopkins School of Public Health OCW makes a wide variety of course materials available to public health teachers and students from courses in several departments, including environmental health sciences, epidemiology and international health. Course materials typically include a syllabus, schedule, lectures in various formats and readings.

  • Ethical Issues in Public Health addresses the challenges that come up in promoting public health in a community. Through seven text-based case studies, students can explore ethical issues like how to distribute scarce vaccines and prioritize global health issues.
  • History of Public Health examines the development of public health theories and practices, looking at different ways societies have perpetuated or reduced disease. Seven audio lectures cover topics that include the development of practices like quarantines, sanitation and immunization.
  • Population Change and Public Health examines how demographic factors affect a region's ability to provide public health services, with a particular focus on reproductive health in Sub-Saharan Africa. Thirteen lectures presented through slides and audio files are available.
  • Public Health Biology looks at the viral, bacterial and environmental causes of specific diseases. Six text-based modules investigate topics like cancer, biotechnology and pathogens.
  • Public Health Practice 101 introduces students to careers in public health as well as its basic concepts, services and functions through nine lectures presented as slides.
  • Public Health Toxicology teaches students about environmental factors that can affect public health. Accessing text-based lectures through Adobe Reader, students may learn about a variety of toxicants through case studies.
  • Social and Behavioral Aspects of Public Health delves into how gender, culture, race and economic status affect the implementation of public health programs. Nine unit lectures are deliverable as slides, for which students need Adobe Reader to access.

Massachusetts Institute of Technology

  • Chemicals in the Environment: Toxicology and Public Health shows how environmental toxins can cause human disease. Through case studies, students examine topics that include risk assessment and management, biostatistics and epidemiology. Text document notes, including several graphs and charts, are available as PDFs for several lectures. Additional materials include a syllabus with textbook list, an assignment list and a quiz.

The Open University

The Open University, a provider of distance-education programs based in the United Kingdom, offers free online course materials through its LearningSpace site.

  • Introducing Public Health gives an overview of the public health field and factors that determine health. Students learn about health promotion through a video case study set in Coventry. The six-hour unit also includes text-based lessons with links to additional readings and learning activities.
  • Public Health and Mental Health Promotion is six-hour unit that explores public health strategies for addressing mental health problems. Three printable text-based lessons are available with activities and a reference list.
  • Public Health in Community Settings: An Introduction is a five-hour unit that introduces students to gathering information about communities to determine public health interventions. Students may learn community development skills through three printable lessons.
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