About this course
Planetary Health and Climate Resilient Health Systems
A master course for EWUU students – choose your preferred package:
5 ECTS – 8 ECTS
To make the course more widely accessible to students across the EWUU Alliance network (UU/UMCU, TU/e and WUR), there are 42 different ‘packages’ through which this course can be followed. All students will work together and take the same course but will do so in different capacities. The online modules also allow students more flexibility to fit the course load into their schedules more easily. The two 'course packages' are:
- Package 1: Full-time for 6-weeks (8 ECTS)
- Package 2: Part-time for 6-weeks (5 ECTS)
To register for one of these course packages, please press the ‘register’ button in the right-hand menu AND send an email to Julia Addison at J.Addison@umcutrecht.nl. In this email you mention:
- Full name and student-number
- Institution (UU/UMC, WUR or TU/e) and Master’s program that you are currently following
- Preferred package (1 or 2)
- Any questions that you might have about the course
Note that you can register for this course until January 15 by sending an email to Julia Addison.
Please find more information about the content of the course and the packages below.
About this course
Since the dawn of humanity, human life has been intricately intertwined with the stability of Earth's natural systems. Both living and non-living components that make up our biosphere determine our continued health and well-being. That being said, we are on the cusp of change, as our daily activities, consumption and exploitation of natural resources (mostly non-renewable) are putting enormous stress on our planet and are deemed to be unsustainable. The inseparable relationship between the health and survival of humankind and the planet is best captured in the concept of Planetary health. Planetary health aims to identify new pathways that will support the renewed relationship between humans and Earth's natural systems - in a way that society can continue responding to their needs without overburdening their environment and the Earth's natural systems.
Through a combination of online modules, in-class workshops and interactive (international) online seminars, students will gain an in-depth understanding of the complexities and possible trade-offs necessary to build health systems supportive of both human and environmental health and respond effectively to climate change.
This course provides students with the opportunity to work on an interdisciplinary team to tackle real-world problems through challenge-based learning. In collaboration with external stakeholders, including clinicians, students from EWUU Alliance partners (TU/e, WUR and UU/UMCU) and will work together to develop solutions to their presented challenge for more climate-resilient and just health systems. Additionally, students will collaborate with international students to develop an infographic to present to the class. This assignment provides students with an excellent and essential opportunity for not only interdisciplinary but international and intercultural collaboration to dive into the complex and persistent issue of planetary health.
Course learning objectives
After completing this course, students are expected to be able to:
- Display understanding of the concepts of sustainability in healthcare, from the perspectives of health systems, climate resilience, and health equity and justice
- Discuss the relation between these concepts, possible trade-offs and how these relate to Global Goals
- Analyze with stakeholders how these concepts relate to the project, and from there identify a specific group challenge
- Evaluate existing(?) approaches and solutions relating to their specific challenge
- Create actionable solutions to the challenge that contributes to more climate-resilient and just health systems
- Effectively collaborate within international, interdisciplinary teams and with external stakeholders
- Effectively communicate scientific findings and solutions to an inter and trans-disciplinary audience
Format of the class
This course follows two primary methods of learning:
- Online modules aimed to deliver a comprehensive yet easy to follow course content. The online modules primarily revolve around the 3 course concepts, climate resilience, health systems, and health equity and justice. Weekly online (non-graded) quizzes will be held to help students test their understanding of these online modules and identify gaps for further class discussion. The online modules are individually taken and certain modules can be prepared in advance for students whose university periods start earlier than the official course start date. Understanding of course concepts delivered through the online modules is assessed through an individual essay.
- In class workshops, guided workgroups and interactive seminars centred around helping students gain the skills necessary to define, investigate and develop potential solutions for their group challenge. In-class group activities help guide students through the process of challenge-based learning and prepare for their group assignments.
Course structure: 2 ‘course package’ options
In order to make the course more widely accessible and appealing to students across the EWUU Alliance network (UU/UMCU, TU/e and WUR), there are two packages through which this course can be followed. All student packages will work together and take the same course but will do so in different capacities. Below, the two course packages are described.
Package 1 students take this course as full-time students for the full 6-week duration. For these students, the course is worth 8ECTS, equating to 224 hours of work spread across the in-class sessions, online learning modules, and self-study over the 6 weeks (~37hours per week). Package 1 students have a larger credit load from the course in comparison to Package 2 (who only take the course part-time) and Package 3 students (who take the course full-time but only for 3 weeks).
Package 2 students take this course as part-time students for the full 6-week duration. For these students, the course is worth 5ECTS, equating to 140 hours over the 6 weeks (or 23 hours per week). Some of the online modules can be covered before the official start date of this course to help to manage the workload more flexibly and at their own pace. When the course officially starts, the students will be introduced into their groups and meet their challenge agents in order to start on their challenges. Package 2 students will act as consults within the group work, rather than active group members, to reflect their part-time role within the course. As a consultant, Package 2 students will act as a ‘critical friend’ to their group, taking part in team meetings and providing feedback but not writing the group assignments themselves. Feedback should be provided within team meetings and on draft documents or plans.