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BFY225 Health Promotion and Preventive Work

Course description for academic year 2019/2020

Contents and structure

This course is directed at health promotion and preventive work. Focus is on the people, environment and the relation between people and environment. Health promotion is described as the process of enabling people to get increased control over-, and improve their health. To reach this goal, it is necessary to identify needs and aspirations, and through motivational work and social support, guide people to learning and developement, in order to cope better within their environment. The course is also directed towards preventive work, where focus is on persons movement in relation to their work environment, and the process of making work arenas more safe and healthy. To reach this goal it is necessary to identify and reduce physical and psychosocial risk factors, and increase environmental and personal factors promoting health. (The Ottawa Charter for Health Promotion, 1986. The Norwegian Act of Working environment, 2005. The Norwegian Act of Community based health- and caring services, 2011.)

Learning Outcome

A student who has completed the course should have the following learning outcomes defined in terms of knowledge, skills and general competence:

The student...

  • is familiar with health problems and risk factors in groups, related to lifespan and socio-cultural differences
  • has knowledge about interactions between environment and groups / individuals
  • is familiar with legislation relevant for HPPW
  • has knowledge about professional approaches within the field of HPPW
  • has basic knowledge about innovation related to approaches in HPPW

The student...

  • can apply an ergonomic approach in HPPW
  • masters testing / retesting of physical capacity
  • can plan and apply physical activity in HPPW
  • can apply motivational work
  • masters collection, analysis and presentation of data
  • masters written and oral presentation

General competence:
The student...

  • has insight into professional issues relevant to HPPW
  • can plan and carry out systematic work forms; evidence based practice, project work and research methods relevant for the field of HPPW
  • can communicate pedagogical perspectives to HPPW

Entry requirements

Admission to bachelor in Physiotherapi at HVL and incoming exchange students from partner institutions.

Teaching methods

The course is part of the 4th semester in the bachelor program. The language of instruction is English, and the course is open to students from partner institutions in the Erasmus program. Students are assessed at the end of the module. The course is centered on 3 projects that all use movement and physical activity in one way or another. Project work is compulsory. Students work in groups. Project work includes field work at diverse arenas in addition to work at Western Norway University of Applied Science. A tutor is assigned to each group. Tutoring is by individual appointments in relation to each project. The students are expected to work on the project beyond tutorials. Practical placement. The course incorporates one week compulsory practical placement: Two days at a worksite, where focus is on ergonomic factors; exploring and suggesting / implementing interventions (project 1).Three days at a public health arena where focus is on physical activity and motivational work; exploration, interventions and evaluation (Project 3). It is assumed that the student study 40 hours per week.

Compulsory learning activities

Accomplished compulsory practical placement 5 days.


Project 1 Work and health; group based project report and a poster presentation of the Project.

Project 2 Testing physical capacity. Presentation of group work about statistics in a seminar.

Both assignments are supervised by an appointed supervisor from Western Norway University of Applied Sciences. The mandatory assignments are valid in 2 semesters.


Mandatory work:

Introduction lectures

project work (groupwork, fieldwork, seminar)

practical seesions included theoretical introductions


Written group exam and Adjusting oral examination
Written group exam: Project 3 The health promotive work is the exam project. In this project, the student groups cooperate with selected target groups who could benefit from physical activity. The motivational material developed during the project shall be handed in together with a report. A written report inclusive developed material. 

Adjusting oral examination: Group based presentation in a seminar (20 minutes). Answering questions from opposing group (10 minutes) and examiners (10 minutes).  All group members must actively take part in presenting the group work.

Details regarding the practical set up, including information on opposing group will be given in lectures.  The group is free to decide which aspects of the work they want to present in the seminar. The presentation can have any appropriate format selected by the students. It is however, important to keep pedagogical aspects in mind; the ability to motivate and pass on / exchange knowledge should be reflected in the presentation. In the seminar, one other group (the opposing group) has a responsibility to critically evaluate the presenting groups written paper, focusing on consistency, strengths and weaknesses. Each group is responsible of sending a copy of their work to members in the opposing groups. The seminar is arranged across 2 days. 

Grading scale 
The grading scale used is A to F. Grade A is the highest passing grade in the grading scale, grade F is a fail.

New exam
In case of failure, the group hand in a revised version of the group work and a new adjusting oral examination will follow.