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Session: 2022/23

Last modified: 29/03/2022 10:46:23

Title of Module: Housing, Acoustics & Health

Code: BIOL10023 SCQF Level: 10
(Scottish Credit and Qualifications Framework)
Credit Points: 20 ECTS: 10
(European Credit Transfer Scheme)
School:School of Health and Life Sciences
Module Co-ordinator:Ruth  Horan

Summary of Module

The aim of this module is to provide an understanding of how the built environment has an impact upon public health. There is a particular emphasis within the module on noise pollution (acoustics). The module begins with a historical consideration of the built environment within the UK as it relates to public health. Building construction processes and techniques are introduced along with the derivation of building standards, associated legislation and, the methods used in the identification of housing defects.  

The module covers single and multiple occupation dwellings, fixed and temporary accommodation, i.e. caravan sites, and will include detailed consideration of the Housing, Health and Safety Rating System (HHSRS) within the framework of the Housing (England & Wales) Act 2004 while interventions within Scotland will be covered under the Housing (Scotland) 2010 Act. 

Noise pollution will include the techniques and legislation associated with the measurement of sound, the analysis of noise and, the aural environment. A practical exercise within the module will introduce the methods used to measure the impacts of sound insulation.

The module will equip students with the knowledge required to enable detailed property inspections, to enable the identification of hazards to health within the built environment especially in the context of noise pollution, and to enable the production of reports and recommendations associated with professional interventions.

This module will also further develop the I am UWS Graduate Attributes.

Module Delivery Method
Face-To-FaceBlendedFully OnlineHybridCHybridOWork-based Learning
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Term used to describe the traditional classroom environment where the students and the lecturer meet synchronously in the same room for the whole provision.

A mode of delivery of a module or a programme that involves online and face-to-face delivery of learning, teaching and assessment activities, student support and feedback. A programme may be considered “blended” if it includes a combination of face-to-face, online and blended modules. If an online programme has any compulsory face-to-face and campus elements it must be described as blended with clearly articulated delivery information to manage student expectations

Fully Online
Instruction that is solely delivered by web-based or internet-based technologies. This term is used to describe the previously used terms distance learning and e learning.

Online with mandatory face-to-face learning on Campus

Online with optional face-to-face learning on Campus

Work-based Learning
Learning activities where the main location for the learning experience is in the workplace.

Campus(es) for Module Delivery
The module will normally be offered on the following campuses / or by Distance/Online Learning: (Provided viable student numbers permit)
Paisley:Ayr:Dumfries:Lanarkshire:London:Distance/Online Learning:Other:




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Term(s) for Module Delivery
(Provided viable student numbers permit).
Term 1check markTerm 2


Term 3


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Learning Outcomes: (maximum of 5 statements)

On successful completion of this module the student will be able to:

L1. Demonstrate a clear understanding of the relationships that exist between housing and health.

L2. Demonstrate knowledge of housing types within the UK, the techniques used in building construction and, an understanding of common building defects.

L3. Show an understanding of the principles associated with environmental noise and its control.

L4. Describe the primary legislation within the UK as it relates to the built environment.

L5. Understand how to inspect, assess, and audit premises to ensure that legislation as it relates to the built environment is complied with.

Employability Skills and Personal Development Planning (PDP) Skills
SCQF Headings During completion of this module, there will be an opportunity to achieve core skills in:
Knowledge and Understanding (K and U) SCQF Level 10.

The identification of hazards to health as they relate to the built environment. This will include knowledge of building techniques, building standards and common building defects. The legal underpinning of regulations and enforcement will be covered in order to support the knowledge acquisition process.

Practice: Applied Knowledge and Understanding SCQF Level 10.

The application of data derived from observation, inspection and/or audit for the purpose of making risk assessments in relation to human health.

The synthesis of theory and professional/vocational practice and standards, and the critical evaluation of theory, process, solutions and outcomes.

Generic Cognitive skills SCQF Level 10.

The application of underpinning knowledge to critically analyse, evaluate and generate effective information, ideas and concepts related to health and the built environment.
The derivation of solutions to specific problems in the built environment and the ability to justify the optimal resolutions for such problems.

Communication, ICT and Numeracy Skills SCQF Level 10.

Communicating clearly and concisely, orally and in writing, in an appropriate manner including, to non-practitioners without expertise in the area of Environmental Health (as would be required following inspections of premises) and in formal style in relation to major pieces of academic work.
Using IT effectively to organise and present information in an accessible and understandable form.

Autonomy, Accountability and Working with others SCQF Level 10.

Working autonomously over significant and critical academic and practical tasks, accepting ownership and accountability for both the process and outcomes.

Working and interacting, as part of a team, with individuals and groups from a variety of professional and vocational settings, developing the confidence and self-awareness to influence and, where appropriate lead, such groups.

Developing the confidence required to carry out building inspections against recognized standards and inform those inspected of the conclusions arrived at..

Pre-requisites: Before undertaking this module the student should have undertaken the following:
Module Code:
Module Title:
Co-requisitesModule Code:
Module Title:

* Indicates that module descriptor is not published.

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Learning and Teaching
Learning and Teaching
This module includes face-to-face teaching and personal study.
The module will include both lectures and practical work
Learning Activities
During completion of this module, the learning activities undertaken to achieve the module learning outcomes are stated below:
Student Learning Hours
(Normally totalling 200 hours):
(Note: Learning hours include both contact hours and hours spent on other learning activities)
Tutorial/Synchronous Support Activity36
Laboratory/Practical Demonstration/Workshop12
Independent Study152
200 Hours Total

**Indicative Resources: (eg. Core text, journals, internet access)

The following materials form essential underpinning for the module content and ultimately for the learning outcomes:

Lopez, R (2011), Building Better Health: A history of the built environment and public health (Planning, History and Environment Series)

Bassett, W H (2011), Clay's Handbook of Environmental Health; 20th edition. Taylor and Francis.

Watson R & Downey O (2008), The Little Red Book of Acoustics: A Practical Guide. Blue Tree Acoustics 2nd Edition

Bassett, W H (2007), Environmental Health Procedures; 7th edition. Taylor and Francis.

Housing (Scotland) Act 2010
Housing (England & Wales) Act 2004

(**N.B. Although reading lists should include current publications, students are advised (particularly for material marked with an asterisk*) to wait until the start of session for confirmation of the most up-to-date material)

Engagement Requirements

In line with the Academic Engagement Procedure, Students are defined as academically engaged if they are regularly engaged with timetabled teaching sessions, course-related learning resources including those in the Library and on the relevant learning platform, and complete assessments and submit these on time. Please refer to the Academic Engagement Procedure at the following link: Academic engagement procedure

Where a module has Professional, Statutory or Regulatory Body requirements these will be listed here:
Attendance at synchronous sessions lectures, workshops, practical and tutorials, completion of asynchronous activities, and submission of assessments to meet the learning outcomes of the module.

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Supplemental Information

Programme BoardBiological Sciences and Health
Assessment Results (Pass/Fail) No
Subject PanelBiology L7-11
ModeratorJan Miller
External ExaminerS Boyd
Accreditation Details
Version Number


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Assessment: (also refer to Assessment Outcomes Grids below)
Coursework (60%)
Comprises three written reports
Coursework (40%)
Comprises in-class tests
(N.B. (i) Assessment Outcomes Grids for the module (one for each component) can be found below which clearly demonstrate how the learning outcomes of the module will be assessed.
(ii) An indicative schedule listing approximate times within the academic calendar when assessment is likely to feature will be provided within the Student Handbook.)

Assessment Outcome Grids (Footnote A.)

Component 1
Assessment Type (Footnote B.) Learning Outcome (1) Learning Outcome (2) Learning Outcome (3) Learning Outcome (4) Learning Outcome (5) Weighting (%) of Assessment ElementTimetabled Contact Hours
Class test (written)check markcheck markcheck markcheck markcheck mark402

Component 2
Assessment Type (Footnote B.) Learning Outcome (1) Learning Outcome (2) Learning Outcome (3) Learning Outcome (4) Learning Outcome (5) Weighting (%) of Assessment ElementTimetabled Contact Hours
Report of practical/ field/ clinical workcheck markcheck markcheck markcheck markcheck mark6022
Combined Total For All Components100% 24 hours

A. Referred to within Assessment Section above
B. Identified in the Learning Outcome Section above

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  1. More than one assessment method can be used to assess individual learning outcomes.
  2. Schools are responsible for determining student contact hours. Please refer to University Policy on contact hours (extract contained within section 10 of the Module Descriptor guidance note).
    This will normally be variable across Schools, dependent on Programmes &/or Professional requirements.

Equality and Diversity
In line with current legislation (Equality Act, 2010) and the UWS Equality, Diversity, and Human Rights Code, our modules are accessible and inclusive, with reasonable adjustment for different needs where appropriate. Module materials comply with University guidance on inclusive learning and teaching, and specialist assistive equipment, support provision and adjustment to assessment practice will be made in accordance with UWS policy and regulations. Where modules require practical and/or laboratory based learning or assessment required to meet accrediting body requirements the University will make reasonable adjustment such as adjustable height benches or assistance of a ‘buddy’ or helper.
Please refer to the UWS Equality and Diversity Policy at the following link: UWS Equality and Diversity Policy

UWS Equality and Diversity Policy
(N.B. Every effort will be made by the University to accommodate any equality and diversity issues brought to the attention of the School)

2014 University of the West of Scotland

University of the West of Scotland is a Registered Scottish Charity.

Charity number SC002520.