Integrating Fifth Wave Thinking into Professional Practice 5 Credits @SCQF Level 11

1. Overview

The Fifth Wave was launched in 2003 by key thinkers in Scotland including; Professor Phil Hanlon, Dr Margaret Hannah and Andrew Lyon and was published by the Scottish Council Foundation.

Since then, the Fifth Wave has continued to gather momentum and interest, influencing a wide range of diverse organisations including: the Scottish Government, NHS Boards, NHS Education Scotland, Local Authorities, HEI’s, Scottish Prison Service and local communities nationally and internationally. For over ten years, a small body of public health practitioners in partnership with the International Futures Forum have been generating such thinking which is beginning to inform practice with powerful results.

The thinking revolves around the concept of a Fifth Wave of public health which both builds on and transcends the previous four namely: clean water and sanitation, tackling infections, delivering universal health services and reducing risk factors for disease. The module adopts a holistic, relational and active learning approach which is readily transferable to other health and social care settings. Integrating Fifth Wave Thinking Into Professional Practice takes these ideas to the wider health and social care community and opens up the possibility of working in radically more effective ways with communities, clients and patients.

This module is a collaboration between RGU, Dr Margaret Hannah and Andrew Lyon and has been developed to give practitioners in the health and social care arenas the opportunity to explore Fifth Wave within their own professional practice.

2. What you will study

There are three distinct topic areas within the module:

  • Topic 1 – Current thinking about health
  • Topic 2 – What next?
  • Topic 3 – Learning Journeys

You will be exploring:

  • Fifth Wave Competencies
  • Holistic health
  • Cultural influences of health
  • Wider determinants of health
  • Wellbeing
  • Values
  • Ecological perspectives

You will have the choice of an assessment method:

  • An oral presentation supported by a PowerPoint presentation.
  • 1500 word written piece of coursework.

3. How you will learn

The module is delivered by Online Distance Learning using the University's Virtual Learning Environment, CampusMoodle and therefore attendance at the University is not required.

You will be engaging with your peers and tutors through innovative technologies including; the virtual classroom, synchronous and asynchronous chat and discussion forums.

The module content has been designed to be interactive and you will be expected to share learning with your peers and tutors. Reflection is a key aspect of this learning. The module team, Andrew Lyon and Dr Margaret Hannah have developed a set of videos designed to inspire your practice!

4. Entry Requirements

Applicants are expected to have a degree/honours degree, plus one year's experience in health and/or social care practice. For international students IELTS 7 or its equivalent in TOEFL is required.

5. Course Fees

For Academic Year 2017/2018

All Students

  • £240 .

For Academic Year 2016/2017

All Students

  • £230 .

For Academic Year 2015/2016

UK/EU Students

  • £220 .

International Students

  • £295 .

For Academic Year 2014/2015

UK/EU Students

  • £210 .

International Students

  • £285 .

For Academic Year 2013/2014

UK/EU Students

  • £205 .

International Students

  • £275 .


Course fees are reviewed periodically and so are subject to change for new applicants. All tuition fees are fixed for the duration of a course at the rate confirmed in your offer letter. You will also be liable to pay a graduation fee of £40 before receiving a University award.

For further information see Student Finance pages


6. How to apply

Please complete the application form and forward it to

Health Sciences CPD Application Form 2016-17 (DOC 230KB)

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5 Credits @SCQF Level 11

Start Date


Course Length

8 weeks

Mode of Attendance

Distance Learning

Academic School
School of Health Sciences
More Information:
Health and Exercise CPD

The Future of Public Health

This book bridges the gap between current public health values and skills and those required to tackle future challenges.

  • The Future of Public Health -
  • Introductory video

    Integrating Fifth Wave Thinking Into Professional Practice - short introduction to the module's aims.