Integrating Fifth Wave Thinking into Professional Practice

Short Course - 5 credits at SCQF level 11
Integrating Fifth Wave Thinking into Professional Practice 5 SCQF credits Level 11

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. The concept of a Fifth Wave of public health builds on and transcends the previous four: clean water and sanitation, tackling infections, delivering universal health services and reducing disease risk factors.

 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 course has one study option

Mode of Attendance

  • Online Learning

Mode of Study

  • Part Time

Start Date


Course Length

8 weeks

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. 

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


The University regularly reviews its courses. Course content and structure may change over time. See our course and module disclaimer for more information.

Learning Methods

This module is delivered by Online 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.


You will have the choice of an assessment method:

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

Academic Support

The Inclusion Centre advises and supports students who disclose a sensory or mobility impairment, chronic medical condition, mental health issue, dyslexia and other specific learning differences. Applicants are encouraged to arrange a pre-entry visit to discuss any concerns and to view the facilities.

Online Learning & Support

All online learning students, benefit from using our collaborative virtual learning environment, CampusMoodle. You will be provided with 24/7 online access to your learning material and resources, along with the ability to interact with your class members and tutors for discussion and support.

Study Skills Support

The Study Support Team provides training and support to all students in:

  • Academic writing
  • Study skills (note taking, exam techniques, time management, presentation)
  • Maths and statistics
  • English language
  • Information technology support

Library Support

The Library offers support for your course, including the books, eBooks, and journals you will need. We also offer online reading lists for many modules, workshops and drop-ins on searching skills and referencing, and much more.


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.

English Language Requirements

  • Course fees: £270

Additional Costs

The following course-related costs are not included in the course fees:


For new intakes course fees are reviewed and published annually for each mode of delivery. Tuition fees are fixed for the duration of a course at the rate confirmed in the offer letter.  For further information see:


Have a question about the course? Get in touch with the Health and Exercise Science CPD team and we'll do our best to help.

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Taking this course, you will have access to some of the world's best facilities. 

We've invested more than £100 million in the development of our campus, new facilities and new resources.

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