Online course in Health & Psychology

The Impact of Climate Change on Public Health

Explore the impact of climate change on public health, and discover ways to influence behaviours and policies at all levels.

  • Duration 4 weeks
  • Weekly study 4 hours
  • Learn Free
  • Extra benefits From $69 Find out more

Explore the direct and indirect ways that climate change affects health

On this course, you will explore the impact of climate change on public health, and learn about both the direct and indirect ways in which climate change is affecting health around the globe.

You will begin by examining current trends in climate change and the methods used to evaluate the continuously emerging data in this field. You will go on to discover how to leverage publicly available data to campaign for changes to behaviours or policies at both a local and regional level.

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Skip to 0 minutes and 16 secondsSo many people will be familiar with the most obvious effect of climate change like increasing temperatures. Sea level rise but can these things really affect human health. What's the evidence that that these types of climatic changes can really have an impact on public health. So I think environmental changes are huge driver for biological systems affecting genes to species to entire ecosystems and ultimately human health. And I think this makes climate change one of the major challenges facing humanity in the 21st century. Broadly speaking you can think of it as being three systems. We've got the climate system.

Skip to 0 minutes and 53 secondsWe've got natural systems and we've got the human system and it's the way that these three systems interact that tells us how climate change might ultimately impact human health. There's already been a change of one degree in global mean temperatures and health impacts are already accruing. There are already people being exposed to heat waves. There are already vulnerable populations feeling the effects of climate change. There's never been a better time to act on climate change than now. There's never been a cheaper time to act on climate change than now climate change is here.

Skip to 1 minute and 29 secondsClimate change is real and it's time that individuals, companies, governments, politicians step up to the plate in the spirit of the Paris agreement and work out a way to confront this global societal challenge. It's a great time to be thinking about solutions to climate change it's a great time to be thinking about how we can live healthier and happier lives and at the same time battling climate change and emissions causing climate change.

What topics will you cover?

  • What are the climate change themes and trends in relation to public health and is there anything we can do to improve things?
  • Who are the key contributors to climate change, what are they doing and how are their harmful activities being countered?
  • How can we prove that the impact on health is linked to climate change?
  • How to implement an action plan to improve health outcomes impacted by climate change

When would you like to start?

Most FutureLearn courses run multiple times. Every run of a course has a set start date but you can join it and work through it after it starts. Find out more

  • Available now
    This course started 9 Sep 2019

What will you achieve?

By the end of the course, you'll be able to...

  • Recognise the relationship between climate change and health and the associated themes and trends.
  • Understand the nature of complex problems resulting from interconnected social, political, and climate change issues, and the associated challenges.
  • Articulate key public health concepts related to climate change and describe how they are likely to exacerbate existing problems of social and health inequality.
  • Analyse the continuously emerging and publically available data for climate/health using applicable methods and tools for examining big data.
  • Evaluate the impact of implementing a specific action (locally, regionally, nationally, internationally) on a specific health indicator.
  • Identify your own role as a climate change campaigner and the ways to overcome personal, social, political or organisational barriers to change.
  • Create an action plan to effect change further to insight (e.g. from data and collaboration)

Who is the course for?

This course is suitable for anyone interested in climate change or health, particularly those working in public or private healthcare organisations or academic research in this area.

Who will you learn with?

Edward Meinert

Edward Meinert

I am a chartered engineer and my research interests are centred on digital health and application of public health to global challenges.

Kris Murray

Kris Murray

I am an ecologist with interests in global change, conservation and health. I work on problems where these key themes are interconnected.

Who developed the course?

The European Institute of Innovation and Technology is a unique EU body boosting Europe’s ability to innovate, creating pan-European partnerships to find innovative solutions to global challenges.

EIT Health promotes healthy living, active ageing and improvements in healthcare.


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Available until 31 October 2019. T&Cs apply.