UEL and THT team up to repeat success of a unique programme in gay men’s health promotion

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The University of East London (UEL) is relaunching a University Certificate in Gay Men’s Health Promotion in collaboration with Terrence Higgins Trust, the UK’s leading HIV and sexual health charity.

The certificate was first launched last year and proved so successful that it will run for a second year. The one-year programme is designed for people interested in or already working in and around the field of gay men’s health promotion, enabling them to develop relevant skills and competency whilst increasing their understanding of key issues currently shaping debate in the field.

Areas of study will include positive mental health, current health policies and strategies, stigma and discrimination, epidemiology of HIV, basic research methods, and cultural and historical perspectives of gay men’s health promotion.

Students will also learn about the variety of professional opportunities within the field, before going on to a supported and structured work placement during their second semester at either Terence Higgins Trust or one of its professional partner organisations. Students will be able to build valuable experience in professional areas including campaign development, resource production, training, and editorial, outreach and research work.

The programme is led by Ilana Morrissey, Senior Lecturer in UEL’s School of Health and Bioscience, and Will Nutland, Head of Health Promotion at Terence Higgins Trust.

Ilana said: “This is a successful and innovative collaboration between UEL and the Terence Higgins Trust. The programme gives students both an academic and a professional grounding in the areas most central to the field of gay men’s health promotion. It’s a unique and valuable opportunity for career development within this important sector of public health, especially as students will be matched with interesting and challenging work placements that build on their own professional interests and goals. We have had a splendid first year and are looking forward to building on that success.”

Will added: “We are very excited about collaborating with the University of East London for a second year on this pioneering programme. The programme centres on developing skills, abilities and knowledge related to gay men’s health promotion. It could in effect open the door to a career in the sector, or could help to support a person’s career development if already working in the sector.”

Comments from students from 2006/7 who took part in the course include:

“I feel more enlightened in various issues of gay men’s health”

“I had excellent networking opportunities with course participants and key players in gay men’s health promotion”

“I feel this course will really help my career development”

The University Certificate in Gay Men’s Health Promotion will begin at UEL’s Stratford campus this September. For further information, contact Ilana Morrissey on 020 8223 4535 or i.morrissey@uel.ac.uk or Will Nutland on 020 7812 1791 or will.nutland@tht.org.uk

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