Alastair Tomlinson


Job Title:            Senior Lecturer in Environmental & Public Health

Room No:          D1.05
Email Address:

Phone​:          + 44 (0) 29 2041 1528​



Alastair's professional background is the interface of environmental health and public health practice. During his local government career he dealt with noise pollution, communicable disease control, health improvement and environmental health policy and strategy. Alastair led an all-Wales local authority partnership group successfully implementing smoke free public places, and developed an organisational development package to build capacity for health improvement in local authorities in Wales. He holds a Masters in Public Health from Cardiff University, and a Postgraduate Certificate in Teaching for Higher Education from Cardiff Met.

Alastair delivers modules and lectures relating to the following main topics:

  • Public health, the social determinants of health and health inequalities
  • Epidemiology and population health assessment
  • Health protection: particularly communicable disease prevention and outbreak management, and the use of health protection law to protect public health
  • Health impact assessment and influencing public health policy
  • Development and implementation of public health interventions
  • Research methods in public health and quantitative data analysis techniques

Alastair is Programme Director for the MSc in Applied Public Health, and recently led the design and successful validation of Cardiff Met's BSc (Hons) Public Health programme.


Research interests

Alastair's research interests focus on the effectiveness of environmental public health interventions in addressing health inequities, and how interventions and services can be tailored to maximise positive health outcomes in disadvantaged individuals and communities and reduce inequalities. He is also interested in pedagogic investigations around effective curriculum design for professional qualifications in public health and environmental health, in particular the role of problem-based learning and work-based learning.

Enterprise activity

Alastair has expertise across a range of public health issues and techniques. He has an in-depth understanding of health protection legislation in England and Wales and how it can be used in practice to protect health and prevent the spread of disease and contamination. In 2013 he provided a research report for Welsh Government outlining epidemiological study designs to develop the evidence base on the population health impacts of cosmetic piercing in Wales. He also has expertise in health impact assessment, influencing policy development for public health, and public health intervention design.

Alastair is also experienced in designing and delivering CPD courses and professional development programmes. He has an excellent understanding of professional qualification and registration frameworks in public health and environmental health, and regularly contributes to UK-wide developments such as the pilot Advanced Practice (Public Health) framework and the review of the Public Health Skills & Knowledge Framework.

Summary of enterprise activity:

  • Applying Health Protection Legislation (2010 onwards, Client: Public Health Wales and local authorities): designed and delivered a validated 2-day Masters-level CPD course for health protection professionals to enable them to understand and apply the new health protection legal framework in England & Wales. Following this successful and well-received course, Alastair delivered further 1-day courses to over 100 delegates from public health agencies and local authorities around Wales. He continues to deliver CPD events on this subject as a core element of Public Health Wales' Communicable Disease Lead Officer Training Programme.
  • Social Determinants and Health Inequalities (2012 onwards, Client: Public Health Wales): designed and delivered 1-day CPD course for public health professionals and the wider workforce for public health. (with Gayle Davis).
  • Cosmetic Piercing – developing the evidence base (2013, Client: Welsh Government Health Protection Division): to support policy development and Ministerial statements on legislation relating to the health impacts of cosmetic piercing, Welsh Government identified that research might be needed to investigate the prevalence of cosmetic piercing in Wales and the associated health risks. This research report evaluated potential approaches for investigating these issues, and proposed a phased research design (cross-sectional study followed by case-control study) accompanied by indicative budget figures.
  • Environmental Health vocational qualification design (2013-14, Client: Saudi Skills Standards & AlphaPlus): Phase 1: Undertake a review of draft Environmental Health National Occupational Standards to ensure that they are of a sufficient standard and currency to be sent for wider consultation with Saudi employers. Phase 2: develop qualification documentation suitable for consultation with Saudi employers and colleges and produce final qualification documentation.                            
  • "Introduction to Public Health" training programme (2013-14, Client: Public Health Wales): following successful tender, scoped and designed training programme culminating in final report to client (with Gayle Davis).
  • Advanced Practice (Public Health) Work-Based Learning programme (2014 onwards, Client: Public Health Wales): following successful tender, scoped and designed work-based learning programme to support registered practitioners working towards advanced practice recognition in public health. Implementation of the programme is now underway in partnership with Public Health Wales. (with Gayle Davis).


Research outputs

Tomlinson, A. & Brunt, H. (2013), The health impacts of environmental nuisances and their contribution to health inequities – a review, Journal of Environmental Health Research, 13(1): 68-82.

Brunt, H. & Tomlinson, A. (2013), Annoyance from common environmental hazards: a cause for public health concern?, Chemical Hazards and Poisons Report, 23: 31-35.

Hogan, K. & Tomlinson, A. (2012), Evaluation of the impact and effectiveness of safeguarding children training on dental practice, Annual Clinical Journal of Dental Health, 2:48-52

Tomlinson, A. (2008). Mapping of National Occupational Standards for Health Protection against undergraduate module content. Report for Skills for Health (Sector Skills Council)

Conference presentations

Presentation at the Advance HE’s Annual Teaching and Learning Conference 2019, Teaching in the spotlight: Innovation for teaching excellence being held on 2-4 July 2019 at Northumbria University. Presentation entitled - Contextualised academic skills induction to aid transition and retention for undergraduate and postgraduate students. (Stuart Scott, Chris Dennis,  Gayle Davis, Alastair Tomlinson)

Tomlinson, A.G. Building capacity & confidence for evidence based environmental health practice: development of a practitioner-research mentoring scheme
May 2016. Presented at 14th World Environmental Health Congress, Lilongwe, Malawi.

Tomlinson, A.G. The CIEH Practitioner-Research Mentoring Scheme: building capacity and confidence for evidence-based environmental health practice
November 2015. CIEH Research Practice Conference, Middlesex University, London.

Tomlinson, A.G. Key factors in successful outbreak management: lessons learned in the United Kingdom
July 2014. Presented at 13th World Environmental Health Congress, Las Vegas, USA.

Tomlinson, A.G. & Davis, G. Protecting and improving environmental health by influencing policy
July 2014. Workshop delivered at 13th World Environmental Health Congress, Las Vegas, USA.

Tomlinson, A.G. Applying threshold concepts to undergraduate environmental health curriculum design
July 2014. Presented at International Faculty Forum, 13th World Environmental Health Congress, Las Vegas, USA.

Tomlinson, A.G. The public health significance of environmental nuisance in Wales
May 2012. Presented at 12th World Environmental Health Congress, Vilnius, Lithuania

Tomlinson, A.G. Problem-based learning in applied research methods for environmental health
May 2012. Presented at International Faculty Forum, 12th World Environmental Health Congress, Vilnius, Lithuania.

Tomlinson, A G. Problem-based learning in applied research methods for environmental health
March 2011. Presented at Celebrating the Past and Embracing the Future: Evolution and Innovation in Problem-based learning (Higher Education Academy conference, Grange-over-sands, Cumbria)

Tomlinson, A G & Belcher, P C. Developing an international perspective in the environmental health curriculum.
September 2010. Presented at 11th World Environmental Health Congress, Vancouver (International Federation of Environmental Health)

Tomlinson, A G. Using National Occupational Standards to evaluate the environmental health undergraduate curriculum
September 2010. Presented at 11th World Environmental Health Congress, Vancouver (International Federation of Environmental Health) 

Tomlinson, A G & Belcher, P C. Developing postgraduate training pathways for public health practitioners & the wider workforce
March 2010. Poster displayed at UK Public Health Association Annual Public Health Forum 2010 (Bournemouth)

Tomlinson, A G. Mapping of National Occupational Standards for Health Protection against Environmental Health undergraduate module content
March 2009. Poster displayed at UK Public Health Association Annual Public Health Forum 2009 (Brighton)

Tomlinson, A G. Implementing smoke free public places in Wales
April 2008. Poster displayed at UK Public Health Association Annual Public Health Forum 2008 (Liverpool)

Tomlinson, A G. Can the environmental health profession in Wales achieve its Vision for 2012?
June 2006. Presented at 9th World Environmental Health Congress, Dublin (International Federation of Environmental Health)

External Links

Alastair is a Chartered Environmental Health Practitioner (CEnvH), Fellow of the Higher Education Academy, and a Voting Member of the Chartered Institute of Environmental Health (MCIEH). He has been appointed by the UK Public Health Register to assess portfolios submitted by candidates for Public Health Practitioner registration. Alastair is also an appointed assessor for the CIEH Professional Practice Portfolio and the CIEH Professional Interview, key aspects of the qualification process to become an Environmental Health Practitioner.

​Academic external roles

  • External Examiner, BSc (Hons) Environmental Health, Leeds Beckett University (until October 2018)
  • External Examiner, BSc (Hons) Environmental Health Studies, Leeds Beckett University & Defence College of Health Education and Training (until October 2018)

Professional external roles

  • Scheme Co-ordinator, CIEH Practitioner-Research Mentoring Scheme
  • Executive Board, CIEH Education & Research Special Interest Group
  • Academic Member, Welsh Collaboration for Health & Environment Steering Group
  • Member, Communicable Disease Expert Panel (Directors of Public Protection Wales)
  • Member, Welsh Government Communicable Disease Law Advisory Group
  • Member, Health Protection/Lead Officer Training Steering Group, Public Health Wales