Master of Public Health

Pathway: Methods and tools for the evaluation of environmental health risks

The Master 2 course in public health offers students a methods and tools for the evaluation of environmental health risks pathway, dispensed by the EHESP, Rennes 1 University and Rennes 2 University.


The Masters course in methods and tools for the evaluation of environmental health risks (M2) aims to train methodologists evaluating health risks in response to the requirements of environmental health decision-makers. It meets the skills framework of standard NF EN 16736: 2015 on the requirements for training in evaluation of health risks from chemical substances.

Target skills or abilities

Following training, the student should be able to assess the complexities and interdisciplinary nature of health risk assessment, and the need to consult and integrate other experts in the process if necessary. In addition to the special skills specific to each TU, the student should know and understand:

  • the principles of health risk assessment, the terminology and methodology, along with the stages of assessment of hazards, of assessment of exposure to these hazards and risk characterisation,
  • the basic principles of the statistics applying to health risk assessment,
  • application of health risk assessment in the context of public health and European Union legislation,
  • the main physicochemical properties of chemical substances relevant to health risk assessment,
  • principles governing compilation of recommendations and reference values relating to health, along with standards, and the use of these values,
  • main data and information sources,
  • uncertainty in health risk assessment and methods for determining and reducing this uncertainty,
  • the fundamental principles underlying the strategies used in health risk assessment when it comes to studying aggregated and cumulative risks,
  • toxicology test methods,
  • factors influencing the susceptibility of the various population subgroups and the way in which health risk assessment approaches differ according to population subgroup,
  • determination of priorities and phased approaches in health risk assessment.

They should be able:

  • to define the scope, limits and objective of health risk assessment in view of decision-making,
  • to undertake exhaustive document searches and to search the relevant databases to identify and collect information required for health risk assessment,
  • to make a critical assessment of data,
  • to make a critical analysis of a health risk assessment, to determine its limits and to evaluate the relevance of their conclusions in a public health or regulatory context,
  • to contribute to a documented health risk assessment.


Location : Rennes
Duration : 1 year (September 2019 to August 2020)
Teaching language : French
ECTS : 60 per year

The course

Teaching Units (TU)

  • Methodological bases in environmental health (4 TU out of 5): pollutant behaviour and measurement, epidemiology, toxicology, exposure assessment, introduction to health risk assessment. Some TU are also part of the Masters in public health and environmental risks.
  • Health risk assessment tools: methods of identification of hazards and modelling of the body’s response, exposure modelling, advanced health risk assessment methods. Some TU are also part of the Toxicological risk assessment for consumers pathway at the Université de Bretagne Occidentale (UBO).
  • Practical health risk assessment: regulatory and economic background to chemical risk assessment, practical risk assessment, personal work: health risk assessment project. Some TU are also part of the Masters in public health and environmental risks.
  • Placement (February to June).

Career openings

  • Risk evaluator in a health safety agency, research department or company.
  • Studies can be continued to PhD level.


Scientific Master 1 fluent in French, with basic skills in statistics and chemistry.


Applications for 2019-2020 academic year are closed.

Foreign students

You want to begin or continue your higher education in France, and you live in a country using the Campus France/CEF online procedure?

Follow the 2 steps



Philippe GLORENNEC, Professor and researcher at EHESP School of Public Health –

Nathalie BONVALLOT, Professor and researcher at EHESP School of Public Health –

Admission office

Tél. : +33 (0) 2 99 02 27 83 –


Modified on 20 August 2019