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MH903 - Sociology of Health, Health Policy and the Social Determinants of Health

  • Module code: MH903
  • Module name: Sociology of Health, Health Policy and the Social Determinants of Health
  • Department: WMS, Postgraduate Taught & CPD
  • Credit: 20

Content and teaching | Assessment | Availability

Module content and teaching

Principal aims

This module aims to give students a thorough grounding in the social and environmental determinants of child health. An in-depth understanding is essential to high quality practice in child health whether abroad or in the UK.

Principal learning outcomes

Students will be able to: Understand key concepts and theoretical approaches within the sociology of health and illness; Understand different health beliefs and knowledge and the social nature of relations between medical and lay worlds; Identify processes of social transformation and change in health, medicine and society; Outline commonly used concepts of and explanations for poverty and the implications of these for practice; Describe poverty and income patterns in the UK; Demonstrate an awareness of the distribution of poverty between different social groups and diversity of experience between and within groups; Show an understanding of how the experience of poverty impacts on daily living, including health; Consider some implications of poverty for public health and health promotion; Be able to identify the major patterns of health inequalities in the UK; Be able to describe the explanations most commonly used to account for inequalities in health; Be able to evaluate explanations for inequalities in health; Demonstrate that you have a basic understanding of how material and social circumstances shape health behaviour; Be able to describe dilemmas in defining ethnicity; Be able to identify connections between ethnicity and health outcomes; Understand the broad pattern of epidemiological evidence; Be able to identify some appropriate responses to inequalities by ethnic group; Identify why health inequalities need to be reduced; Identify the main ways in which health inequalities can be reduced; Describe and appraise current national and local policies designed to reduce inequalities in health; Apply the different explanations of health inequalities in the UK to international settings; Understand the different social and political context of health inequalities in international settings; Identify elements of health inequalities that are generalisable and those that are specific to country settings; Understand the value of local expertise and knowledge in relation to health and illness and the relevance of plural health seeking behaviour; Understand the ways in which disability has been theorised in the UK in the past two decades; Identify the implications for practice and service provision of different theoretical models; Be able to describe the patterns and trends of some of the major health problems for men and women during adulthood; Be able to describe some of the major aspects of men’s and women’s health in adulthood; Be able to describe the health-related behaviours that have the greatest influence on adult men’s and women’s health; Be aware of the factors that affect the use of health care facilities by adult men and women; Understand sociological analysis and critiques of health promotion and the `new' public health; Be able to distinguish between a sociology of and a sociology for health promotion; Identify recent shifts in government health policies, particularly in relation to the recent White Paper Choosing Health; Be able to critically evaluate recent attempts to address public health issues.

Timetabled teaching activities

5 Days

Departmental link

Module assessment

Assessment group Assessment name Percentage
20 CATS (Module code: MH903-20)
A (Assessed work only) Assessed Course Work 100%

Module availability

This module is available on the following courses:

  • Public Health (B902) - Year 2
  • Public Health (B902) - Year 3
  • Public Health (B902) - Year 4
  • Public Health (B902) - Year 5
  • Public Health (B902) - Year 6
Optional Core