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DEGREE REGULATIONS & PROGRAMMES OF STUDY 2013/2014 -
- ARCHIVE as at 1 September 2013 for reference only
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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of Social and Political Science : Social Policy

Postgraduate Course: Population Health and Health Policy (SCPL11017)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of Social and Political Science CollegeCollege of Humanities and Social Science
Course typeStandard AvailabilityAvailable to all students
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 11 (Postgraduate) Credits20
Home subject areaSocial Policy Other subject areaNone
Course website None Taught in Gaelic?No
Course descriptionThis course examines concepts and debates relating to public health, health inequalities and health policy in a global context. It enables students to understand the policy making process, to analyse the roles of key health policy actors, and to consider the relationship between evidence and policy in relation to health.

Public health emphasizes the dual objectives of population health improvement and the reduction of health inequalities; yet there is a lack of consensus over the principal determinants of health, appropriate policy approaches for achieving these goals, and effective strategies for engaging in the making of public policy. This course will introduce students to key concepts and principles in public health and policy analysis, exploring the role of public policy in meeting population health objectives. It offers a problem-focused and multi-disciplinary approach that draws on public health medicine, epidemiology, political science, public administration, sociology and political theory, with a normative focus on health equity a central theme throughout the course. Students will be provided with a conceptual framework within which to analyse the making of health policy, focusing on the varying distribution of power among different actors and stakeholders. Key theories of the state will be introduced, including its various functions in relation to population health, and we will explore changes in health policy associated with the ┐hollowing out┐ of the state via the increased role of markets, civil society, and international agencies. The course offers different approaches to understanding the policy process, looking at why some health issues obtain a privileged position within the policy agenda and why others are denied access to it, and emphasising the importance of understanding obstacles to effective implementation.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Additional Costs None
Information for Visiting Students
Pre-requisitesNone
Displayed in Visiting Students Prospectus?No
Course Delivery Information
Delivery period: 2013/14 Semester 1, Available to all students (SV1) Learn enabled:  Yes Quota:  60
Web Timetable Web Timetable
Course Start Date 16/09/2013
Breakdown of Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 200 ( Lecture Hours 10, Seminar/Tutorial Hours 20, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 166 )
Additional Notes
Breakdown of Assessment Methods (Further Info) Written Exam 0 %, Coursework 100 %, Practical Exam 0 %
No Exam Information
Summary of Intended Learning Outcomes
- Critically analyse the concept of health and its determinants at a population level, and consider the relevance of these for contemporary public policy
- Demonstrate a critical understanding of the range of factors that influence population health and the causes of health inequalities
- Critically apply a conceptual framework for analysis of the health policy process
- Critically assess theories of the state and their implications for the state's role in relation to health
- Consider the increasing role of market actors within the policy process
- Assess the varying roles of civil society organisations within the policy process
- Examine different theoretical approaches to understanding which health issues are situated on the policy agenda and to effective implementation of heath policy
- Evaluate the role of the health system in promoting health and reducing health inequalities at a population level
- Understand conceptual and methodological issues in measuring and monitoring health and health inequalities, and be able to interpret and critically appraise information on health and health inequalities
- Consider the role of scientific evidence in policy-making and examine competing models of the relationship between research and policy
Assessment Information
Assessment will be based on two components:
1) Input to online discussion fora. Students to submit a portfolio of contributions to course discussions, comprising three short written reflections on readings and three examples of engagement in online discussions (30%)
2) Written essay of 3,000 words (70%).
Special Arrangements
None
Additional Information
Academic description Not entered
Syllabus Week

1 Understanding health ( public, population, international and global health)
2 Understanding health policy (including definitions, policy processes)
3 Public health and the role of the state
4 Agenda-setting and civil society
5 Policy networks and the commercial sector
6 The state in global health
7 Social determinants of health and health inequalities
8 Health systems and primary health care
9 Measuring health and health inequalities
10 Evidence and policy in health
Transferable skills Not entered
Reading list Key Texts
- Buse K, Mays N and Walt G (2005). Making Health Policy. (London; Open University Press)
- Blank R and Buray V. (2010) Comparative Health Policy 3rd edition. (Basingstoke: Palgrave)
- Crinson I (2009) Health Policy: A Critical Perspective (London: Sage).
- Graham H (2007). Unequal Lives: Health and socioeconomic inequalities. Maidenhead; Open University Press.
- Pomerleau J and McKee M (eds) (2005). Issues in public health. Maidenhead: Open University Press, 2005.
- Beaglehole R, Bonita R (2004). Public health at the crossroads (2nd ed). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Study Abroad Not entered
Study Pattern Not entered
KeywordsNot entered
Contacts
Course organiserDr Rosemary Morgan
Tel: (0131 6)50 8256
Email: Rosemary.Morgan@ed.ac.uk
Course secretaryMiss Jodie Fleming
Tel: (0131 6)51 5066
Email: Jodie.Fleming@ed.ac.uk
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