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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of Social and Political Science : Social Policy

Undergraduate Course: Health Policy Analysis (SCPL10026)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of Social and Political Science CollegeCollege of Humanities and Social Science
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 10 (Year 4 Undergraduate) AvailabilityAvailable to all students
SCQF Credits10 ECTS Credits5
SummaryEffective engagement in the making of public policy is key to the achievement of health objectives, and an understanding of the policy process is a precondition for such engagement. This course will introduce students to policy analysis, offering a problem-focused and multi-disciplinary approach that draws on political science, public administration, sociology and political theory. It offers a conceptual framework within which to analyse the making of health policy, focusing on the varying distribution of power among different actors and stakeholders. It outlines key theories of the state and examines changes in health policy associated with the &«hollowing out&ª of the state via the increased role of markets, civil society, and international agencies. It explores different approaches to understanding how the process operates, 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.

Course description Not entered
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Information for Visiting Students
Course Delivery Information
Not being delivered
Learning Outcomes
This course will:
- Introduce a conceptual framework for analysis of the health policy process
- Examine competing conceptions of power and its distribution in society
- Critique the dominance of pluralist accounts of the policy process and assess other theories of the state
- Outline the public health powers and responsibilities of governments
- Consider the increasing role of market actors within the policy process
- Assess the divergent roles of civil society organisations within policy communities and issue networks
- Examine different theoretical approaches to understanding which health issues are situated on the policy agenda and to effective implementation of heath policy
- Consider the role of scientific evidence in policy-making and examine competing models of the relationship between research and policy
- Provide key case studies examining the capacity of diverse actors to influence health policy and outcomes.
Reading List
Introductory readings:

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)

Parsons W (2001) Public policy: an introduction to the theory and practice of policy analysis (London: Edward Elgar)

Beaglehole R and Bonita R (2004). Public Health at the Crossroads: Achievements and Prospects, 2nd edition, Cambridge; Cambridge University Press.

Heywood A. (2007) Politics, 3rd edition. (Basingstoke: Palgrave)

Ball RB and Peters BG (2005) Modern Politics & Government 7th edition (Basingstoke, Palgrave)

Walt G. (1994) Health Policy: An Introduction to Process and Power (London: Zed Books)

Hunter D (2003) Public health policy (London: Polity Press)

Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Not entered
Additional Class Delivery Information Classes will be held in David Hume Tower, Faculty Room South from Thursday 22nd September until Thursday 20th October.
Keywordspublic health, health policy
Course organiserDr Jeff Collin
Tel: (0131 6)51 3961
Course secretaryMrs Louise Angus
Tel: (0131 6)50 3923
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