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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of Social and Political Science : Postgrad (School of Social and Political Studies)

Postgraduate Course: Health inequities and the social determinants of health (Distance learning) (PGSP11329)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of Social and Political Science CollegeCollege of Humanities and Social Science
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 11 (Postgraduate)
Course typeOnline Distance Learning AvailabilityAvailable to all students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryCourse aims and objectives

Inequalities or disparities in the health of different population groups are seen both within and between countries. The term ¿health inequities¿ denotes differences in the health status of groups occupying unequal positions in society; such inequities can be seen across multiple axes including gender, ethnicity/race, area and socioeconomic position. This course aims to demonstrate the extent of inequalities in health, to explore the underlying determinants of health and health inequalities, and to consider policy responses to health inequities. It expands on theories explaining how health inequities arise, including behavioural/cultural, psychosocial, material and lifecourse approaches, and investigates the role of government and the potential impact of economic, social and health policy in creating or reducing health inequities. Different explanatory paradigms and their implications for policy intervention will be discussed in relation to the health status of various population subgroups.
Course description Week
1 Health inequities and the social determinants of health: introduction and overview
2 Social inequalities in health: structural and life-course perspectives
3 Reducing inequalities in health ¿ what are the fundamental policy problems?
4 The welfare system as a determinant of health
5 Gender and health
6 Ethnicity/race and health
7 Place and health
8 Evidence and policy in relation to health inequalities and the social determinants of health
9 The policy experience: strategies for reducing health inequalities, and why they haven¿t worked
10 Policy development and the health inequalities agenda in a global context
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Information for Visiting Students
High Demand Course? Yes
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2018/19, Available to all students (SV1) Quota:  None
Course Start Semester 2
Course Start Date 14/01/2019
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 200 ( Online Activities 20, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 176 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 0 %, Coursework 100 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) Assessment will be based on two components:
1) Input to blogs and discussion fora. Students to submit a portfolio of 6 contributions to course discussions, including at least 2 initiated contributions and at least 2 responses to other class members (30%)
2) Written essay of 3,000 words (70%).
Feedback Not entered
No Exam Information
Learning Outcomes
- Analyse the range of factors that influence health
- Critically interpret information on inequalities in health
- Examine contemporary debates regarding the causes of inequalities in health, and distinguish conceptually between health inequalities and health inequities
- Explore the extent of health inequities within and between countries
- Engage with theories accounting for the relationship between health inequities and broader inequalities in society
- Critically examine policy approaches to economic and social policy and the implications for the distribution of health resources within society
- Critically examine the impact that aspects of public policy have on the extent of health inequities in society
Reading List
Indicative reading

Graham H (2007). Unequal Lives: Health and socioeconomic inequalities. Maidenhead; Open University Press.

Bartley M (2003). Health inequality: an introduction to theory, concepts, and methods. London: Policy Press.

Graham H (ed) (2009). Understanding Health Inequalities (2nd ed). Maidenhead; Open University Press.

Green J, Labonte R (2008). Critical perspectives in public health. Abingdon: Routledge.

Hofrichter R (2003) Health and social justice: politics, ideology and inequity in the distribution of disease. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.
Marmot M and Wilkinson R (eds) (2005). Social Determinants of Health. 2nd edition. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

WHO Commission on the Social Determinants of Health (2008). Closing the gap in a generation: Health equity through action on the social determinants of health. Final Report of the Commission on Social Determinants of Health. Geneva, World Health Organization.
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Not entered
KeywordsNot entered
Course organiserMr Rob Ralston
Course secretaryMs Maria Brichs
Tel: (0131 6)51 3205
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