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DRPS : Course Catalogue : Deanery of Molecular, Genetic and Population Health Sciences : Public Health Research

Postgraduate Course: Public Policy for Health (PUHR11081)

Course Outline
SchoolDeanery of Molecular, Genetic and Population Health Sciences CollegeCollege of Medicine and Veterinary Medicine
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 11 (Postgraduate)
Course typeOnline Distance Learning AvailabilityNot available to visiting students
SCQF Credits10 ECTS Credits5
SummaryThis ten credit course provides students with an introductory overview of health policy in public health. Students are introduced to what health policy is, its role, importance and diversity. A health policy framework is used to analyse the context, content, actors and processes involved in policy making. This framework allows students to examine the context in which policy is made; the technical content of the policy itself; the actors involved in shaping policy, such as the state, the private sector and interest groups; and theories to explain why a policy does or does not move from conception, to implementation, and evaluation. By the end of the course, students will have an awareness of the complexities of policy making, and some strategies to use in their own policy environments.
Course description This course emphasizes some of the key objectives in public health of population health improvement and the reduction of health inequalities. It introduces students to the crucial role of the state in this endeavor and the variety of approaches available to governments within and outside of the health system. The course reviews the range of factors that influence individual and population health, with an emphasis on social determinants of community health and wellbeing. It explores: What is 'healthy' public policy? Why is it important? What are the justice and human rights aspects of this? What is the role of health policy in health reducing inequalities? Students are provided with a conceptual framework within which to understand and analyse the making of health policy and to plan the evaluation of health policies which they can apply to different contexts.
This is a 5-week distance learning course worth 10 credits. Students are expected to spend 20 hours per week on this course. Students will be given a brief overview of the course and will then be provided with relevant materials and resources. Specific individual and collaborative tasks and online discussion exercises relating to each week's topic will be set. This will culminate in a written assignment at the end of the course.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Additional Costs Students will be responsible for their computer equipment and internet access.
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2018/19, Not available to visiting students (SS1) Quota:  None
Course Start Flexible
Course Start Date 06/08/2018
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 100 ( Lecture Hours 5, Seminar/Tutorial Hours 1, Online Activities 35, Feedback/Feedforward Hours 5, Formative Assessment Hours 5, Revision Session Hours 1, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 2, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 46 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 0 %, Coursework 100 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) Written Exam 0 %, Practical Exam 0 %, Coursework 100 % consisting of a combination of summative written assessment and online assessment incorporating a variety of activities
Feedback Students will receive formative or summative feedback on all assessed pieces of work.
No Exam Information
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Critically examine the role of the state in advancing public health, and the breadth and scope of policy levers available within and outside of the health system
  2. Apply generic tools to a) understand and analyse the policy making process; b) assess the suitability of a public health problem for a policy solution
  3. Identify and conceptualise barriers and facilitators to the use of research in policy making and propose strategies to support evidence-based policy
  4. Critically reflect on their own and others' responsibilities and roles in the research, policy and practice domains within public health
Reading List
Buse K, Mays N, Walt G (2012) Making health policy. UK: McGraw-Hill Education.
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills During this course students will have to demonstrate the ability to work both independently and collaboratively with others. Their knowledge and understanding of the topic will improve but they will also learn generic approaches/skills such as classifying information, critically analysing materials and evaluation skills. Since the course is distance learning, it will contribute to their IT, writing and communication skills. Finally, they will be expected to be able to bring together and draw from the information provided through the course during their essay writing. Competencies such as structuring of work and accurate referencing should improve.
Special Arrangements This course will be taught entirely by online distance learning, using the virtual learning environment Learn as the delivery platform. Course materials are protected by secure username and password access that will be made available to registered users
Keywordspolicy analysis,health policy framework,health policy
Course organiserDr Rosemary Geddes
Tel: (0131 6)51 4139
Course secretaryMrs Rosemary Porteous
Tel: (0131 6)50 9835
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