Postgraduate Course: Health inequities and the social determinants of health (Distance learning) (PGSP11329)
|School||School of Social and Political Science
||College||College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
|Credit level (Normal year taken)||SCQF Level 11 (Postgraduate)
|Course type||Online Distance Learning
||Availability||Available to all students
|Summary||Course 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.
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)
||Other requirements|| None
Information for Visiting Students
|High Demand Course?
Course Delivery Information
|Academic year 2022/23, Available to all students (SV1)
|Course Start Date
|Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info)
Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4,
Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours
|Assessment (Further Info)
|Additional Information (Assessment)
||Assessment will be based on two components:
1) Written essay of 2,500 - 3,000 words (70%).
2) Accessible policy briefing of up to 1,000 words (30%) which draws on research and policy literature relating to an aspect of the social determinants of health to make the case for a specific policy intervention or change in a particular context.
Formative assessment: Throughout the course, students will participate in online seminars via which they will have the opportunity to develop analytical and conceptual understanding of key concepts relating to the course. Formative feedback is provided via comments on online seminar discussions and through participation in virtual (real-time) seminars, which will include opportunities to discuss assessment tasks.
|No Exam Information
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
- Analyse the range of factors that influence 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
- 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.
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. http://www.who.int/social_determinants/final_report/en/index.html
|Graduate Attributes and Skills
|Course organiser||Dr Nason Maani
Tel: (0131 6)51 3961
|Course secretary||Ms Maria Brichs
Tel: (0131 6)51 3205