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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of Geosciences : Geography

Undergraduate Course: The Geography of Health (GEGR10138)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of Geosciences CollegeCollege of Science and Engineering
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 10 (Year 3 Undergraduate) AvailabilityNot available to visiting students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryThe module provides a theoretical and empirical background to the geographical study of health. The course will cover the historical development of public health, themes related to environmental justice and health, social justice and health inequalities, public policy and the commercial determinants of health. Students will critically evaluate literature and are encouraged to develop knowledge in a specialist area, both through class debates and individual essays. Furthermore students are encouraged to actively engage with material outside of academia, in particular there will be a focus on knowledge translation and public policy.
Course description The course addresses health inequalities and does so whilst employing a socio-ecological framework which acknowledges the importance of social, physical, economic and political environments in shaping health, health behaviours and health outcomes. This course will demonstrate to students how geographical techniques can be applied in related disciplines, such as epidemiology and public health. The course will involve invited lectures from public health professionals.

Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2023/24, Available to all students (SV1) Quota:  41
Course Start Semester 2
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 200 ( Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 196 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 0 %, Coursework 100 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) Assessment:
100% coursework
Rapid Evidence Review 40%
Individual Essay 40%
Group Presentation 20%

Assessment deadlines

Rapid Evidence Review Week 7
Group Presentations Week 11
Individual Essay During exam period
Feedback Students will receive feedback at multiple points during the course. They will receive feedback on the Rapid Evidence Review and group feedback on presentation themes (planning stage) and presentations. Feedback on the essay will be in three stages: Students will choose their essay titles and receive feedback on these. They will then develop an essay plan which will also receive feedback, before finally submitting the degree essay. In class feedback will also be given on class discussions. We use Padlet in this course and student comments also receive feedback.
No Exam Information
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Understand the relationship between the environment and human health, with a particular focus on non-communicable diseases.
  2. Have an understanding of the knowledge translation process from empirical academic studies to public health policy.
  3. Develop a critical understanding of health inequalities, with a particular focus on socioeconomic inequalities in health.
  4. Have an understanding of the broader determinants of health.
Reading List
Curtis, S. (2004). Health and Inequality: Geographical Perspectives London: Sage Publications Chapter 1 'Introducing geographical perspectives on health and inequality'

Gatrell, A. (2002). Geographies of Health: An Introduction Oxford: Blackwells.

Smith, S. J. and D. Easterlow (2005). "The strange geography of health inequalities." Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers 30(2): 173-190.

Cummins, S., S. Curtis, et al. (2007). "Understanding and representing 'place' in health research: A relational approach." Social Science & Medicine 65(9): 1825-1838
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Not entered
KeywordsNot entered
Course organiserProf Niamh Shortt
Tel: (0131 6)51 7130
Course secretaryMiss Leigh Corstorphine
Tel: (01316) 502572
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