Module Catalogue

HSC8047 : Health and Society

  • Offered for Year: 2017/18
  • Module Leader(s): Dr Duika Burges Watson
  • Lecturer: Dr Suzanne Moffatt, Professor Janice McLaughlin, Professor Simon Forrest, Dr Gethin Rees, Professor Ted Schrecker, Dr Ruth Graham
  • Owning School: FMS Graduate School
  • Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus
Semester 2 Credit Value: 10
ECTS Credits: 5.0


To understand how sociological perspectives on health, illness and medicine are fundamental to an understanding of contemporary society.

The course will begin with an overview of sociological ideas and perspectives as an introduction to the discipline. This will lead into discussion of the social context of health at a macro and micro sociological levels. The case for an understanding of social factors in health and illness will be made by considering a range of social theories and social structure (social class, gender, ethnicity, age). Students will then apply their knowledge of social theory and social structure to a range of health-related topics which will include: history of medicine and professionalisation; lay views about health and illness; medical encounters (including doctor-patient relationships); chronic illness; disability; death, dying and bereavement. Throughout the course there will be an emphasis on inequalities in health.

Outline Of Syllabus

Introduction to social science and health and overview of social theories; history of medicine and professionalisation; social structure and health (social class, gender, ethnicity, age); lay views about health and illness; medical encounters (including doctor-patient relationships); chronic illness; disability; death, dying and bereavement.

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion101:0010:00N/A
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture101:0010:00N/A
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesSmall group teaching101:0010:00Seminars
Guided Independent StudyStudent-led group activity21:002:00N/A
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study168:0068:00N/A
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

Most of the learning outcomes relate to critiquing and/or analysing the subject. The students are encouraged to incorporate their own experience into their learning to enhance the benefits of the module. Knowledge and understanding is developed by lectures, seminars and interactive group work. Most sessions include exercises and small and large group discussion to facilitate critique and analysis of the subject. Students will be given one reading (paper, book chapter) one week prior to each session and will be expected/encouraged to actively contribute to seminar discussions.

Assessment Methods

The format of resits will be determined by the Board of Examiners

Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Essay2M100i) one side of A4 comprising essay structure & content ii) 2000 word essay
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

The assessed essay enables students to demonstrate, in depth, the application of sociological principles to a health topic. The assignment will indicate the degree to which students’ have read around the topic and evaluate their skills in analysing and criticising information. The assignment will demonstrate students’ ability to construct a coherent argument.

Reading Lists