HSC8003 : Advanced Social Determinants of Health

Semester 2 Credit Value: 10
ECTS Credits: 5.0


This module provides students with in-depth, case study-based understanding of social determinants of health, their contribution to health inequalities and the basis for developing policies and interventions to address social determinants of health. Emphasis is placed on research led teaching by leading authorities in the field.

Outline Of Syllabus

This module will provide in-depth exploration of the following topics:

•       Social determinants of health: how social and economic conditions ‘get under our skin’
•       Place and health (including urban hypersegregation)
•       Work, worklessness, employment conditions (e.g. precarious employment) and health
•       Social protection systems, austerity and health
•       Race, gender and health
•       Economic inequalities and health
•       Stress and health
•       The politics of evidence and its use in policy and intervention design
•       The politics of reducing health inequalities

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture53:0015:00interactive lectures and presentations
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion301:0030:00N/A
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study551:0055:00N/A
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

A participative approach to teaching and learning, with ample time for discussion, is always more appropriate than formal lectures, although some logistics will depend on student numbers. The emphasis is on interactive lectures and presentations of case studies as the main mode of delivery, focusing both on critical assessment of key research findings and on the research-to-policy pathway.

Students will be asked to read and prepare prior to the face to face lecture sessions. Learning materials will be made available in advance of lectures using the VLE learning platform, and it will be expected that students have done the required preparatory work.

Assessment Methods

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

Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Essay2M1002500 words
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

The summative assessment will (a) test students’ ability critically to assess explanations for health inequalities that are organised around social determinants of health, building on the formative assessment; and (b) invite them to apply this knowledge and skill set by focusing on a specific case study, social determinant of health or policy challenge.

A formative 'surgery' will be held on the essay assignment.

Reading Lists