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BMS3015 : Health and Illness: Professional and Societal Perspectives

  • Offered for Year: 2021/22
  • Module Leader(s): Dr Shelina Visram
  • Lecturer: Dr Josephine Wildman, Professor Clare Bambra, Professor Katie Brittain, Dr Chris Wilkinson, Professor Gill Rowlands, Dr Michele Castelli, Dr Lutz Sauerteig, Professor Allyson Pollock
  • Owning School: Biomedical, Nutritional and Sports Scien
  • Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus
Semester 1 Credit Value: 10
ECTS Credits: 5.0


1. To provide an introduction to health care organisation and practice
2. To demonstrate the ways in which health care practice and organisation is shaped by science, society and individuals.
3. To develop understanding of how health care organisations shape the practices of professionals working within them

Outline Of Syllabus

This undergraduate module, based on multi-disciplinary research expertise and teaching strengths in relation to Health Service Research and Public Health within the University, provides an introduction to health care organisation, practice and policy in the National Health Service.

The NHS and international health care systems are introduced along with the roles of health care workers and multi-agency working. Health care policy and its importance is also introduced. Key features of current and future trends in health care practice and delivery are identified, including impact of ageing, improving the quality and safety in health care, the health of the population and public health. The key challenges to maintaining the health of society, particularly in relation to health inequalities, are also discussed.

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion201:0020:00Case study review and preparation of essay response
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture111:0011:00PIP
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesSmall group teaching21:002:00PIP - Introductory and Assessment sessions
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesSmall group teaching21:002:00PIP - Formative interactive seminars
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study165:0065:00Writing up lecture notes, revision and general reading
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

Lectures are used to impart information in a concise manner, to highlight areas of importance and to interrelate with directed reading and self-directed study.

Formative seminars will allow students to self-check knowledge and understanding throughout the module. Private study is used for self-directed learning including further reading and preparation for assessments.

Public Health Contingency:
All lectures and seminars can/will move online either as synchronous online or non-synchronous delivery.

Assessment Methods

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

Description Length Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Written Examination901M30Invigilated Exam (90 mins), comprising of 10 short answer questions.
Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Essay1M70Extended Essay (1500 words)
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

The Essay (1500 words in length) requires students to draw on the course material to think critically about a case study (a health care problem that has stimulated public debate) from alternative perspectives (eg. individual, societal, economical, professional), and to present a coherent argument in answering the set essay question.

The exam (two hours) will consist of 10 short answer questions, each worth 10 marks, designed to test knowledge and understanding of the course material.

MDiet candidates must obtain an overall mark of 40 or above to pass the module, however, if the module has more than one assessment students must also achieve a mark of at least 35 in each component of the assessment to pass the module.

Public health contingency:
Written exam can/will move to remote online, timed exam to be completed in 24 hour period (10 questions, expected completion time 90 mins).

Reading Lists