Study abroad in Edinburgh

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Semester 1

Population Health and Health Policy (SCPL10029)

Subject

Social Policy

College

CAHSS

Credits

20

Normal Year Taken

3

Delivery Session Year

2022/2023

Pre-requisites

Visiting students should have passed at least 3 Social Policy or closely related courses at grade B or above. We will only consider University/College level courses.

Course Summary

This course examines concepts and debates relating to public health, health inequalities and health policy in a global context. It enables students to understand the policy making process, to analyse the roles of key health policy actors, and to consider the relationship between evidence and policy in relation to health. Public health emphasizes the dual objectives of population health improvement and the reduction of health inequalities; yet there is a lack of consensus over the principal determinants of health, appropriate policy approaches for achieving these goals, and effective strategies for engaging in the making of public policy. This course will introduce students to key concepts and principles in public health and policy analysis, exploring the role of public policy in meeting population health objectives. It offers a problem-focused and multi-disciplinary approach that draws on public health medicine, epidemiology, political science, public administration, sociology and political theory, with a normative focus on health equity a central theme throughout the course. Students will be provided with a conceptual framework within which to analyse the making of health policy, focusing on the varying distribution of power among different actors and stakeholders. Key theories of the state will be introduced, including its various functions in relation to population health, and we will explore changes in health policy associated with the 'hollowing out' of the state via the increased role of markets, civil society, and international agencies. The course offers different approaches to understanding the policy process, looking at why some health issues obtain a privileged position within the policy agenda and why others are denied access to it, and emphasising the importance of understanding obstacles to effective implementation.

Course Description

Academic description This course examines concepts and debates relating to public health, health inequalities and health policy in a global context. It enables students to understand the policy making process, to analyse the roles of key health policy actors, and to consider the relationship between evidence and policy in relation to health. Public health emphasises the dual objectives of population health improvement and the reduction of health inequalities; yet there is a lack of consensus over the principal determinants of health, appropriate policy approaches for achieving these goals, and effective strategies for engaging in the making of public policy. This course will introduce students to key concepts and principles in public health and policy analysis, exploring the role of public policy in meeting population health objectives. It offers a problem-focused and multi-disciplinary approach that draws on public health medicine, epidemiology, political science, public administration, sociology and political theory, with a normative focus on health equity a central theme throughout the course. Outline content: The course is organised around 10 sessions covering key concepts in population health and health policy, with an emphasis on the broader drivers of health (outside of health care). We will introduce key concepts in population health including the determinants of health, the importance of social structure and position in shaping health, and health inequalities. Students will be provided with a conceptual framework within which to analyse the making of health policy, focusing on the varying distribution of power among different actors and stakeholders (including the state, civil society and the commercial sector). The course offers different approaches to understanding the policy process, looking at why some health issues obtain a privileged position within the policy agenda and why others are denied access to it, and emphasising the importance of understanding obstacles to effective implementation. Student learning experience: The course will be taught by a combination of weekly lectures and small-group seminars, with the latter including a mix of face-to-face sessions and online discussion (using Learn discussion boards). In general, each topic will be introduced via a 50 minute lecture and explored in greater depth during small-group seminars. Students will be expected to complete essential readings before participating in seminars, and will have the opportunity to participate in a small-group presentation to the rest of the seminar class.

Assessment Information

Written Exam 0%, Coursework 100%, Practical Exam 0%

view the timetable and further details for this course

Disclaimer

All course information obtained from this visiting student course finder should be regarded as provisional. We cannot guarantee that places will be available for any particular course. For more information, please see the visiting student disclaimer:

Visiting student disclaimer