Policy and public health
This module aims to support students’ learning about the process of policy-making, with specific focus on public health policy; the role that politicians and other key actors plays in shaping public health policies; and how framing of public health issues importantly affects public and political acceptability. It will also help students to understand the social, political, economic and historical factors that influence health policy.
Module Learning Outcomes:
By the end of the module, students should be able to:
- identify important public health problems and critically discuss the policy solutions that have been, and have the potential to be, implemented to tackle these issues
- critically discuss the political ideologies that seek to describe the state-individual relationship and underpin a government’s approach to public health policies
- describe the policy-making process – agenda setting, policy formation, implementation and evaluation, and critically apply health policy analysis frameworks to evaluate the policy process
- describe the roles of key stakeholders (e.g. government and its agencies, scientific experts, public health experts, 3rd sector, industry and the media) in the development of public health policy
- define the ways in which context influences policymaking, and employ systems thinking when developing and evaluating public health policy
- identify the principle means by which scientific evidence can influence policymakers and policy content and the challenges of getting research evidence into policy
- critically apply appropriate theories, concepts and evidence to the analysis of issues, debates and initiatives within contemporary health policy, and present resulting analyses clearly and effectively, both orally and in writing
Principles of Epidemiology, Principles of Public Health, Research Skills, Health Economics.
Teaching and learning will take place via a mix of lectures, group work and class discussions with teacher and student-led input. This mix will provide a substantive knowledge base while encouraging students to critically explore the issues in depth. Some reading may be required prior to some sessions. The module includes a series of case studies which are used to illustrate key points.
30min small group (3 – 5 students) presentation; 50% of module grade; each group speaking for ~20min, with 10mins Q&A involving peers and tutors. Each group will select and present a critical analysis of a national public health policy from any country as a case study. Each group is expected to hand in their topic at the end of the second day of teaching to the module leader. Students will be expected to arrange time to work together on their case study before the presentation. On the last day of the module, groups will present their case study to the rest of the class and the lecturers. This should be a critical analysis of the public health problem, the scientific and other evidence to underpin relevant public health intervention(s), and an analysis of the policy process using one or more of the policy analysis frameworks taught in the course to identify the key factors influencing the policy process, implementation and outcomes. A group mark will be given for overall content and analysis, as assessed by module leaders.
Students will also submit an individual report of 750 words, in the form of a policy briefing to the director of a public health authority. Students will be able to choose from a list of topics. 50% of module grade. To be submitted 2 weeks after the end of the module.
Module Length and Dates: 4 1/2 days