Social epidemiology and social science
This module aims to provide students with a critical understanding of wider determinants of health and illness (i.e. the social structures, institutions and relationships that affect these outcomes), including what these are, how they are measured, how they relate to health and illness, and potential mechanisms responsible for these relationships. The module introduces key social science issues relevant to public health. The module builds on core teaching in Term 1, and makes use of research examples drawing on quantitative, qualitative and mixed-methods approaches.
Module Learning Outcomes:
By the end of the module, students should be able to:
- Describe key examples of inequalities in health, illness and access to health care
- Select appropriate measures of wider determinants of health and illness
- Recall and discuss the implications of the wider determinants of health and illness for understanding public health problems and their solutions
- Critically appraise proposed theories linking wider determinants to health outcomes
- Critically discuss social science issues relevant to public health including lay beliefs about health and illness, social reactions to illness including stigma
Principles of Public Health, Research Skills, Principles of Epidemiology.
Qualitative and Mixed Methods, or introductory knowledge of qualitative research traditions, key theories and methods (e.g. interviews, focus groups) would be helpful.
The module will be delivered using a combination of lectures, workshops, small-group exercises, and class discussions. Some reading may be required prior to some sessions.
Critical appraisal of a quantitative or qualitative study exploring the social determinants of health. Your essay should include the following: summary of the findings of the paper for an audience of public health professionals, making sure to include a description of the problem; identification of the underlying theory, and reflection on how appropriate it is; a critique of the measures of social determinants used, drawing on wider literature as necessary.
Module Length: 4 days