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Foundations In Social Science, Health & Medicine (Module)

Module description

This module is designed to familiarise students with key theories, concepts, findings and methodological approaches utilised by social scientists, philosophers and ethicists to investigate the relationships between individuals, society, health and medicine. In particular, the module seeks to build bridges between social scientific analyses of the social, political, and economic factors that shape approaches to health and illness, and philosophical and normative forms of reasoning about health, justice and equity.

On successful completion of the module, students will:

  • Demonstrate a critical understanding of key social, political, and economic factors that influence health and medicine;
  • Be familiar with, and able to critically appraise, key theories and concepts that social scientists, philosophers and ethicists use to theorise about health and medicine; and
  • Be able to act as independent and critical learners who manage their own requirements for continuing academic and professional development.

General readings:

  • Anand S, Peter F, Sen A (Eds.): Public Health, Ethics, and Equity. Oxford University Press 2004
  • Benatar S, Brock G (Eds.): Global Health and Global Health Ethics. Cambridge University Press 2011.
  • Cockerham W (Ed.): The New Blackwell Companion to Medical Sociology. Wiley 2010.
  • Conrad P: The Medicalization of Society. Johns Hopkins University Press 2007.
  • Gabe J, Monaghan L (Eds.): Key Concepts in Medical Sociology. Sage 2013.
  • Lock M, Nguyen VK: An Anthropology of Biomedicine. Wiley 2010.
  • Rose N: The Politics of Life Itself: Biomedicine, Power and Subjectivity in the Twenty-First Century. University Press 2007.
  • Wilkinson R, Pickett K: The Spirit Level: Why Equality is Better for Everyone. Penguin 2010.
  • Wolff J: The Human Right to Health. Norton Press 2012.


Staff information

Dr Annette Rid

Teaching pattern

Lectures, seminars and individual study.

Module assessment - more information

  • Unseen written examination: 3 hours (50% of module)
  • Assessed coursework: 3,000 words (50% of module)

Key information

Module code 7SSHM620

Credit level 7

Assessment coursework written examination/s

Credit value 30

Semester Semester 1 (autumn)

Study abroad module Yes