Coronavirus (Covid-19) Information

Module NHS-1124:
Health and Society

Module Facts

Run by School of Health Sciences

20 Credits or 10 ECTS Credits

Semester 2

Overall aims and purpose

The aims of this module are to equip the student with appropriate knowledge and understanding of the role of society in maintaining the health of individuals and populations. In recognising that health in society can result from a complex interaction of multiple risk factors and events, this module will explore and discuss how social and economic resources can affect the distribution of health-related outcomes. A key aspect of this module will be to provide an introduction to the basic principles of sociological aspects of healthcare and understand the basic principles.The module will explore the current understanding of how social inequalities can have an effect on health and how social structures can influence lifestyle choices which impact on health and well-being

Course content

The module will address the complex interplay between society and health, including:

  1. The historical context of Health and Illness in society
  2. Defining sociology as a mechanism for understanding health and well-being.
  3. Sociological theories and perspectives
  4. Social, economic and political aspects of health within modern society
  5. Social inequalities and health inequality

The module will also explore health-related policies adopted by the UK and Welsh Governments aimed specifically towards health improvement in society for the benefit of the UK and Welsh population.

Assessment Criteria


A* to A-. To achieve an ‘excellent pass’ on the module, students will be required to demonstrate a detailed and comprehensive understanding of sociological factors which impact on health and well-being.


D+ to D-. To achieve a ‘pass’ on the module, students will be required to demonstrate an understanding of the sociological factors which impact on health and well-being.


B+ to B-. To achieve this grade the student will need to demonstrate a very good depth and breadth of knowledge of sociological factors which impact on health and well-being.

C- to C+

C+ to C-. To achieve a ‘good pass’ on the module, students will be required to demonstrate a good of the sociological factors which impact on health and well-being.

Learning outcomes

  1. Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of the relationship between social stratifications, social class and health inequalities.

  2. Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of sociological theories, concepts and their relationship to understanding health and well-being.

  3. Demonstrate study, researching and presentation skills to support life long learning.

  4. Discuss the meanings of health and illness as both real phenomena and social constructs.

Assessment Methods

Type Name Description Weight

Students will be required to describe how social structures can affect or influence the health of a particular neighbourhood. By taking an in-depth look at a named town, village, or area of a city, students will deliver a presentation that demonstrates the social factors that can affect the health of that community.

REPORT Neighbourhood Report

Students are required to complete a written report on the key social factors that affect the health and well-being of a defined socio-cultural group of people


Teaching and Learning Strategy

Group Project

EBL project - 20 hours over 8 weeks group project work to complete an enquiry based learning project. This will support students in developing their ideas and the skills needed to complete the summative assessment.


20 hours (2 hours per week over 10 weeks)

Private study

Private study for reading, researching and developing presentation for submission


12 hours (1 per week over 12 weeks)


Assessment workshop - 2 hours (1) x 2 hour assessment workshop to develop the study, research presentation skills. Study skills workshop - 3 hours (1 x 3 hour workshop for study skills) Presentation skills workshop - 2 hours ( 1 x 2 hour workshop for presentation skills)
1 hours supervision 1 hour 1 x 1 hour supervision sessions with supervising tutor


Transferable skills

  • Literacy - Proficiency in reading and writing through a variety of media
  • Numeracy - Proficiency in using numbers at appropriate levels of accuracy
  • Computer Literacy - Proficiency in using a varied range of computer software
  • Self-Management - Able to work unsupervised in an efficient, punctual and structured manner. To examine the outcomes of tasks and events, and judge levels of quality and importance
  • Exploring - Able to investigate, research and consider alternatives
  • Information retrieval - Able to access different and multiple sources of information
  • Inter-personal - Able to question, actively listen, examine given answers and interact sensitevely with others
  • Critical analysis & Problem Solving - Able to deconstruct and analyse problems or complex situations. To find solutions to problems through analyses and exploration of all possibilities using appropriate methods, rescources and creativity.
  • Presentation - Able to clearly present information and explanations to an audience. Through the written or oral mode of communication accurately and concisely.
  • Teamwork - Able to constructively cooperate with others on a common task, and/or be part of a day-to-day working team
  • Argument - Able to put forward, debate and justify an opinion or a course of action, with an individual or in a wider group setting
  • Self-awareness & Reflectivity - Having an awareness of your own strengths, weaknesses, aims and objectives. Able to regularly review, evaluate and reflect upon the performance of yourself and others

Subject specific skills

The ability to compare a range of health and social care contexts from the perspective of equality and diversity

Analyse health and social care related issues and data that may be drawn from a wide range of disciplines.

Develop coherent arguments from a range of theories relating to health and social issues.

The ability to use research methodologies to locate, review and evaluate research findings relevant to health and social inequalities.


Resource implications for students

1. Purchase of text books, pens and paper. 2. Photocopying and printing 3. Subscription to internet provider to access BU on-line catalogues and Blackboard from home residence.

Reading list

Suggested reading:

Barry, A. & Yuill, C. (2016). Understanding the Sociology of Health 4th Edn. London: Sage.

Black, D. (1980). The Black Report: Inequalities in Health. London. HMSO.

Marmot, M. (2016) The Health Gap: The Challenges of an Unequal World. London: Bloomsbury.

Nettleton, S. (2013). The Sociology of Health 3rd Ed. Cambridge: Polity Press.

Sociology of Health and Illness