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Module SXH-3033:
Global Health & Social Care

Module Facts

Run by School of History, Philosophy and Social Sciences

20 Credits or 10 ECTS Credits

Semester 2

Organiser: Dr Julianne Law

Overall aims and purpose

At a global level, there are enormous variations in the prospect of health. Different countries have adopted a range of 'mixed economies of health systems', depending on historical growth and contemporary political and economic imperatives, with consequent variations in access, quality and outcome. This module will explore a range of references to concepts of health regimes and critically evaluate differences in health and welfare outcomes at an international level in relation to a range of economic and political variables. These variables include patterns of migration, national political and economic histories, social determinants of health, environmental factors, war and conflict, human rights violations and ideological influences.

The module incorporates an informed consideration of global health issues and strategies with regard to the health of individuals and communities. It will also develop understanding of the role international organisations, such as the World Health Organisation (WHO) play in the health of regional populations. The content of the module aims to prepare students wanting to work in this area with an understanding of current policies, both nationally and internationally. This module will also help students who are researching policies and outcomes for their Dissertation; with the issues and case studies covered in the module providing sound foundations and drivers for individual research and greater understanding of globalised health contexts.

Course content

  1. Measuring health & factors that influence global trends
  2. Comparing Health Systems
  3. Demographics, Populations and Human Needs
  4. Epidemiologies of Disease
  5. The World Health Organisation, Regional and National Health Challenges
  6. Millennium Development Goals
  7. Environmental Health, Climate & Natural Disasters
  8. The Health and Well-being of Children and Young People
  9. Wars, Conflict & Interpersonal Violence
  10. Gendered Health Inequalities
  11. Pollution

Seminar Subjects. Given the range and diversity of topics to be covered, rather than exclude some important discussions from the lecture programme, it is intended to cover new topics that have resonance with the lecture subjects in the seminar sessions. Suggested topics include disability, communicable diseases, human trafficking, child protection, family planning policies and health behaviours such as smoking and alcohol consumption.

Assessment Criteria


• Identify & assess various health systems and their formative components; • Describe and account for historical variations in international health & illness in national and global contexts; • Appraise the impact of cultural, political, demographic and environmental variables on the health of a country’s population.


• Demonstrate a substantial knowledge of the structure, objectives and outcomes of health and social care provision in different countries, by identifying and analysing key social, political, economic and cultural factors in each case; • Identify and evaluate the relationships between the various actors and processes identified in each country’s health system; • Locate and critically analyse key determinants of health for a specific country, from a WHO regional perspective.


• Compare and contrast the responses of different countries in addressing the health needs of their populations; • Identify social, economic and cultural barriers to health policies and programmes, and suggest solutions to overcome these barriers, from both local and global perspectives; • Demonstrate an awareness of the role of globalised processes in determining the health and social needs of a national population.

Learning outcomes

  1. Identify the diverse stakeholders who are invested in health systems and programmes, and appraise the impact they have on the health and wellbeing of populations.

  2. Identify the relationship between global agencies and frameworks, such as the World Health Organisation, and health policies and services at national, regional and local levels.

  3. Evaluate the impact of global migration and cultural diversity on the health and wellbeing of national populations in England and Wales, as well as in pan-European and other contexts.

  4. Describe how the health of the global population is promoted and protected by analysing how global, regional and local health systems address key economic and social determinants of health.

  5. Demonstrate awareness of the differences in patterns of health and disease around the world and how these have been influenced by historical and geographical factors.

Assessment Methods

Type Name Description Weight
Exam 2 hours s2 100

Teaching and Learning Strategy

Lecture 24
Seminar 5
Private study 171

Transferable skills

  • Literacy - Proficiency in reading and writing through a variety of media
  • 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.
  • Caring - Showing concern for others; caring for children, people with disabilities and/or the elderly
  • 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

  • Critically evaluate the mixed economy of welfare and the interrelationships between health and social care and between the agencies, practitioners and individuals involved in their provision;
  • Explain the origins and nature of the social organisation of healthcare and associated services in advanced industrialised and majority world societies globally;
  • Evaluate the impact of difference and diversity on the incidence and experience of illness;
  • Compare and contrast cultural variations in medicine;
  • Analyse health and health issues, alongside health information and data that may be drawn from a wide range of disciplines;
  • Draw upon, and consider, lived experiences of health, well-being and illness from diverse sources and perspectives.
  • Capacity to identify and describe the causes and consequences of social order and change in specific contexts.
  • Ability to formulate and investigate sociologically informed questions.
  • Use the theories and concepts of social policy and other social sciences to analyse policy problems and issues
  • the ability to formulate and investigate sociologically informed questions
  • competence in using major theoretical perspectives and concepts in sociology, and their application to social life
  • the capacity to analyse, assess and communicate empirical sociological information
  • the ability to conduct sociological research
  • the ability to undertake and present scholarly work
  • the ability to understand the ethical implications of sociological enquiry
  • the ability to recognise the relevance of sociological knowledge to social, public and civic policy.
  • Develop a sound appreciation of the variety of theories that comprise the discipline of social policy and how these impact on social policy interventions
  • Become cognizant with key conceptual debates within the field of contemporary social policy
  • Appreciate the value of and apply theoretical and methodological rigour to analyses of welfare issues;


Courses including this module

Compulsory in courses:

Optional in courses: