Joint-honours information for 2016 entry

Sociology of Medicine and Health

Module L3083A

Module details for 2016/17.

15 credits

FHEQ Level 5

Module Outline

To examine critically the relationships between individuals, families, state and society in the experience of and response to health and illness, including the role of the state and the professions in providing medical provision in the UK and other Western industrialized countries. Students will gain knowledge of issues, including competing theoretical approaches, relating to the understanding of health, disease and illness; the control, organization and implications of formal health services; and the possible outcomes of medical interventions and healthcare policies. The module also seeks to examine the interaction of the medical profession and the state with other key bodies such as the mass media and patient/consumer groups, via concepts such as professionalization and medicalisation.

Students will also gain understanding of the dominance of biomedicine and the subsequent challenges to this domination through contemporary transitions in health professions; the rise of alternative models of healthcare; lay perspectives and user movements. The growing role of the alternative and complementary medicine agenda will be explored, as well as the sociology of death and dying.

By focusing on published examples of empirical research, the module will emphasise the social and political context of medicine, health and illness, and the practical and methodological implications of conducting research in these areas and the production of ‘evidence’ in health care.

Module learning outcomes

Demonstrate understanding and knowledge of key topics and debates in the sociology of medicine and health

Compare access to and experiences of healthcare for different groups and societies

Assess the strengths and weaknesses of empirical material as evidence in specific cases

Critically evaluate competing theoretical perspectives on medicine and health in writing

Unseen ExaminationSemester 1 Assessment50.00%
Coursework components. Weighted as shown below.
EssayXvac Week 1 100.00%

Submission deadlines may vary for different types of assignment/groups of students.


Coursework components (if listed) total 100% of the overall coursework weighting value.

TermMethodDurationWeek pattern
Autumn SemesterLecture1 hour111110111111
Autumn SemesterSeminar1 hour111110111111

How to read the week pattern

The numbers indicate the weeks of the term and how many events take place each week.

Prof Karen Lowton

Assess convenor, Convenor

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