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HL60498: Policy specialism: health policy

Follow this link for further information on academic years Academic Year: 2018/9
Further information on owning departmentsOwning Department/School: Department for Health
Further information on credits Credits: 18      [equivalent to 36 CATS credits]
Further information on notional study hours Notional Study Hours: 360
Further information on unit levels Level: Doctoral (FHEQ level 8)
Further information on teaching periods Period:
Academic Year
Further information on unit assessment Assessment Summary: CW 100%
Further information on unit assessment Assessment Detail:
  • Coursework (CW 100% - Qualifying Mark: 40)
Further information on supplementary assessment Supplementary Assessment:
Like-for-like reassessment (where allowed by programme regulations)
Further information on requisites Requisites: Before taking this module you must take SP60290 AND take SP60291
Further information on descriptions Description: Aims:
The module's aims are to provide students with an understanding of:
i. The concepts, history and scope of public health, including models of determinants of health, health inequalities, and the difference between individual (often medicalised) and population level (often preventative) approaches;
ii. The globalisation of health, including global structural forces (eg. The global market economy), influential actors (eg. International organisations, transnational corporations, global ngos as well as states) and health and non-health (eg trade, economics and welfare) policy frameworks and agreements;
iii. Policy options for addressing public health challenges, such as intervention scale (from local to global), focus (targeted vs. Population), means (medicalised vs. Preventive), policy type (health policy vs. Health mainstreaming in all public policy; voluntary schemes vs. Mandatory regulation), and delivery (public vs. Private vs. Collaborative);
iv. The processes and governance of health policymaking and associated theoretical debates, including evidence-based policymaking, the precautionary principle, risk regulation, better regulation including impact assessment and public consultation, health mainstreaming, policy learning across multiple scales (eg. Between states and via international organisations), and the power and influence of lobbyists;
v. The influence and tactics of corporate and voluntary sector health-related advocacy - eg. The role of science, professional lobbying, mass media campaigns, resources, expertise and experience and partnerships with government;
vi. The importance and complexity of evaluating public health policies;
vii. Contemporary issues in public health: the challenge of non-communicable diseases and their underlying causes, including tobacco, alcohol and obesity.

Learning Outcomes:
As a result of the development of the above understandings, students will be able to:
i. Understand current public health policy issues & debates;
ii. Critically examine health policy ideas, objectives and documents;
iii. Consider the wider structural determinants which may impact on health outcomes;
iv. Recognise health implications of non-health policies;
v. Develop solutions to address structural factors which may otherwise prevent optimum policy impact.

At the end of the module the student will be able:
i. Apply a systematic and coherent approach to critical analysis, evaluation and synthesis of ideas, information and issues that is well-grounded in existing health research and literature (intellectual skill);
ii. Identify, conceptualise and communicate original and well-grounded insights and responses to important issues of health policy and practice that demonstrate advanced scholarship (professional, practical skill);
iii. Use networked learning technologies as a means of developing one's own professional practice and scholarship (transferable skill).

Section 1: Introduction to public health
1.1 Concepts, history and scope of public health
1.2 Health inequalities and non-communicable diseases
Section 2: The globalisation of health
2.1 Global health policy - the global burden of disease and the role of states, international organisations and NGOs in promoting public health policy at multiple scales
2.2 Global health challenges - neoliberalism, the role of international law and trade; the corporation as a determinant of health; medicalization and `pharmaceuticalisation' of public health
Section 3: Tackling public health
3.1 Policy evolution - highlighting the progression of tobacco control policy and continuing policy challenges posed by other consumption-related determinants of health, such as alcohol dependence and obesity
3.2 Policy options - policy options for preventing and treating non-communicable disease and its determinants at global, reegional, national and sub-national scales
3.3 Policy making - examining the theoretical debates informing health policy governance
3.4 Lobbying policymakers - the role of the media, professional lobbyists, corporations, thinktanks, voluntary sector organisations and front groups in influencing and informing policy
3.5 Policy evaluation - exploring the importance and complexity of successful evaluation of public health policies
Section 4: The future of public health -
4.1 Evaluating health policy through a global lens - Revisiting the impact of structural drivers of health policy and outcomes and the challenges facing policymakers.
Further information on programme availabilityProgramme availability:

HL60498 is Optional on the following programmes:

Department of Social & Policy Sciences
  • RHSP-APD04 : Professional Doctorate in Policy Research and Practice