- Academic Registry
Programme & Unit Catalogues

HL10526: Public and social health

[Page last updated: 15 October 2020]

Follow this link for further information on academic years Academic Year: 2020/1
Further information on owning departmentsOwning Department/School: Department for Health
Further information on credits Credits: 15      [equivalent to 30 CATS credits]
Further information on notional study hours Notional Study Hours: 300
Further information on unit levels Level: Certificate (FHEQ level 4)
Further information on teaching periods Period:
Academic Year
Further information on unit assessment Assessment Summary: CW 100%
Further information on unit assessment Assessment Detail:
  • Assessment detail for this unit will be available shortly. (CW 100%)
Further information on supplementary assessment Supplementary Assessment:
Like-for-like reassessment (where allowed by programme regulations)
Further information on requisites Requisites:
Description: Aims:
To provide students with an introduction to theoretical and historical aspects of public health, covering key concepts and ideas. To introduce socio-cultural concepts and debates in health.

Learning Outcomes:
1. Describe and explain concepts within and models of public health and the purpose of public health in society.
2. Appraise health policies and their potential to impact on population health.
3. Develop and present coherent arguments and challenge assumptions around healthism and neoliberalism and the impacts of these concepts on health.
4. Recognise and discuss diversity in the numerous determinants of health and their impact on individuals and groups
5. Identify sources of health inequalities and describe how and why socio-economic status is a risk factor for poor health.
6. Recognise the role of health in western societies and discuss how social media can influence the way health is represented
7. Describe the role of a health and exercise scientist in recognising and tackling contemporary applied challenges.

The aim of this unit is to provide students with an introduction to public health, the role of health in society, key public health organisations, and public health policies. Students will learn about health inequalities and other risk factors for poor health. The unit will also introduce students to socio-cultural concepts and debates in health. Students can expect to engage in lectures, workshops, and debates. The unit is designed to be very diverse.
Unit content includes:
* The meaning of health and public health, including key milestones, such as the Black Report, Acheson and the Alma Ata declaration
* The causes of mortality and morbidity, in terms of communicable and non-communicable diseases
* The challenges to public health presented by the rise in some communicable and non-communicable diseases.
* The challenges to public health presented by shifts in mind/body relations.
* Introduce models of the determinants of health (e.g. social-ecological) which describe micro and macro factors influencing people's health.
* Types and theories of health inequalities, addressing key sources of inequality and developing an understanding of absolute and relative disadvantage.
* The impact of health policy decisions on health.
* An introduction to theories related to the social construction of health, including the (bio)medicalisation of health
* Debates around key socio-cultural concepts that may impact public health approaches (e.g., individualised health, healthism, neoliberalism, commodification, body image).
* The influence of contemporary social spaces (e.g. social media) on perceptions of health and the body.
Further information on programme availabilityProgramme availability:

HL10526 is a Designated Essential Unit on the following programmes:

Department for Health
  • UHHL-AFB21 : BSc(Hons) Health and Exercise Science (Year 1)
  • UHHL-AKB21 : BSc(Hons) Health and Exercise Science with Professional Placement (Year 1)


  • This unit catalogue is applicable for the 2020/21 academic year only. Students continuing their studies into 2021/22 and beyond should not assume that this unit will be available in future years in the format displayed here for 2020/21.
  • Programmes and units are subject to change in accordance with normal University procedures.
  • Availability of units will be subject to constraints such as staff availability, minimum and maximum group sizes, and timetabling factors as well as a student's ability to meet any pre-requisite rules.
  • Find out more about these and other important University terms and conditions here.