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Unit Code: HPM604

Unit Name: Social Determinants of Health

Description: This course provides an opportunity for participants to develop or strengthen their understanding of social determinants of health using local, regional, national and international perspectives. Participants will critically examine social inequities and the health consequences in diverse populations. The course aims to examine the social determinants of health and health inequalities and to evaluate appropriate public policy responses. The course explores in detail current theories explaining the development and persistence of inequalities in health. In particular it will encourage students to examine theories focusing on behavioural/cultural, psycho-social, structural/materialist, and life course explanations of health inequalities. The course will also investigate the role of government in determining economic and social policy, and the impact of economic and social policy on inequalities. It will specifically consider how government approaches to taxation, provision of the welfare state, and the funding and delivery of public services can impact on the equitable distribution of resources within society. The course will finally consider the impact of specific areas of public policy (for example relating to health services, transport, and/or food) on health inequalities.

Learning Target Outcomes: On successful completion of this course, the students will be able to : 1. Describe key concepts for understanding social determinants of health 2. Demonstrate theoretical frameworks that explain how social advantages and disadvantages influence health and illness; 3. Illustrate the range of factors that influence health at a population level including community, social, economic and political factors 4. Demonstrate understanding of different approaches to improving health and reducing health inequalities, including the theoretical underpinnings of these different approaches and the extent to which they are supported by evidence 5. Demonstrate the health impacts of different approaches to social and economic policy and the extent to which these approaches reflect different political and ideological traditions 6. Demonstrate salient mechanisms and pathways through which social determinants influence the health of populations and result in health inequities; 7. Demonstrate local, provincial, and national policy solutions aimed at improving the social determinants of health and reducing health inequities.

Prerequisite: PBH500

Prerequisite Sentence: N/A

Credit Point: 15

Offered In: Semester 2