module specification

SH5004 - Contemporary Issues in Health and Social Care 1 (2022/23)

Module specification Module approved to run in 2022/23
Module title Contemporary Issues in Health and Social Care 1
Module level Intermediate (05)
Credit rating for module 30
School School of Social Sciences and Professions
Total study hours 300
72 hours Scheduled learning & teaching activities
18 hours Assessment Preparation / Delivery
210 hours Guided independent study
Assessment components
Type Weighting Qualifying mark Description
Coursework 50%   Podcast presentation
Coursework 50%   Essay
Running in 2022/23

(Please note that module timeslots are subject to change)
No instances running in the year

Module summary

 This module aims to enable students to:
- Develop an understanding of contemporary issues in relation to health and social care
- Discuss the global, cultural, economic and political context of health and social care issues
- Examine developing perspectives on contemporary issues in health and social care, such as professional and service-user/lay perspectives
- Explore the role of social factors in relation to contemporary issues in health and social care
- Develop critical thinking and analysis on contemporary issues


 Some of the key areas include:
• Understanding different models of health and social care and the implications of these for services and service-users
• Power and professionalisation
• Medical surveillance
• Social and cultural factors
• Lay Meanings and perspectives
• Measuring heath
• Inequalities and power in health and social care (global, national, regional)
• Gender
• Stigma 
• Disability perspectives (medical, social, critical)
• Embodiment
• User-Led Perspectives
• Access to services All LO1-6

These topics are explored with a focus on contemporary issues.  To ensure this module remains current the actual contemporary issues explored are likely to change year-on-year but may include: Mental health/illness; gender and sexuality; experiences of later life; NCDs and CDs.

Learning outcomes

 1. Demonstrate an understanding of contemporary issues in relation to health and social care
2. Analyse the ways in which global, cultural, economic and political contexts shape contemporary issues in health and social care
3. Recognise the diversity of consequences of varying states of illness and/or circumstances.
4. Discuss the impact of a range of factors on service provision and practice.
5. Discuss the implications of developments in health and social care practice and service provision.
6. Apply basic demographic and epidemiological concepts and conventions to describe and explain changing patterns relating to contemporary issues in a population.

Assessment strategy

 Students will demonstrate that they have met the learning outcomes through the submission of:
1. A 15 minute podcast presentation [LO 1 and 6]
2. An essay 3,000 words  [LO 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5]


 Core reading:

Armstrong, D (2001) Outline of Sociology as Applied to Medicine. London: Arnold
Barry, AM & Yuill, C (2016) Understanding the Sociology of Health. An introduction. London: Sage.
Bury, M (1997) Health & Illness in a Changing Society. London: Routledge
Cockerham, WC (2012) Medical Sociology. Boston: Pearson International
Gabe, J; Bury, M; Elston, MA (2004) Key Concepts in Medical Sociology. London: Sage
Lupton, D (2012) Medicine as Culture: Illness, Disease and the Body. London: Sage
Nettleton, S (2013) The Sociology of Health & Illness. Cambridge: Polity
Scambler, G (2008) Sociology as Applied to Medicine. Edinburgh: Elsevier
Thomas, C; Watson, N; & Roulstone, A (2012) Routledge Handbook of Disability Studies. London: Routledge.
Turner, BS (1987) Medical Power and Social Knowledge. London: Sage

Additional reading:
Armstrong, D. (1995) The Rise of Surveillance Medicine, Sociology of Health & Illness, 17(3): 393-404
Blaxter, M (2010) Health. Cambridge: Polity
Howson, A (2004) The Body in Society: An Introduction. Cambridge: Polity
Illich, I (1976) Limits to Medicine. London: Marion Boyars
Marmot, M & Siegrist, J (eds) (2006) Social Inequalities in Health.  Oxford: Oxford University Press 
Morrall, P (2009) Sociology & Health: An Introduction. London: Routledge
Scott, S. (2006) The Medicalisation of Shyness: From Social Misfits to Social Fitness. Sociology of Health & Illness, 28(2): 133–153
White, K (2009) An Introduction to the Sociology of Health and Illness. London: Sage
Wilkinson, S & Kitzinger, C (1994) Women & Health: Feminist Perspectives.  London: Taylor & Francis

Recommended journals:

Body and Society
British Medical Journal
Qualitative Health Research
Social Science and Medicine
Sociology of Health and Illness