module specification

SS4016 - Culture, Health and Community Development (2017/18)

Module specification Module approved to run in 2017/18
Module title Culture, Health and Community Development
Module level Certificate (04)
Credit rating for module 30
School School of Social Professions
Total study hours 300
192 hours Guided independent study
108 hours Scheduled learning & teaching activities
Assessment components
Type Weighting Qualifying mark Description
Coursework 10%   Short essay (600 words)
Oral Examination 30%   Presentation
Coursework 60%   Report (2,500 words)
Running in 2017/18
Period Campus Day Time Module Leader
Year North - To be arranged

Module summary

The module introduces students the key concepts of communities, culture and health. Changing cultural assumptions and practices that influence individuals’ health and wellbeing will be explored. It is designed to enable students to identify and analyse the social and cultural factors that influence individuals’ well-being and the relationship of those factors with the wider external factors. The module recognises the dynamic interaction between individuals and their cultural contexts.

Module aims

The module aims to

  1. Provide students with an understanding of how culture as a dynamic concept shapes the experiences of health and wellbeing by focusing on the interplay between identity and health.
  2. Provide an understanding of the policy frameworks within which the cultural needs in relation to health and wellbeing are recognised and responded to.
  3. Enable students to examine the usefulness and limits of different community development approaches as a practical solution to tackle health inequalities in the community.
  4. Enable students to examine the role of community groups, voluntary and statutory agencies in promoting health and wellbeing of those from different minority ethnic groups, as well as marginalised social groups
  5. Enable students to engage with the principles and the delivery of culturally sensitive services and meeting the unmet needs of diverse communities.


The syllabus will cover:
What is culture? What is wellbeing?
Cultural constructions of health and wellbeing
Social and economic issues affecting minority ethnic, faith and cultural communities
Wellbeing, difference and identities – the idea of intersectionality
Discrimination and exclusion in the experiences of wellbeing
Trends in ethnicity and epidemiology
Ethnicity and inequalities in health
Culture and disability
Culture and ageing
Culture and mental illness
Introduction to traditional non-Western medical systems – negotiating health and wellbeing through such systems
Culturally sensitive services – whose culture?  Issues of equal opportunity policies
Community actions for health – grass-roots initiatives
Community led approaches to health development
Policy frameworks for equitable health and social care - opportunities and challenges

Learning and teaching

The module will be delivered through a combination of:

  1. Weekly lectures
  2. Small group seminars
  3. Interactive workshops (led by local community organisations)
  4. Field-work (observational research), and
  5. Weblearn, video materials & other online educational content

A student centred approach will be adopted in teaching and learning on the module, relying on class discussions, reflections and expert inputs from external practitioners. Students active involvement will be encouraged through their personal reflection, visits to community organisations (mini case studies that they do as a group) and an environment for interactive learning (e.g. use of Weblearn, problem solving and analysis of real issues). The module intends to capitalise on the super-diverse background of the student population in analysing live issues in small group seminars – which is expected to help students’ engagement and strengthen their reflective learning).  Working closely with the community based organisations in learning and delivering the module would also help student’s engagement.

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of the module students should be able to:

  1. Articulate an understanding of how cultural beliefs and practices influence the experiences of health and wellbeing.
  2. Develop skills to identify and engage with organisations and agencies that are working with diverse communities to promote health and wellbeing.
  3. Identify ways in which community development approaches enable communities and professionals to promote equalities in health and culturally sensitive services.
  4. Discuss the current debates around health inequalities and their relationship with identities.

Assessment strategy

The learning will be assessed by three components:

  1. A short essay (600 words) to include key conceptual understanding of culture and wellbeing and related terms (10% of total marks) (LO 1)
  2. Presentation -Students will identify a community based organisation engaged in promoting health and wellbeing of a multicultural population, prepare a presentation including their observation of the organisation/field trip and present their findings in the class (30% of total marks) (LO 2,3)
  3. A 2,500 words report that requires a discussion of cultural and environmental determinants of health in a relevant area. (60% of total marks) (LO 1,3,4)


Ahmad, W. et al (2000) Ethnicity, Disability And Chronic Illness, OUP
Ahmad, W. and Bradby, H. (2008) Ethnicity, Health and Health Care: Understanding Diversity, Tackling Disadvantage (Sociology of Health and Illness Monographs), Blackwell Publishing
Bhopal, R. (2014) Migration, Ethnicity, Race, and Health in Multicultural Societies, OUP
Blakemore, K. and Boneham, M. (1993) Age, Race and Ethnicity: A Comparative Approach (Rethinking Ageing), OUP
Dailly, J and Barr, A. (2008) Understanding a Community-Led Approach to Health Improvement, SCDC
Fernando, S (2010) Mental Health, Race and Culture, Palgrave, Macmillan
Gregson, R. & Court, L. (2010) Building healthy communities: A community empowerment approach. London: Community Development Foundation
Helman, C. (2007) Culture, Health and Illness, CRC press (5th Edition)
Horton, M. (2007) Community Health Development in Action : learning from the Hull and East Riding Health Action Zone, CDF
Nazroo, J. (1998) The Health of Britain's Ethnic Minorities, PSI
Salway, S.  (2007) Long-term ill health, poverty and ethnicity, The Policy Press
Seebohn, P. et al (2005) Together We Will Change: Community Development, Mental Health and Diversity, Sainsbury Centre for Mental Health
Smaje, C.  (1995) Health, "Race" and Ethnicity: Making Sense of the Evidence, Kings Fund

On-line resources:
Scottish Community Development Centre:
Federation of Community Development Learning:
Community Development Foundation:
Community Development Exchange:
National Institute for Health and Care Excellence: (Community Engagement to Improve Health)
Public Health Observatory:
Kings Fund:
Centre on Dynamics of Ethnicity:
Office for National Statistics: (particularly -


Social Sciences and Medicine (Elsevier)
Disability and Society (Taylor and Francis)
Ageing and Society (Cambridge Journals)
Ethnicity and Health (Taylor and Francis)
Community Development Journal (Oxford Journals)