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Unit information: Inequalities in Health, Poverty and Development in 2021/22

Unit name Inequalities in Health, Poverty and Development
Unit code SPOL31021
Credit points 20
Level of study H/6
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 1 (weeks 1 - 12)
Unit director Dr. Grieve
Open unit status Not open




School/department School for Policy Studies
Faculty Faculty of Social Sciences and Law

Description including Unit Aims

According to the World Health Organisation the world's biggest killer and the greatest cause of ill health and suffering across the globe is listed almost at the end of the International Classification of Diseases. It is given code Z59.5 -- extreme poverty. The possibility of improving the health of the world’s population by ending poverty during the 21st Century has gained increasing public and political support. This unit will examine the scientific and policy debates about how to eliminate poverty and reduce wider inequalities in health using a sustainable development approach.

Intended Learning Outcomes

On completion of the unit, students will:

  • Be well informed on the academic and policy debate on poverty,exclusion and inequalities in health.
  • Have a clear understanding of the concepts of poverty, development and inequalities in health, including gender, disability and age inequalities.
  • Be able to discuss different definitions and meanings of ‘poverty’, ‘inequality’ and ‘exclusion’ both in a UK and in a global context.
  • Be able to identify and discuss key data on patterns of global poverty and inequalities in resources and health.
  • Be familiar with theoretical and empirical analysis of the causal pathways running, in both directions, between health and material living standards (wealth, inequality).
  • Have a clear understanding of the right to health care and the rationing of scarce resources, and the impact of both on global inequalities in health.

Teaching Information

Teaching will be delivered through weekly lectures,. These will include blended learning involving a combination of synchronous and asynchronous sessions across the teaching block, including self-directed exercises and group activities. Weekly synchronous Q&A sessions will be scheduled to support students. Feedback will be provided for formative assessment, preparation for which will be supported through the creation of narrated poster sessions relevant to the summative assessment questions.

Assessment Information

Part 1: Poster (25%) ILOs 1, 2, 4, 5 (length to be equivalent to 800-1000 words)

Part 2: 2000 word Essay (75%) ILOs 1-6


If this unit has a Resource List, you will normally find a link to it in the Blackboard area for the unit. Sometimes there will be a separate link for each weekly topic.

If you are unable to access a list through Blackboard, you can also find it via the Resource Lists homepage. Search for the list by the unit name or code (e.g. SPOL31021).

How much time the unit requires
Each credit equates to 10 hours of total student input. For example a 20 credit unit will take you 200 hours of study to complete. Your total learning time is made up of contact time, directed learning tasks, independent learning and assessment activity.

See the Faculty workload statement relating to this unit for more information.

The Board of Examiners will consider all cases where students have failed or not completed the assessments required for credit. The Board considers each student's outcomes across all the units which contribute to each year's programme of study. If you have self-certificated your absence from an assessment, you will normally be required to complete it the next time it runs (this is usually in the next assessment period).
The Board of Examiners will take into account any extenuating circumstances and operates within the Regulations and Code of Practice for Taught Programmes.