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Unit information: Health Policy in a Global Context (iBSc Global Health) in 2021/22

Unit name Health Policy in a Global Context (iBSc Global Health)
Unit code SPOL30076
Credit points 20
Level of study H/6
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 1 (weeks 1 - 12)
Unit director Dr. Dodds
Open unit status Not open




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

Description including Unit Aims

This unit begins by exploring various measures of health in an international context and considering the limitations of such measures. We briefly explore global patterns in life expectancy, mortality and morbidity, and key factors involved in the distribution of health. The focus is on differences between and within countries using various demographic and socio-economic measures. The main part of the unit examines the relationship between health and illness and health policy. We explore diversity in health systems, the ways in which health policy is shaped by social, economic and political influences, the impact of globalisation on health and the ways in which global restructuring has affected health policy. We look at the role of international organisations in global health governance and the impact of trans-national companies on health. The unit will conclude with an examination of the policy options for reducing inequalities in global health.

Intended Learning Outcomes

Students are expected to develop an understanding of:

  1. The meaning of global health policy and the various ways in which health services are delivered around the world
  2. The meaning of global health governance and the role of various global organisations in shaping health experience
  3. The relationship between changing patterns of health and illness and wider processes of global restructuring
  4. The major determinants shaping health care in different parts of the world
  5. Different theoretical perspectives in discussion and critique of global health and global health governance

Teaching Information

This unit will draw on a blended learning approach. Students will engage with taught content that is self-paced (including, for example, narrated slides and other teaching and research materials). Each week students will be tasked to complete activities (a mix of individual work and collaborative study group work). Live sessions will also be scheduled where students will present and discuss ideas and clarify learning with the tutor alongside students in the same study groups. The materials used for these sessions will be separately shared for those unable to attend. A weekly Office Hour will be complemented by periodic monitoring and responses to online discussion space for student reflections, summaries and Q&A.

Assessment Information

Part 1: Case study (750 words or equivalent) 25% - assesses ILOs 1&2

Part 2: Essay (2250 words) 75% - assesses ILOs - 3-5


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. SPOL30076).

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.