Core Module Information
Module title: Sociology of Medicine, Health and Illness

SCQF level: 09:
SCQF credit value: 20.00
ECTS credit value: 10

Module code: SSC09115
Module leader: Melanie Leggate
School School of Applied Sciences
Subject area group: Social Science

Examples of Equivalent Learning
Introductory sociology modules or equivalent courses that provide an understanding of sociological theories

Description of module content:

The purpose of this module is to introduce students to a specific area of sociology, where they will apply theories, concepts and methodologies from the wider body of sociology to the fields of health and illness, wellbeing, and healthcare. They will consider how health and illness are affected by social processes and structures, and examine the social factors that influence the health of individuals and of groups within society. Health and illness will also provide a field where they can consider political and cultural contexts and apply ideas about power and knowledge.
The module will include: Theory as applied to medicine, health and illness; Social stratification and inequalities in health; Social contexts and health: gender, ethnicity and age; The provision of health care; Lay and professional perspectives on medical knowledge and power; Chronic illness, biographical disruption and narrative reconstruction; Medicine and technology (including the quantified self); Stigma, labelling and mental health; Sociology of screening and diagnosis; Health, risk and society (including health policy and responses to epidemics).

Learning Outcomes for module:

Upon completion of this module you will be able to:
LO1: understand and apply knowledge relating to sociological approaches to health and illness;
LO2: apply sociological theories and concepts to the field of health and illness;
LO3: conduct academic literature searches in the topic and critically evaluate your results;
LO4: evaluate relationships between different aspects of social stratification (e.g. gender, ethnicity, class, age), social structures, and the health of individuals;
LO5: critically reflect on current research in sociology of health and illness, and construct arguments based on your reading of contemporary research papers;
LO6: participate in and critically assess key debates in the sociology of health and illness.

Full Details of Teaching and Assessment
2022/3, Trimester 1, FACE-TO-FACE, Edinburgh Napier University
Occurrence: 001
Primary mode of delivery: FACE-TO-FACE
Location of delivery: SIGHTHILL
Partner: Edinburgh Napier University
Member of staff responsible for delivering module: Sally Brown
Module Organiser:

Learning, Teaching and Assessment (LTA) Approach:
Weekly lectures and tutorials will use a variety of methods including face-to-face lectures, discussions of recommended readings, audio-visual resources, and group activities to foster student engagement. Student autonomy will be developed by encouraging students to choose their own topics within the sociology of health and illness, and researching sources and materials to support their work.
Tutorials will include activities to enhance learning and study skills including group work exercises which will develop interpersonal and communication skills, discussions and debates around key readings, and short presentations to encourage students to develop their ability to summarise and synthesise ideas. Academic skills will be developed by encouraging and supporting students to source and research their own materials. Guest speakers, such as health care practitioners, will be invited to take part in discussions in tutorial groups as appropriate; this will enhance student understanding of some aspects of the module as well as contributing to employability by enhancing their understanding of working in health care settings.

Formative Assessment:
Formative assessment will be delivered in tutorials in the form of face-to-face interactions focusing on understanding of subject knowledge and reading materials, and preparation for the summative assessments. Skills in conducting literature searches on academic databases will be developed, both in classroom time and by discussing the results of students’ searches in tutorials. Discussions of readings will enable the students to focus on the topic they wish to choose for their summative assignment, and develop their ability to critique the literature and develop their arguments.

Summative Assessment:
Summative assessment 1 – This will be a short proposal for the essay which forms the second summative assessment, which will be on a self-chosen topic within the scope of the module. The proposal will outline the topic the student wishes to discuss and present an indicative literature search. This will enable the module leader to ensure that the topic is manageable and within scope, and to provide advice for the completion of the essay.

Summative assessment 2 – This will be a 3000 word essay due in Week 14 on a topic chosen by the student.

Student Activity (Notional Equivalent Study Hours (NESH))
Mode of activityLearning & Teaching ActivityNESH (Study Hours)
Face To Face Lecture 24
Face To Face Tutorial 12
Independent Learning Guided independent study 164
Total Study Hours200
Expected Total Study Hours for Module200

Type of Assessment Weighting % LOs covered Week due Length in Hours/Words
Project - Written 20 1,2,3 9 HOURS= 0, WORDS= 800
Essay 80 4,5,6 14 HOURS= 0, WORDS= 3000
Component 1 subtotal: 20
Component 2 subtotal: 80
Module subtotal: 100

Indicative References and Reading List - URL:
Contact your module leader