Health and Technology DUMF3078

  • Academic Session: 2019-20
  • School: School of Interdisciplinary Studies
  • Credits: 20
  • Level: Level 3 (SCQF level 9)
  • Typically Offered: Semester 1
  • Available to Visiting Students: Yes
  • Available to Erasmus Students: Yes

Short Description

This course focuses on contemporary and forthcoming technologies of health and their social and ethical implications for health policy and management. For example, topics will include, lifestyle surveillance, technological fixes versus behavioural change, and the implications of electronically-mediated healthcare.


One 3-hour class meeting per week, involving lecture/seminar activities.

Requirements of Entry

A grade D or higher in at least one level 2 Health & Social Policy recommended or core course, or philosophy course.

Excluded Courses





4 x Moodle tasks, assessing skills in identifying analytical categories (ILOs 1 and 2) [20%]


1 x class test, assessing knowledge of concepts and definitions [10%]


1 x 1,500 word essay on one aspect of the theory bases of the course as related to a particular context (specifically assessing ILOs 1 - 4) [30%];


90 minute exam (assessing ILOs 1 - 4) [40%].

Main Assessment In: December

Are reassessment opportunities available for all summative assessments? No

Reassessments are normally available for all courses, except those which contribute to the Honours classification. For non-Honours courses, students are offered reassessment in all or any of the components of assessment if the satisfactory (threshold) grade for the overall course is not achieved at the first attempt. This is normally grade D3 for undergraduate students and grade C3 for postgraduate students. Exceptionally it may not be possible to offer reassessment of some coursework items, in which case the mark achieved at the first attempt will be counted towards the final course grade. Any such exceptions for this course are described below. 

Course Aims

1. To foster a critical understanding of theories of technology/society interaction, and particularly the ethical, social and political implications of technological choices. For example, the implications of genetic profiling technologies will be explored.


2. To explore contemporary examples of health technologies, such as FitBit monitors, to evaluate potential benefits and harms for specific social groups.


3. To relate modern contexts to historical and probable forthcoming capabilities of technologies applied to improving and sustaining health.


4. To enable students to develop analytical abilities, ethical judgement and confidence in their approach to tackling demanding real-world problems.

Intended Learning Outcomes of Course

By the end of this course students will be able:


1. to trace and explain ethical and social implications of technological options for health.


2. to identify relevant social groups influencing, and affected by, adoption of a health technology;


3. to apply historical experiences for selecting and communicating current and future contexts of health technologies;


4. to demonstrate competence in analysing and recommending novel or proposed technologies applied to human health.

Minimum Requirement for Award of Credits

Students must submit 75% of the components (including examinations) of the course's summative assessment.

There would be a formal requirement of this course for students to attend at least 80% of all classes to qualify for credit.