Please note: there may be some adjustments to the teaching arrangements published in the course catalogue for 2020-21. Given current circumstances related to the Covid-19 pandemic it is anticipated that some usual arrangements for teaching on campus will be modified to ensure the safety and wellbeing of students and staff on campus; further adjustments may also be necessary, or beneficial, during the course of the academic year as national requirements relating to management of the pandemic are revised.

Psychosocial Approaches to Public Health (Online) MED5435

  • Academic Session: 2021-22
  • School: School of Health and Wellbeing
  • Credits: 20
  • Level: Level 5 (SCQF level 11)
  • Typically Offered: Summer
  • Available to Visiting Students: Yes
  • Available to Erasmus Students: No
  • Taught Wholly by Distance Learning: Yes

Short Description

A range of important psychological and sociological concepts of direct relevance to public health will be introduced in this course. Students will analyse the contribution of these knowledge bodies to current public health priorities.


This 10 week online course comprises 10 weekly lectures, each taking the form of two or three short lectures totalling around 90 minutes duration, and nine related weekly academic exercises. Exercises will each require around four notional hours of student effort and each week an academic staff member will convene an online tutorial related to these.

Requirements of Entry


Excluded Courses

MED5075 Psychosocial Approaches To Public Health




A 2,500 word essay on an aspect of sociological or psychological theory and its application to public health will comprise 80% of the assessment; A portfolio of 1,000 words - a reflective blog based on personal learning arising from weekly exercises where relevant research is analysed will comprise 20% of the assessment.

Main Assessment In: August

Course Aims

The course aims to explore the main psychological and sociological concepts of direct relevance to public health.

Intended Learning Outcomes of Course

By the end of this course students will be able to:

Critically assess the role of a range of social variables at the societal level in public health theory and practice.

Analyse the pathways by which a range of socio-environmental
 exposures are known to affect population health.

Critically evaluate the contribution of social cognition models to the understanding of current public health issues e.g. obesity, sustainability.

Appraise the societal and individual barriers to reducing
 the impact of ill-health's social determinants.

Evaluate the role of a range of social institutions in public health.

Minimum Requirement for Award of Credits

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