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.

Social Determinants of Health MED5522

  • Academic Session: 2022-23
  • School: School of Health and Wellbeing
  • Credits: 20
  • Level: Level 5 (SCQF level 11)
  • Typically Offered: Semester 2
  • Available to Visiting Students: Yes
  • Available to Erasmus Students: No

Short Description

The Social Determinants of Health (SDoH) are the non-medical factors that determine our health and wellbeing. Throughout this course, we take you on a journey to explore the reasons why we must consider the socioeconomic and political reasons leading to health inequalities. We explore key theories of inequality and social stratification within a health context and apply these to various examples throughout the course.


This course is made up of lectures and tutorials.

Requirements of Entry


Excluded Courses





Essay (2500-3000 words) - 70% [ILOs 1, 2, 3, 4]


Poster and 10-minute oral presentation - 30% [ILO 3, 4]

Course Aims

To provide students with a firm grounding in understanding the social determinants of health and the relationship with health inequalities in society.

Intended Learning Outcomes of Course

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

1. Critically appraise theoretical perspectives of the social determinants of health and health inequalities;

2. Synthesise evidence to examine how health can be socially, economically, and politically determined in a variety of societal contexts;

3. Identify and critique approaches to mitigating social determinants of health;

4. Evaluate the role of government and/or non-governmental organisations (NGO) in tackling social determinants that lead to health inequalities.

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.