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.

Understanding Health Policy (10 credit) SPS5019

  • Academic Session: 2022-23
  • School: School of Social and Political Sciences
  • Credits: 10
  • Level: Level 5 (SCQF level 11)
  • Typically Offered: Semester 2
  • Available to Visiting Students: Yes
  • Available to Erasmus Students: No

Short Description

This course will explore policy responses to the problem of health and health inequalities. It will examine the relationship between policy, inequality and health and how this is influenced by the social, political and economic organisation of society. 


Either morning or afternoon, 5 * 3 hour sessions, plus a tutorial around the essay

Requirements of Entry


Excluded Courses





The course will be assessed by an assignment of 2,500 - 3,000 words

Course Aims

This is an optional course for the MSc/MRes programme in Global Health And MSc Public Policy and Management and its aims embody the intentions of this programme. The principlal aim is to provide students with the knowledge and skills to describe and critique health policy. More specifically, the course aims to examine the theoretical and empirical basis of the social policy as applied to health and health care.

Intended Learning Outcomes of Course

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

Describe and explain the factors leading to the development of the NHS and assess the extent to which it has changed over time;

Compare different approaches to healthcare systems and delivery

Assess UK approaches to 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.