Health & Social Sector Leadership (Dumfries Campus) MA

Contemporary Health Challenges DUMF1069

  • Academic Session: 2022-23
  • School: School of Interdisciplinary Studies
  • Credits: 20
  • Level: Level 1 (SCQF level 7)
  • Typically Offered: Semester 1
  • Available to Visiting Students: Yes

Short Description

This course provides a grounding in key theories, models and concepts from the social sciences which have been influential in the study of health. These theories, models and concepts are then applied to some of the most significant health challenges of our time, in order to better understand the causes of these pressing issues and to explore potential solutions. While examples will be drawn from around the world, particular attention will be paid to the local context of Scotland and Dumfries & Galloway in order to comprehend the interconnectedness of contemporary health challenges.


1 x 2 hour lecture and 1 x 1 hour seminar per week.

Excluded Courses





Briefing paper (1300 words: 50%) In this briefing paper for policymakers you will (i) present and briefly interpret a graph on a health topic of your choice and (ii) summarise 6 to 10 journal articles on said topic, in the form of an annotated bibliography and synthesis. (ILOs 2 and 5)


Essay on a contemporary health challenge of your choice (1500 words: 50%) (ILOs 1,3,4 and 5)

Course Aims

The principal aim of the course is to introduce students to the social study of health and health care in Britain, with a particular focus on Scotland and Dumfries & Galloway. The course offers students the opportunity to develop their sociological imagination while exploring creative solutions to contemporary health challenges, including social inequalities in health, disability, ageing, and the integration of health and social care.

Intended Learning Outcomes of Course

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


1. Apply theoretical and conceptual knowledge from the social sciences to contemporary health challenges.

2. Interpret publicly available health data presented in various graphical forms.

3. Identify key health challenges and assess the appropriateness of the policies, services and theories or models associated with them.

4. Demonstrate the key disciplinary skills of constructing an argument, synthesising evidence and acknowledging sources of information in the field of health studies.

5. Summarise empirical knowledge pertaining to contemporary health challenges and account for the different patterns associated with them.

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.