HSO-10806 Introduction to Health and Society


Credits 6.00

Teaching methodContact hours
Independent study
Course coordinator(s)dr. ir. HW Vaandrager
Lecturer(s)dr. ir. HW Vaandrager
ir. CQ Wentink
dr. KT Verkooijen
FK Garcia
Examiner(s)dr. ir. HW Vaandrager

Language of instruction:



In this introductory course relevant principles of health and society will be addressed. The course starts with historical developments in thinking about disease, health and health promotion. Next, we elaborate on causes and consequences of demographic, social, and economic health differences, using an interdisciplinary perspective (psychology, sociology, epidemiology). Specific attention is paid to the interaction between societal developments and health and ethical considerations. In this course we also address health systems in the Netherlands, including health policies regarding care, cure and prevention, and the organisation of formal and informal health care. In the final part of the course, we discuss infectious diseases and environmental health.

Learning outcomes:

At the end of the course the student is expected to:
- have an understanding of the concepts within the field of health and society, and of factors that positively or negatively influence health;
- have insight in the demographic-, social-, and economic inequalities in health;
- critically reflect on the interaction between societal developments and trends in health;
- be able to acquire and assess scientific literature by using Wageningen Desktop Library;
- be able to use a correct reference style;
- be able to apply the rules for writing a paper.


- lectures;
- group discussions;
- literature study;
- group assignments.


Written exam with open and closed questions (100%).


Mackenbach, J.P., & Stronks, K. (2012). Volksgezondheid en gezondheidszorg (Zesde druk). Amsterdam: Reed Business.

Compulsory for: BGMHealth and SocietyBSc1MO