HSO-31306 Theoretical Approaches in Research for Health and Society


Credits 6.00

Teaching methodContact hours
Individual Paper1
Independent study
Course coordinator(s)dr. KT Verkooijen
Lecturer(s)prof. dr. MA Koelen
dr. KT Verkooijen
FK Garcia
Examiner(s)prof. dr. MA Koelen

Language of instruction:


Assumed knowledge on:

The course HSO-31306 Theoretical approaches in research for health and society is obligatory for 3rd year students of the Bachelor program Health and Society. Other students can participate in the course, but should be aware that the course is developed for students who will soon after the course start with their bachelor (health and society) thesis. Assumed is that students have followed at least some introductory courses in health, e.g. HSO-10806 Introduction to health and society, HSO-20806 Health psychology, HSO-10306 Global health, or HSO-20306 Environmental assets for health.


Questions related to issues in health and society are often complex questions. Studying the available literature can help to answer these complex questions. A literature review is a critical and in depth evaluation of previous research, and is part of almost any scientific process. This course will teach students knowledge and skills necessary to conduct a systematic literature review, and will prepare students for writing a thesis in the bachelor program health and society. Among others, students will learn how to select a topic and theoretical perspective, to formulate relevant research questions, and to conduct a systematic literature search. Students are further taught how to critique the literature and how to develop their argument.

Learning outcomes:

After successful completion of this course students are expected to be able to:
- communicate, in written, knowledge and understanding of current issues in health and society;
- select and apply relevant theory for and scientific perspectives on health and society issues;
- evaluate the use of scientific perspectives and theory in health and society research, as well as the outcomes and conclusions of this research;
- develop a research proposal for a systematic literature review of a health and society issue.


The course consists of (guest) lectures, tutorials, self study, and individual assignments. During the lectures and tutorials, different elements of conducting a systematic literature review are discussed and practiced with the use of exercises. In addition to the lectures, students will work individually on a research proposal for a literature review. Students provide each other with feedback on parts of the proposal by means of a peer review system. In addition, students individually have to reflect on two scientific articles, and are asked to write a reflection report on an interview with a potential thesis supervisor.


- written exam (40%);
- individual research proposal (40%);
- individual assignment scientific papers (10%);
- individual reflection paper on interview and peer review (10%).
To pass the course each component requires a minimum mark of 5.50.


The literature and assignments will be available on Blackboard.

Compulsory for: BGMHealth and SocietyBSc5AF