HSO-31806 Advances in Health and Society


Credits 6.00

Teaching methodContact hours
Group work3
Independent study
Course coordinator(s)dr. ir. LI Bouwman
Lecturer(s)dr. KT Verkooijen
dr. JJ Mandemakers
dr. ir. LI Bouwman
J Spook
FK Garcia
Examiner(s)dr. ir. LI Bouwman

Language of instruction:


Assumed knowledge on:

Interdisciplinary Approaches in Communication, Health and Life Sciences


The field of health promotion has facilitated the development of new approaches towards improving the health of individuals and communities that go beyond approaches such as disease prevention and public health. Some of the distinguishing features include: a holistic view on health and the determinants of health, the use of interdisciplinary and participatory research approaches, and a focus on unjustifiable disparities in health. As central theme, this course focuses on the aetiological pathways that may explain how inequalities in health arise and sustain. Understanding these pathways is essential for developing (communication) strategies to reduce inequalities. Each week of the course introduces a new aetiological approach to health inequality, which will be discussed during the lectures. Besides the lectures, students work in small groups on case studies in which they are challenged to apply the different approaches to address various health inequality issues and to come up with solutions.

Learning outcomes:

At the end of this course students are expected to be able to:
- understand the different aetiological pathways that may underlie inequality in health;
- analyse specific health inequality cases according to different aetiological approaches;
- apply the different aetiological approaches in oral and written communication through oral in-class discussion and written assignments;
- critically reflect on existing strategies to reduce health inequality and alternative solutions.


The course consists of: lectures, tutorial, literature study, and group work. During the lectures the important concepts and theories are explained, discussed and illustrated with practical examples. During the tutorials and outside class hours, students work in small groups on different case studies.


- written group reports on the case studies (50%);
- written exam (50%).
To pass a minimum of 5.50 for each of the components is required.


The following book will be used:
Bartley, M. (2004). Health inequality: an introduction to concepts, theories and methods. Polity. ISBN 0-7456-2779.
Additional literature related to the lectures is provided through Blackboard. For the case studies participants have to search additional literature.

Compulsory for: MCHCommunication, Health and Life SciencesMScB: Health and Society2AF