Health and Society (BGM) / BSc


The BSc programme Health and Society takes a sociological approach, emphasising the social embedding of health and health promotion and the importance of social processes, structures and institutions. From a strong social science base the study programme integrates life sciences theories and approaches in the analysis and design of health promotion interventions. The study specifically focuses on the interaction between health, lifestyle and the social and physical environment. It studies health from a comparative perspective and as constituted within the context of society and the socio-economic, cultural and political factors that influence health at various analytical levels. As health is related to a diversity of interrelated factors like housing, neighbourhood, work, education, recreation, the development of intersectoral policy is essential. Several disciplines are therefore presented and discussed varying from social psychology, sociology, health promotion, economics, demography, environmental studies and life sciences. The study prepares students for professions such as researchers, health promoters, health policy advisors or managers of health oriented organisations.

Learning Outcomes

After successful completion of this BSc programme graduates are expected to be able to:
- apply the theoretical approaches and infer the theoretical underpinnings of empirical research of sociology, social psychology and communication to current issues in public health, focussing on health care and prevention, including the interaction between health, lifestyle and the social and physical environment and their effects at various levels (micro, meso and macro);
- explain the governance of public health while applying economic, management and policy-oriented concepts;
- interpret basic social, physical and environmental determinants of health and explain how these determinants interact;
- critically analyse basic public health issues, such as obesity, chronic diseases and inequity in health;
- choose and apply the appropriate qualitative and quantitative social science research methods for data collection and analysis in empirical research, under supervision;
- define public health issues, translate research outcomes into advice, and evaluate policies and programmes for health promotion in various fields of practice and at various levels, under supervision;
- effectively contribute to the design, organisation and management of interventions in the field of public health and collaborate and communicate with (multiple) experts as well as other stakeholders;
- explain the ethical issues that may arise when working as experts in the field of public health;
- compare the multiple interpretations and applications of public health across time and place;
- cooperate in a (multidisciplinary) team to perform project-based work;
- communicate clearly (verbally and in writing) about the results of projects and research and their rational underpinnings with a diversity of public;
- reflect (under supervision) upon personal knowledge, skills, attitudes and functioning, both individually and in discussions with others, and design and plan their own study path.

Programme Director

Ir. G.C. van Nieuwenhoven
Phone: 0317- (4)82500

Study Adviser(s)

L.W. Debets MSc
Phone: 0317- (4)83932

Programme Committee

Chair: dr. H.M. van der Horst
Secretary: ir. G.C. van Nieuwenhoven


Study Association

Apollo Wageningen, Hollandseweg 1, 6706 KN Wageningen

Unconditional Admission to the MSc

MCH Communication, Health and Life Sciences
MID International Development Studies
MME Management, Economics and Consumer Studies