HSO-30306 Health Policy and Action


Credits 6.00

Teaching methodContact hours
Individual Paper0
Group work3
Course coordinator(s)dr. ir. MAE Wagemakers
Lecturer(s)prof. dr. ir. CJAM Termeer
dr. ir. MAE Wagemakers
C Verbaan
dr. MPM Bekker
Examiner(s)dr. ir. MAE Wagemakers

Language of instruction:


Assumed knowledge on:

HSO-20306 Environmental Assets for Health and HSO-20806 Health Psychology.

Continuation courses:

Bachelor thesis BGM.


The field of health is dynamic and complex. Health is influenced by a diversity of interconnected factors, and different sectors and actors are involved. As a consequence, the development of public health policy is essential and organisations and professionals have to collaborate in the provision of care, prevention and health promotion.
In this course we review the influence of global, national and local health policies on the organisation of public health systems. For instance, policies of the World Health Organization (WHO) and European Union (EU) influence the organization of health systems on the national level. Likewise, national health policies determine local health policy and thereby local health systems. Decision-making during the development of health policies, depends on the actors involved and on the context in which the policy-making takes place. We take a closer look at health policy on the global, national and local level and discuss theories, decision-making models and tools in the field of health policy development and in network societies. We also unravel the policy-making process and address priority setting in health.
The functioning of organisations and actors within the health field is strongly related to health policies. Public health and society professionals have an important role in promoting and protecting health. They collaborate with policy-makers, with professionals within the health care sector, professionals of other sectors and communities. We discuss theories and methods to set policy on the agenda, and to develop, implement and evaluate policy. We also study policy implementation from the perspective of specific stakeholders such as general practitioners, health promotion professionals and the public.
In this course, students acquire more in-depth knowledge and competencies in the field of health and health promotion and are trained in program level learning outcomes of the Bachelor Health and Society. Program level learning outcomes addressed are: applying theoretical approaches, explain health policy making in the field of public health, choose and apply research methods, explain ethical issues that may arise when working in the field of public health, collaborate in a (multidisciplinary) team, communicate clearly (verbally and writing) and reflect upon personal knowledge, skills, attitudes and functioning. As such, the course helps students to prepare themselves for their professional life, for example as a researcher, health promoter, health policy advisor or manager.

Learning outcomes:

After successful completion of this course students are expected to be able to:
- understand how social, cultural, economic, demographic and political factors influence policy-making processes in health and coordinated action in public health;
- understand and reflect upon policy-making processes in health at different levels;
- understand and argue on the importance of coordinated action within public health policy;
- understand and apply relevant theories about policy- making and coordinated action;
- apply tools for policy-making and for coordinated action for health;
- reflect on competencies such as networking, communication and chairing a meeting.


- lectures;
- discussion groups;
- case studies;
- individual assignment;
- group assignment;
- self-study;


- written test with open and multiple-choice questions based on literature, (guest) lecturers and tutorials (50%);
- individual assignment (10%);
- group assignment (40%).
Each component needs a minimum mark of 5.5 to pass.
Absence during obligatory activities and missed deadlines may lead to deduction of points.


Literature will be provided through MyPortal.

Compulsory for: BGMHealth and SocietyBSc4WD