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Durham University

Postgraduate Module Handbook 2021/2022

Archive Module Description

This page is for the academic year 2021-22. The current handbook year is 2022-23

Department: Anthropology

ANTH43815: Society, Health and Wellbeing

Type Open Level 4 Credits 15 Availability Available in 2021/22


  • None


  • None

Excluded Combination of Modules

  • None


  • To provide students with a range of theoretical perspectives and approaches within the social sciences which they can apply to a range of issues concerning health and wellbeing.


  • Indicative content is listed below and will be taught with reference to health and societal-level problems/scenarios:
  • Key theories and approaches within the social sciences applied to health.
  • The social and political determinants of health and health inequalities.
  • Using the above to examine critically a range of contemporary health issues, primarily in industrial and post-industrial societies.

Learning Outcomes

Subject-specific Knowledge:
  • By the end of the module students will have a working knowledge and understanding of concepts in the following areas:
  • Key theories and approaches within the social sciences and health.
  • Overview of key contemporary issues and debates within the social sciences and health.
Subject-specific Skills:
  • Ability to critically evaluate and apply social science theories to a range of contemporary health issues.
  • Ability to synthesise, critically evaluate and present data, models and theoretical arguments and materials.
Key Skills:
  • Ability to engage critically with a range of literature.
  • Ability to communicate succinctly and clearly in both oral and written format.
  • Ability to bring together and contrast different disciplinary perspectives on key contemporary health and wellbeing issues

Modes of Teaching, Learning and Assessment and how these contribute to the learning outcomes of the module

  • Contributing teaching staff introduce theoretical concepts and approaches, topics and key issues, followed by student-led discussion. Students have the opportunity to read, synthesize and present recent primary references and major reviews within the social science literatures. Students prepare presentations individually and collaboratively. Thus students are brought into contact with up-to-date research, are encouraged to evaluate it critically, and gain practice in presenting relevant materials to others and in learning collaboratively.

Teaching Methods and Learning Hours

Activity Number Frequency Duration Total/Hours
Seminars 9 Every 1-2 weeks 1.5 hours 13.5
Preparation and Reading 136.5
Total 150

Summative Assessment

Component: Essay Component Weighting: 100%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
Essay 3000 words 100%

Formative Assessment:

Formative assessment will be a written exercise of not more than 1,500 words that encourages wider reading and the ability to place what is read in the context of wider theoretical debates. Informal feedback on student presentations / discussions within seminars will also help students to hone their communication and critical evaluation skills.

Attendance at all activities marked with this symbol will be monitored. Students who fail to attend these activities, or to complete the summative or formative assessment specified above, will be subject to the procedures defined in the University's General Regulation V, and may be required to leave the University