Understanding Health Policy SPS5013

  • Academic Session: 2023-24
  • School: School of Social and Political Sciences
  • Credits: 20
  • Level: Level 5 (SCQF level 11)
  • Typically Offered: Semester 2
  • Available to Visiting Students: Yes

Short Description

This course will explore policy responses to the problem of health and health inequalities. It will examine the relationship between policy, inequality and health and how this is influenced by the social, political and economic organisation of society. 


2hrs per week, weekly for 10 weeks

Requirements of Entry


Excluded Courses





Assessment will be through coursework which could include essay, class presentation and group work - total 4,000 words.

Course Aims

This is an optional course for the MSc programme in Global Health And MSc Public Policy and Management and its aims embody the intentions of this programme. The principle aim is to provide students with the knowledge and skills to describe and critique health policy. More specifically, the course aims to examine the theoretical and empirical basis of the social policy as applied to health and health care.

Intended Learning Outcomes of Course

By the end of this course students will be able to:

Describe and explain the factors leading to the development of the NHS and assess the extent to which it has changed over time;

Compare different approaches to healthcare systems and delivery

Assess UK approaches to public health and primary care;

Discuss how health policy should be evaluated.

Show an understanding of the role of markets and personalised budgets in health and social care

Debate conflicts and contradictions in the social care system

Minimum Requirement for Award of Credits

Generic regulations apply