Students specialising in Health Social Science will acquire knowledge and skills in both the theory and methods of the social sciences as applied to public health. The social sciences make a significant contribution to our capacity to both understand public health problems, and to offer novel solutions. Students will have the opportunity to develop higher order skills in social theorising with an emphasis on critical analysis, and written and verbal communication. Students who undertake a research project will also develop knowledge and skills in social science research methods, and their application to health. The social and political dimensions of illness and suffering and the cultural differences in the understanding of health care delivery present important challenges, not only to practitioners, but also to administrators and planners. This specialisation incorporates subjects from health ethics, sociology of health and illness, medical anthropology and the history of health care, providing students with a social science ‘toolkit’ for their public health careers. Examples of complex health issues will be used to demonstrate the application of the social sciences to public health, for example; stem cell research, alcohol use, contraception and abortion and the development of culturally sensitive population health programs.
Intended learning outcomes
Last updated: 24 November 2023