The social, cultural and political dimensions of illness, suffering and healthcare present important challenges, not only to patients and consumers, but to healthcare practitioners, administrators, and planners. Students undertaking subjects within this specialisation will acquire theoretical insights and methodological skills that can help to better understand society and therefore develop novel solutions to public health problems. Students who undertake a Health and Society research project will also develop knowledge and skills in social research methods, and their application to health. This specialisation incorporates subjects from health ethics, the sociology of health and illness, medical anthropology and the history of health care, providing students with a humanities and social science ‘toolkit’ for their public health careers. Examples of complex health issues that require a critical social lens will be used to demonstrate the application of the social sciences to public health, for example; stem cell research, alcohol use, abortion politics and the development of culturally sensitive population health programs. Possible roles in the field include project and leadership roles across government, not for profit, and community sector organisations, health administration, research, policy, advocacy, and health promotion.
Last updated: 12 November 2021