Social Determinants of Health - 2017

To enrol in this unit, you must be accepted into a course from the provider. Read before you start

Unit summary


  • Level of Study: Undergraduate Level 1
  • Study load: 0.125 EFTSL
  • Delivery method: Fully Online
  • Prerequisites: No
  • Duration: 13 weeks
  • Government loans available: HECS-HELP
  • Availability for 2017: SP1 , SP3
  • Availability for 2018: SP1 , SP3
  • Assessment: Assessment - Speaking Task (300 word equiv) (15%) , Assignment 1 - Written Assignment (1000 word) (20%) - Learn more

Unit provided by

2017 Fees
Domestic 1,131.00
HECS 1,131.00

 In this subject students will examine the ways health, well-being and illness are experienced, understood, and responded to by people as social beings who participate in various groups, organisations, communities, and societies. Critical factors such as education, social class, gender, and ethnicity and culture will be explored to examine how social practices, positions, and processes influence access to and use of resources supportive of health and well-being. Theories and frameworks will be examined and assessed so that students can develop an ability to become aware of and interpret various life concerns both personally and professionally and gain a more nuanced awareness of the dynamics operating between the personal and public domains.

At the completion of this unit students will be able to:

  1. explain common beliefs about health and illness to suggest and discuss the basis of these beliefs and why they persist;
  2. examine how social and cultural factors shape and determine people's experience of health and illness in different parts of the world;
  3. compare health and illness outcomes experienced by groups from different social and cultural contexts and explain why differences occur;
  4. discuss the interactions between health and illness, social perceptions of disease, culture and other societal structures and institutions; and
  5. research and use different types of data and information to understand and explain health and illness issues within a diverse social and cultural context.
  • Assessment — Speaking Task (300 word equiv) (15%)
  • Assignment 1 — Written Assignment (1000 word) (20%)
  • Assignment 2 — Essay (1200 word equivalent) (35%)
  • Quizzes — 3 x 20min online 1000 word equ (30%)

There are no prerequisites for this unit.

  • Other special requirement — If cross institutional, unit coordinator approval needed. View OUA info on La Trobe On Campus to Online or Pathway Programs for details.

In order to enrol in this unit, you must be accepted into one of the following courses:

Please visit the course details page and read the Requirements tab for more information about eligibility.

This unit addresses the following topics.

1Introduction to the Social Determinants of Health
2Health as a social construct
3Health and media
4Language, culture and health
5The social determinants on a global scale
6Health throughout the life course
7Difference, discrimination and stigma
8Health and social justice
9The economic impact of health and disease
10Gender and sexuality
11Health and the living environment
12The social determinants and the healthcare system
13Review subject

This unit is delivered using the following methods and materials:

Instructional Methods

  • Blogs
  • Discussion Forum/Discussion Board
  • Embedded Multimedia
  • Online assignment submission
  • Podcasting/Lecture capture
  • Web links
  • Wikis

Print based materials

  • Study Guide

Online materials

  • Audio/Video - Streaming
  • Quizzes
  • Resources and Links

This unit is a core requirement in the following courses:

This unit may be eligible for credit towards other courses:

  1. Many undergraduate courses on offer through OUA include 'open elective' where any OUA unit can be credited to the course. You need to check the Award Requirements on the course page for the number of allowed open electives and any level limitations.
  2. In other cases, the content of this unit might be relevant to a course on offer through OUA or elsewhere. In order to receive credit for this unit in the course you will need to supply the provider institution with a copy of the Unit Profile in the approved format, which you can download here. Note that the Unit Profile is set at the start of the year, and if textbooks change this may not match the Co-Op textbook list.

Textbooks are subject to change within the academic year. Students are advised to purchase their books no earlier than one to two months before the start of a unit.

Click on the titles of the listed books below to find out more:

Required textbooks

There are no required textbooks for this unit.

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