Not available in 2016/17
Health, Community and Development

This information is for the 2016/17 session.

Teacher responsible

Prof Catherine Campbell STC.303 and Dr Jenevieve Mannell STC.367


This course is compulsory on the MSc in Health, Community and Development. This course is available as an outside option to students on other programmes where regulations permit.

Course content

This course examines the psycho-social determinants of community health and social development, in the context of health inequalities and social marginalisation in the global North and South. In particular it explores the role of participation, partnerships and collective action in facilitating health, well-being, the management of illness (including prevention, service access, care and treatment) and health-enabling social change. Attention is given to promoting behaviours that facilitate both physical and mental health and well-being more generally, viewing health as a phenomenon that spans the individual, community and social levels of analysis.

The challenges of facilitating health, and health-enhancing collective action, are explored with reference to social identities, social representations and local knowledge, dialogue, empowerment, critical thinking, gender, social capital and social change. All this material is contextualised within wider debates about the global nature of public health, mainstream vs. alternative development policy, the respective roles of local and global social movements, and the potential for participation to alleviate the negative health impacts of social inequalities. Particular attention is given to the links between health and inequalities related to poverty, gender and sexuality, ethnicity, age (children and the elderly) and disability.

The over-riding ethos of the course is an interest in the links between theory and practice. Attention is given to providing students with actionable conceptual tools for the challenges of designing and evaluating community-focused programmes in the fields of public health, health promotion and health-supporting social transformation.



20 hours of lectures and 5 hours of seminars in the MT.

Formative coursework

A mini-essay submitted in MT.

Indicative reading

Chambers, R. (2003). Whose reality counts? Putting the first last. London: ITDG. Cornwall, A (Ed) (2011) The participation reader. Zed. Crisp, Nigel (2010) Turning the world upside down: the search for global health in the 21st century. London: Royal Society of Medicine. Das,V, Kleinman, A, Ramphele, M, Reynolds, P (2000) Violence and subjectivity. Berkeley: UCLA Press. Fadiman, A. (1997). The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down: A Hmong child, her American doctors, and the collision of two cultures. New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux. Farmer, P. (2003). Pathologies of Power: Health, Human Rights, and the New War on the Poor. Berkeley: University of California Press. Freire, P. (1973). Education for critical consciousness. New York: Continuum. Hickey, S. & Mohan, G. (Eds.). (2004). Participation: From tyranny to transformation? London: Zed. Kabeer, N. (1994) Reversed realities: Gender hierarchies in development thought. London: Verso.  Kagan, C., Burton, M., Duckett, P., Lawthorn, R. S., & Siddiquee, A. (2011). Critical community psychology. Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell. Mate, G (2003) When the body says no: exploring the stress-disease connection. New Jersey: Wiley. Minkler, M. (Ed.). (2004). Community Organizing and Community Building for Health. Chapel Hill: Rutgers University Press Nelson, G. & Prilleltensky, I. (2006). Community Psychology: in pursuit of liberation and well-being. Palgrave MacMillan. Percy-Smith, B & Thomas, N (2010) A handbook of children and young people’s participation. London: Routledge. Pottier, J., Bicker, A. & Sillitoe, P. (Eds.). (2003) Negotiating local knowledge: power and identity in development. London: Pluto.  Rifkin, S, Pridmore, P (2001) Partners in Planning. Oxford: MacMillan. Stephens, C (2008) Health promotion: a psycho-social approach. Berkshire: McGraw Hill, Open University Press. Tones, K, Green, J (2006) Health promotion: planning and strategies. London: Sage.


Exam (50%, duration: 3 hours) in the main exam period.
Essay (50%, 5000 words) in the MT.

Student performance results

(2012/13 - 2014/15 combined)

Classification % of students
Distinction 29.6
Merit 61.1
Pass 7.4
Fail 1.9

Key facts

Department: Psychological and Behavioural Science

Total students 2015/16: Unavailable

Average class size 2015/16: Unavailable

Controlled access 2015/16: No

Value: One Unit

Guidelines for interpreting course guide information

Personal development skills

  • Leadership
  • Self-management
  • Team working
  • Problem solving
  • Application of information skills
  • Communication
  • Commercial awareness
  • Specialist skills