SA4D1      Half Unit
Critical Population Health Issues in High and Middle-Income Countries

This information is for the 2017/18 session.

Teacher responsible

Dr Arjan Gjonca OLD.2.45


This course is available on the MSc in Global Health, MSc in International Health Policy, MSc in International Health Policy (Health Economics) and MSc in Social Research Methods. This course is available as an outside option to students on other programmes where regulations permit.


No pre-requisites are required for this course.

Course content

This course brings together key issues on the social and environmental determinants of population size and structure and population health in high and middle income countries from a multidisciplinary approach including a range of social science disciplines, epidemiology, demography and public health. This course reflects the developments of research in recent years on health trends and differentials. Topics addressed in this course include the relationship between health and economic change such as the effect of recession; divergent trends in Western European and former USSR states; family changes and their implications for population health; role of early-life events; social support, social capital and health; socio-demographic determinants and consequences of ageing at the individual and population level; comparison of trends in established market economies and BRICS; policy responses to inequalities in health; prospects for mortality and morbidity change - a compression of morbidity?


15 hours of lectures and 13 hours and 30 minutes of seminars in the MT.

Formative coursework

One 1,500 word formative essay in MT.

Indicative reading

Merson, MH, Black, ER, Mills, AJ. (2012) Global Health: Diseases, Programmes, Systems, and Policies, London: Jones & Barlett Learning; Burlington, MA; London.

Berkman L. F., Kawachi, I. and Glymour, M. M. (2014) Social Epidemiology (2nd ed.); Oxford University Press; Oxford; New York.

Marmot, M. (2010) The Marmot review final report: Fair society, healthy lives: University College London.

Wilkinson, R.G. and Pickett, K. (2009) The spirit level: why more equal societies almost always do better; Bloomsbury Press; London; New York.

Bowling, A (2017) Measuring Health: A Review of Subjective Health, Well-being and Quality of Life Measurement Scales: McGraw-Hill Education.


Exam (75%, duration: 2 hours) in the main exam period.
Essay (25%, 2000 words) in the LT.

Student performance results

(2013/14 - 2015/16 combined)

Classification % of students
Distinction 15.9
Merit 60.3
Pass 20.6
Fail 3.2

Key facts

Department: Social Policy

Total students 2016/17: 21

Average class size 2016/17: 10

Controlled access 2016/17: Yes

Lecture capture used 2016/17: Yes (MT)

Value: Half Unit

Guidelines for interpreting course guide information

Personal development skills

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

Course survey results

(2013/14 - 2015/16 combined)

1 = "best" score, 5 = "worst" score

The scores below are average responses.

Response rate: 90%



Reading list (Q2.1)


Materials (Q2.3)


Course satisfied (Q2.4)


Lectures (Q2.5)


Integration (Q2.6)


Contact (Q2.7)


Feedback (Q2.8)


Recommend (Q2.9)