Durham University
Programme and Module Handbook

Undergraduate Programme and Module Handbook 2005-2006 (archived)


Department: ANTHROPOLOGY (HUMAN SCIENCES) [Queen's Campus, Stockton]


Type Open Level 2 Credits 20 Availability Available in 2005/06 Module Cap None. Location Queen's Campus Stockton


  • None.


  • None.

Excluded Combination of Modules

  • None.


  • To provide students with a broad understanding of issues in health policy and practice both in the UK and internationally, within an applied medical anthropology framework.
  • To give students a basic grounding in theories of development.


  • The course consists of three core components, the order of which can alter without loss of coherence.
  • (i) Development: Theory and Practice: Students are introduced to critical perspectives on social and economic development, and consider the role of the anthropologist in development projects.
  • (ii) Health Policy: International Perspectives: Students examine the interface between development and health.
  • in an international context.
  • This part begins with a critical evaluation of various recent trends such as: primary health care and community-based approaches, and vertical programmes emphasising mother and child health.
  • These concepts are then applied to case studies from different countries relating to major health issues in the developing world.
  • Specific topics will vary from year to year, but may include issues such as urbanisation, HIV / AIDS in sub-Saharan Africa, safe motherhood etc.
  • (iii) Health Policy: UK Perspectives: Ideas about health and development are applied to the UK.
  • Through examination of some major contemporary issues in western health, students explore the cultural and social roots of health in a developed country setting.
  • Specific topics will vary from year to year, but may include: health inequalities, ageing, and mental health.

Learning Outcomes

Subject-specific Knowledge:
  • By the end of this module, the student will have acquired the following factual material and skills: a) Factual Material: Familiarity with the major theories of social development.
  • Familiarity with major recent trends in international health policy and practice. Understanding of some of the major health policy issues in developing and industrialised countries.
  • Understanding of the cultural context of health policy and practice.
  • Awareness of current debates about the role of medical anthropology in health and development policy and practice.
Subject-specific Skills:
  • Evaluation and critique of different theoretical approaches to health and development policy.
  • Application of theoretical approaches in health and development policy to particular case studies.
  • Critical review of key texts in the anthropology of health and development.
  • Awareness and practice of particular methods and methodological issues in medical anthropology.
Key Skills:
  • Group presentations in class.
  • Use of a wide range of information sources to address particular problems.
  • Essay writing skills.

Modes of Teaching, Learning and Assessment and how these contribute to the learning outcomes of the module

  • Themes are developed in lectures, and lectures are complemented by classes that go into selected topics in more depth, promote group problem solving, examine case-studies and incorporate some group presentations.
  • Students will therefore be able to comment on content of lectures and classes, as well as facilitating each other's learning while guided by tutors.
  • Formative assessment involves the writing of shorter essays, while a longer essay, group presentation and project report form a total package of summative assessment.
  • There will be a Duo site for this module.

Teaching Methods and Learning Hours

Activity Number Frequency Duration Total/Hours
Lectures 22 Weekly 1 hour 22
Seminars 8 Monthly 1 hour 8
Preparation and Reading 170
Total 200

Summative Assessment

Component: Essays and Reports Component Weighting: 100%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
essay 2000 words 33.33%
project proposal 2000 words 33.33%
book review 2000 words 33.34%

Formative Assessment:

Essay plan (250 words maximum), group presentation (20 minutes duration), policy review (1000 words maximum).

Attendance at all activities marked with this symbol will be monitored. Students who fail to attend these activities, or to complete the summative or formative assessment specified above, will be subject to the procedures defined in the University's General Regulation V, and may be required to leave the University