Durham University
Programme and Module Handbook

Postgraduate Programme and Module Handbook 2011-2012 (archived)


Department: Health [Queen's Campus, Stockton]


Type Open Level 4 Credits 15 Availability Available in 2011/12 Module Cap None.


  • None


  • None

Excluded Combination of Modules

  • None


  • 1. To develop a working knowledge of a systems perspective on health and healthcare
  • 2. To examine the various policy, organisational and agenda debates within the different fields of heathcare and place them within the systems context
  • 3. To develop an interdisciplinary approach to thinking about, and working professionally within, health related fields of endeavour.


  • A systems perspective on health and healthcare
  • Health policy and healthy public policy
  • Organization of public health and health improvement activities
  • Current policy agendas and debates in public health
  • Health care policy and organization of health care
  • Current issues in health care policy
  • Policy and organization of social care
  • Current issues in social care
  • Policy implementation
  • Policy evaluation

Learning Outcomes

Subject-specific Knowledge:
  • By the end of module students will have developed:
  • An advanced understanding of the complexity of health-related issues and critical awareness of current issues across the spectrum of health and related fields
  • An appreciation of systems complexity
  • An awareness of the intrinsic difficulties and challenges of policy development, policy implementation and policy evaluation
Subject-specific Skills:
  • An ability to conceptualise across the health system and to critique government policy implications from a systems perspective
  • The ability to critically assess the relevance and validity of other professionals' views and implementation strategies for their likely impact on theri own sector's plans and activity
Key Skills:
  • Key skills are embodied in the subject specific skills
  • Knowledge management - collating and synthesising material from different sources
  • Presentation - preparing and presenting complex material in an accessible manner
  • Communication - being able to communicate effectively in writing
  • Team working - collaborative working across professional and organisational boundaries

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

  • Lecturing - Outlines a systems approach - Describes and explains the current organisation of health and healthcare related fields as they currently are, from an historical perspective, and in relation to the other fields in the IHSS - Reviews current issues in health, health care and social care policy - Examines issues surrounding policy implementation
  • Tutorials and seminars - Allow students to work through concepts in more detail, promoting discussion and developing interprofessional communication and working skills
  • Structured reading - Allows students to pursue topics in greater detail enabling both familiarity with key texts and a deeper understanding of the subject knowledge generally
  • Independent study, research and analysis - Focuses student knowledge more deeply by pursuing aspects of the module that are of special interest to themselves and exploring specific applications in their field of study.
  • Library research - Promotes independent lifelong learning skills as well as promoting learning from a variety of sources.
  • Essay assessment will test students' critical knowledge and understanding of key concepts, their ability to argue coherently and communicate effectively in writing, and to assess reflectively their proficiency in thinking through complex health-related issues, the challenges of policy development, policy implementation and policy evaluation, and how these may impact health and health related services from a systems perspective.

Teaching Methods and Learning Hours

Activity Number Frequency Duration Total/Hours
Lecture 10 Weekly 1 hr 10
Tutorial/seminar 10 Weekly 1 hr 30 mins 15
Structured Reading 10 sets Weekly 3 hrs 30
Library researching/Independent study S tudent initiated Student determined 95
Total 150

Summative Assessment

Component: written assessment Component Weighting: 100%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
policy evaluation report 3000 100% report

Formative Assessment:

Presentation within tutorial on subject matter of assignment.

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