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2010/1 Module Catalogue
Module Provider: Sociology Short Name: SOCM93
Level: M Module Co-ordinator: EARTHY SM Dr (Sociology)
Number of credits: 15 Number of ECTS credits: 7.5
Module Availability
Spring semester
Assessment Pattern
One essay
Module Overview
In this course we explore both the empirical research and theoretical developments within medical sociology and studies of the delivery of health care. Taking a broad range of substantive issues, we compare and contrast different types of research and the methodologies which inform particular studies. Throughout the course the concern is not only to discuss a range of studies and their findings but to examine the theoretical and empirical issues which inform research into illness, medicine and the health services.
Module Aims
Learning Outcomes
Module Content

Outline syllabus


·        lay concepts of health and illness


·        preventive health and health promotion


·        social structure and health and illness - class, unemployment, gender and age relations


·        role of the family in health care.  Informal carers


·        death and dying


·        illness behaviour and the lay conception of sickness and medicine


·        the social organisation of the professions, and occupational groups within the delivery of health care


·        the social construction of health and illness; stigma, chronic illness, and physical disability


·        communication in medical settings and social interaction in the delivery of health care



Methods of Teaching/Learning

Learning outcomes


Having completed the module, students should have developed:-


·         a knowledge of the field of sociology of health and illness and the most significant issues within that field.


·         their ability to relate empirical research to research methodology.


·         an understanding of the ways in which particular theoretical and methodological models inform and constrain the empirical analysis of health and disease within sociology and, more generally, the behavioural sciences.




Selected Texts/Journals

Selected references


Annandale , E (1998) The Sociology of Health and Medicine, Polity.


Bartley, M. (2004) Health Inequality, Polity.


Freidson, E (1976) The Profession of Medicine, Penguin.


Goffman, E (1968) Asylums, essays on the social situations of mental patients and


 other Inmates, Penguin.


Nettleton, S (2006) The Sociology of Health and Illness, 2nd Edition, Polity.


Scambler, G. and Higgs, P. (1998) Modernity, Medicine and Health, Routledge.


Williams, S.J., Gabe, J. and Calnan, M. (eds) (2000) Health, Medicine and Society:


Key Theories, Future Agendas, Routledge.


Last Updated
27th August 2009