Health and Health Policy - SO603

Location Term Level Credits (ECTS) Current Convenor 2018-19 2019-20
Canterbury Autumn
View Timetable
6 15 (7.5) PROF MW Calnan







This module will introduce students to the analysis of health policy focusing on recent policy changes in the UK and identifying the major influences which have shaped these policies. There have been considerable changes in health service policy and health policy in the UK over the last decade involving changes to existing policies and the development of new policy themes. The latter have included a growing recognition of the need to address inequalities through public health policies but the relative neglect of environmental health policies, a focus on the views and/or the voice of the user and the public, the emergence of evidence-based policy and practice, the marketisation and privatisation of health care, the introduction of managerialism and the attempts to regulate the medical profession. This module provides an analysis of these recent policy developments and explores to what extent they reflect significant shifts in policy. What shapes these policies is examined through an exploration of the influence of professional medicine and other occupational groups including CAM, the pharmaceutical industry, the State, patients groups and the wider global environment. It links analysis of the theory of policy making with an analysis of empirical examples.


This module appears in:

Contact hours

11 weekly lectures and seminars, one hour each


Not available 2016/17

Method of assessment

50% coursework (two essays) and 50% written examination (summer term)

Preliminary reading

Gabe J and Calnan M (2009 eds) The New Sociology of the Health Service, Routledge
Alaszewski, A and Brown, P (2012) Making Health Policy: A Critical Introduction, Polity
Exworthy, M et al (eds) (2012) Shaping Health Policy, Policy Press
Baggott R (2007) Understanding Health Policy, Palgrave MacMillan

See the library reading list for this module (Canterbury)

See the library reading list for this module (Medway)

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of this module students will:
Have an understanding of the process by which health policy is shaped and implemented in the UK

Have been introduced to the main models of policy making and formation and will see their relevance to the policy process
Be aware of the main policy issues current in the health services in the UK
Had the opportunity to examine case studies of policy making and implementation

University of Kent makes every effort to ensure that module information is accurate for the relevant academic session and to provide educational services as described. However, courses, services and other matters may be subject to change. Please read our full disclaimer.