The University of Newcastle, Australia
Not currently offered
Course code



10 units


1000 level

Course handbook


This course will introduce students to the sociological study and understanding of health and illness, focusing predominantly on Australian society. The course will examine the causes, nature and consequences of major health inequalities, the ways they are culturally understood, and some of the most important attempts to address them. Substantive topics may be drawn from a range of areas including the social distribution of health and illness; health promotion and illness prevention; access to health care; the state and health care system; the division of labour in the health workforce; ideologies of health, illness and inequality; and health, politics and social change.


Not currently offered.

This Course was last offered in Semester 2 - 2017.

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of the course students will be able to:

1. demonstrate an understanding of sociological approaches to the study of health and illness.

2. demonstrate an understanding of some of the social, economic, political and cultural factors involved in the reproduction or transformation of inequalities in health and health care in Australian society.

3. demonstrate skills in critically reading, analysing and evaluating health sociology literature.

4. demonstrate skills in researching, constructing and presenting well-supported arguments in written and verbal form.


  1. Sociological approaches to the study and understanding of health and illness.
  2. The social distribution of health and illness in Australian society.
  3. Health promotion and illness prevention.
  4. Access to health care.
  5. The Australian health care system.
  6. Health, politics and social change.

Assessment items

Written Assignment: Essays/Written Assignments

Formal Examination: Formal Examination

Tutorial / Laboratory Exercises: Group/Tutorial Exercises