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 that health and illness are experienced and given meaning, and the ways that health care is organised, used and experienced. Substantive topics may be drawn from a range of areas including the social distribution of health and illness; illness experiences; deviance and medicalisation; health and technology; comparative health care systems; the division of labour in the health workforce; ideologies of health, illness and inequality; complementary medicine; and health, politics and social change.


Not currently offered.

This Course was last offered in Semester 1 - 2021.

Learning outcomes

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

1. Demonstrate a sound understanding of sociological approaches to the study of health and illness.

2. Identify sociological explanations for health inequalities, experiences of health/illness and the organisation of health care.

3. Apply sociological concepts to real-world examples of health outcomes , policies, experiences and debates.

4. Construct arguments in written and verbal form, based on the critical reading of health sociology literature.


  1. Sociological approaches to the study and understanding of health and illness.
  2. The social production and distribution of health and illness in Australian society.
  3. The social construction of health and illness.
  4. The social organisation of health care.

Assessment items

Written Assignment: Essays/Written Assignments (40%)

Formal Examination: Formal Examination (40%)

Tutorial / Laboratory Exercises: Group/Tutorial Exercises (10%)

Quiz: Online quiz (10%)

The University of Newcastle acknowledges the traditional custodians of the lands within our footprint areas: Awabakal, Darkinjung, Biripai, Worimi, Wonnarua, and Eora Nations. We also pay respect to the wisdom of our Elders past and present.