Singapore University of Social Sciences

Sociology of Health and Healthcare

Sociology of Health and Healthcare (SOC319)

Applications Open: 01 May 2024

Applications Close: 15 June 2024

Next Available Intake: July 2024

Course Types: Modular Undergraduate Course

Language: English

Duration: 6 months

Fees: $1391.78 View More Details on Fees

Area of Interest: Humanities and Social Sciences

Schemes: Alumni Continuing Education (ACE)

Funding: To be confirmed

School/Department: School of Humanities & Behavioural Sciences


As a comprehensive introduction to the sociology of health and healthcare, SOC319 Sociology of Health and Healthcare will examine the social causes, patterns and consequences of health and healthcare. This course will provide a contrasting sociological view from the biomedical perspective. The central topics will include the social construction of health and illness, the political economy of healthcare systems, the social determinants of healthcare access and health outcomes, the experience of illness, health of vulnerable groups (e.g. women, older persons, migrants/refugees, and persons with disabilities), the medical professions, mental health, and complementary and alternative medicine. Throughout the course, we will draw insights from sociological scholarship as well as related disciplines, such as public health and health economics, provided by concrete examples from different countries including Singapore.

Level: 3
Credit Units: 5
Presentation Pattern: EVERY JULY


  • Introduction: Biomedicine and the social construction of health and illness
  • Comparative political economy of health care system
  • Health, rights and the state
  • Social determinants of health (1)
  • Social determinants of health (2)
  • Health of vulnerable groups (1)
  • Health of vulnerable groups (2)
  • Experience of illness
  • Access to healthcare and health care seeking behaviour
  • Healthcare providers: physicians, nurses, physician assistants, and pharmacists
  • Mental health
  • Complementary and alternative medicine

Learning Outcome

  • Discuss the major perspectives, models, theories, debates and concepts in the sociology of health and healthcare
  • Examine the healthcare system as a social, political and economic institution
  • Analyse the relationship between social inequalities and healthcare access and health outcomes
  • Apply knowledge of sociology of health and healthcare to current issues of health and healthcare
  • Evaluate theoretical perspectives on health, mental health, and healthcare
  • Demonstrate skills in analytical and critical thinking and written and spoken expression
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