DCU Home | Our Courses | Loop | Registry | Library | Search DCU

Module Specifications..

Current Academic Year 2023 - 2024

Please note that this information is subject to change.

Module Title Perspectives on Health
Module Code NS134
School 38
Module Co-ordinatorSemester 1: Therese Leufer
Semester 2: Therese Leufer
Autumn: Therese Leufer
Module TeachersTherese Leufer
NFQ level 8 Credit Rating 5
Pre-requisite None
Co-requisite None
Compatibles None
Incompatibles None

In this module, learners explore various arguments about health which orientates them to some key health issues subsequently encountered through their programme of study. Learners also focus upon the quality of health argumentation and how to judge the credibility of claims that are made about health matters. This contributes to their capacity for making scholarly arguments.

Learning Outcomes

1. Identify the principal elements in a well formed argument about health.
2. Describe some essential claims that are commonly made in accounts of health: as a matter of well-being; medical provenance; luck and choice; or justice.
3. Discuss these claims by reference to the quality of supporting arguments in terms of evidence, reasoning and response to counter-arguments.
4. Explore the practical, moral, social and political implications of various essential health claims.
5. Make a reasoned health argument which is informed by evidence and takes account of alternative viewpoints.

Workload Full-time hours per semester
Type Hours Description
Lecture16Face to face/Synchronous contact
Tutorial4Engaging in discussion related to module content/requirements.
Class Presentation10Preparation for & delivery of group presentation
Independent Study95Asynchronous engagement with module tasks i.e. completion of online elements and preparation for assessment components.
Total Workload: 125

All module information is indicative and subject to change. For further information,students are advised to refer to the University's Marks and Standards and Programme Specific Regulations at: http://www.dcu.ie/registry/examinations/index.shtml

Indicative Content and Learning Activities

Judging and making health arguments
The elements of a well-formed argument are explored by reference to what counts as a justified claim about health. The role of doubt in scholarship is emphasised along with matters of supporting evidence, explicit reasoning, and taking account of alternative viewpoints.

Health as a matter of well-being
The idea of health as a state of "complete well-being" is considered in terms of the origins and value of this positive conception along with a noteable counter-argument that it is a "mirage."

Health as the provenance of medicine
The benefits of medicine are examined in terms of the health of populations and in the light of criticisms which emphasise "medical iatrogenesis" and "narratives of suffering."

Health from cosmic luck and personal choices
The "givenness" of health status is explored along with arguments about its moral and social implications. This is compared with health accounts in which matters of personal choice and responsibility are emphasised.

Health from justice
The notion of inequality is examined along with ideas about the relations between social justice and health.

Assessment Breakdown
Continuous Assessment100% Examination Weight0%
Course Work Breakdown
TypeDescription% of totalAssessment Date
Group presentationGroup presentation on assigned topic relating to module content.35%As required
AssignmentAssignment relating to health argument aspects encountered on the module.65%n/a
Reassessment Requirement Type
Resit arrangements are explained by the following categories;
1 = A resit is available for all components of the module
2 = No resit is available for 100% continuous assessment module
3 = No resit is available for the continuous assessment component
This module is category 1
Indicative Reading List

  • Cederström, C.: 2015, The wellness syndrome, Polity Press, Malden,
  • Wilkinson, R. & Pickett, K.: 2010, The spirit level: why equality is better for everyone, Penguin, London,
  • Wilkinson, I. & Kleinman, Arthur, A.: 2016, A passion for society: how we think about human suffering, University of California Press, Oakland,
  • Marmot, M.: 2016, The Health Gap: The Challenge of an Unequal World, Bloomsbury, London., 978-140885797
  • Radley, A: 2004, Making Sense of Illness: The Social Psychology of Health and Disease, 2nd Ed., Thousand Oaks : Sage, London,
  • Naidoo,J.,Wills, J: 2016, Foundations for Health Promotion, 4th Edition, Elsevier, London,UK., 978-070205442
  • Bambra, C.: 2016, Health divides: where you live can kill you, Policy Press, Bristol,
  • Frank, A.W.: 1995, The wounded storyteller, University of Chicago Press, Chicago,
  • Galanti, G.: 2014, Caring for Patients from Different Cultures, 5th Edition, University of Pennsylvania Press, Pennsylvania, USA.,
  • Illich, I.: 1976, Limits to medicine, M. Boyars, London,
  • Marmot, M.: 2016, The health gap: the challenge of an unequal world, Bloomsbury, London,
  • Segall, S.: 2010, Health, luck, and justice, Princeton University Press, Princeton,
  • Smith, K., Bambra, C., Hill, S.: 2015, Health Inequalities: Critical Perspectives, Oxford University Press, Oxford, UK., 978-019870335
  • Wolff, J.: 2012, The human right to health, W.W. Norton, New York,
  • Aveyard,H.,Sharp,P.,Woolliams, M.: 2015, A Beginner's Guide to Critical Thinking and Writing in Health and Social Care, Open University Press, Oxford, 9780335264346
Other Resources

Programme or List of Programmes
AFUAge Friendly University Programme
BHSBachelor of Science in Health & Society
Date of Last Revision30-JAN-12

My DCU | Loop | Disclaimer | Privacy Statement