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 Anthropology Health and Illness
Module Code NS272A
School 38
Module Co-ordinatorSemester 1: Sabina Stan
Semester 2: Sabina Stan
Autumn: Sabina Stan
Module TeachersSabina Stan
Tanya Cassidy
NFQ level 8 Credit Rating 5
Pre-requisite None
Co-requisite None
Compatibles None
Incompatibles None

The module aims to introduce students to basic concepts and themes in the anthropology of health and illness. It covers issues related to culture; bodies and commodification; food and globalisation; the expression of pain and distress; explaining and narrating illness; healthcare pluralism; the popular, folk, and professional biomedical healthcare sectors in the context of global care chains, self-medication, professionalisation, managerialism and patient mobility. By using illustrations from ground-level studies of day-to-day experiences of health, illness and healthcare in both western and non-western societies, the module will provide students with new perspectives on the ways in which human suffering is grounded in larger cultural and social contexts.

Learning Outcomes

1. Identify the relevance of anthropology to the understanding of health and illness
2. Understand the major concepts and theoretical approaches in the anthropology of health and illness
3. Explore the influence of cultural and social contexts on the body, food, pain, distress, illness and care
4. Explore the ways in which globalisation and the commodification of new areas of social life have impacted the manners in which we engage with the body, food, pain, distress, illness and care

Workload Full-time hours per semester
Type Hours Description
Lecture24No Description
Independent Study51No Description
Fieldwork50No Description
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

Cultural boundaries and cultural encounters

The body in culture

Expressing suffering

Narrating and explaining illness

Healthcare pluralism

The popular healthcare sector

The folk healthcare sector

The professional biomedical sector

Patient mobility and biomedicines

Assessment Breakdown
Continuous Assessment60% Examination Weight40%
Course Work Breakdown
TypeDescription% of totalAssessment Date
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

  • Helman, C.G.: 2007, Culture, Health and Illness,, Arnold, London,
  • Moore, Ronnie and McClean, Stuart (eds): 2010, Folk Healing and Health Care Practices in Britain and Ireland. Stethoscopes, Wands and Crystals, Berghahn, London,
Other Resources

Programme or List of Programmes
BNGNBSc in Nursing (General)
BNPYBSc in Nursing (Mental Health)
BSSAStudy Abroad (DCU Business School)
BSSAOStudy Abroad (DCU Business School)
HMSAStudy Abroad (Humanities & Soc Science)
HMSAOStudy Abroad (Humanities & Soc Science)
IESAStudy Abroad (Institute of Education)
IESAOStudy Abroad (Institute of Education)
SHSAStudy Abroad (Science & Health)
SHSAOStudy Abroad (Science & Health)

My DCU | Loop | Disclaimer | Privacy Statement