Determinants of Health

  • European Master in Health Economics and Management
Course unit code
  • IHSM-EU-HEM-E2.2.1
Level of course unit
  • Master
Semester when the course unit is delivered
  • 2
Number of ECTS credits allocated
  • 5.0
Name of lecturer(s)
  • Dr. Told Michaela
Learning outcomes of the course unit
  • 1. Students understand the link between the determinants of health and health equity and can describe the key features and challenges of the social, legal, political, economic, commercial, environmental, and cultural/behavioral determinants of health.
    2. Students understand policy processes at the global level linked to the determinants of health and can connect them to health issues in their countries of origin.
    3. Students practice how to participate in global conferences, argue in a public forum, and learn how to formulate a policy brief.
Mode of delivery
  • -
Prerequisites and co-requisites
  • none
Course contents
  • Health equity can be achieved when all people can attain their full potential for health and well-being. It means that no unfair, avoidable, or remediable differences among groups of people exist. This requires that the conditions in which people are born, grow, live, work, play, and age are addressed and that structural and institutional obstacles to health are removed.
    This course will critically assess the wide range of factors that affect our health. It will increase your awareness, knowledge, and understanding of issues related to the social, economic, legal, political, commercial, environmental, and cultural factors that contribute to increase population health and reduce health inequities. We will discuss the key concepts linked to achieving health equity and how health disparities at different levels of influence can be addressed.
    The course will embed the determinants of health within ongoing global policy processes, for example on climate change and pandemic preparedness, will explain some policy instruments, both legally binding and non-binding, and discuss policy venues, such as the World Health Assembly. It will contextualise the debates historically and politically and will provide the opportunity to reflect upon your own country context.
Recommended or required reading
  • The lecturer will provide a basic literature list and online resources. Beyond this list, students will need to engage in an independent literature survey for their group presentation and written policy brief.

    Useful websites are:
    1. on social determinants of health and Health Equity Monitor
Planned learning activities and teaching methods
  • The course comprises an interactive mix of lectures, presentations, plenary discussions, group work, role plays, guest lectures, and other participatory ways of engagement.
Assessment methods and criteria
  • To monitor the students’ learning this course will provide ongoing assignments as a basis for feedback and grading (formative assessment) and/or will evaluate the students learning at the end of the course or an instructional unit via exams, final project reports, essays or seminar papers (summative assessment).
Language of instruction
  • English