The course was established 22 November 2006.
This course syllabus (version 1) was approved 15 May 2012 by the Faculty Board of Health and Society.
The syllabus is valid from 03 September 2012.
The aim is for the students to gain knowledge regarding the role and possibilities of different approaches and strategies of communication and education to promote public health, including the theoretical and normative underpinnings of the approaches and strategies discussed. Special emphasis will be put on empowerment strategies and their theoretical foundations.
Advancement in relation to the degree requirements
The course is in the first semester in the programme Master of Public Health and it is also a separate course.
1. Bachelor´s degree, consisting of 180 credits, or equivalent in the academic areas of social, political or behavioral science, medical science or other sciences and disciplines relevant to public health.
2. The equivalent of English B in Swedish secondary school.
After the course the students should be able to
- describe and apply various strategies for communication and education for public health and health promotion,
- compare and critically scrutinize different theories in social psychology, media and communication and show how they can be applied in public health work,
- account for empowerment and participatory strategies in community work for public health,
- critically examine underlying theoretical assumptions about human nature and how they influence choices of interventions in public health work, and
- describe and explain how one through communication and media advocacy can influence policy questions concerning health issues.
The assessment of the students´ knowledge will be based on written assignments, performed individually or by a group of students, and oral or written exams.
The course content is graded as follows:
A - Excellent
B - Very Good
C - Good
D - Satisfactory
E - Pass
U - Fail
Students who fail examinations have two further opportunities to re-sit. Furthermore, students have the opportunity to re-sit these examinations during the course to avoid subsequent interruption to follow on courses. If the course ceases or goes through major changes, students retain the right to two re-sits examinations based on the original course content. Examinations and re-sits are scheduled throughout the course timetable.
Various communicative strategies that are used in public health work and health promotion are presented and discussed, and different theories of media and communication are critically scrutinized. Theories of social psychology are discussed and are contrasted with empowerment approaches, and their philosophical and ethical foundations are compared. Theories of human nature are discussed and related to the different communicative and educational approaches. The course also covers how the public health worker can influence public opinion and politicians through communication strategies and media advocacy, in order to create better foundations for public health.
The course is based on active participation of the students. A variety of methods, including interactive lectures/discussions, assigned readings, and group projects will be utilized for the purpose of achieving the course objectives.
Reading list and other mediaFormal reading list
Baran, S.J. (2005) Introduction to mass communication : media literacy and culture. 4th ed London, 50 p.
Berglund, S. (2008). Competing Everyday Discourses: The Construction of Heterosexual
Risk-taking Behaviour among Adolescent in Nicaragua. Malmö högskola/HS,
FOU-Rapport 2008:5 [electronic resource].
Haider, M (2005). Global public health communication. Sudbury: Jones and Bartlett Publishers. 450 p.
Hillier, Dawn. 2006. Communicating health risks to the public: a global perspective, Gоwer Рublishing [electronic resource].
Nutbeam, D, Harris, E, (2010 3rd ed). Theory in a nutshell: A Practical Guide to Health Promotion Theories. Sydney: McGraw-Hill. 96 p.
Laverack, G (2009). Public Health: Power, Empowerment and Professional Practice. Houndmills: Palgrave. 127 p.
Tengland, P-A (2008). Empowerment: A Conceptual Discussion. Health Care Analysis vol 16, no 2, 77-96.
Tengland, P-A (2007). Empowerment: A Goal or a Means for Public Health? 20 p. Medicine, Health Care and Philosophy, Vol. 10, No 2 (2007).
Cutlip, Allen H. Center, Glen M. Broom. (2000) Effective public relations. 8th ed, Prentice Hall.
Fiske, J(1990), Introduction to Communication Studies. 2nd ed. London : Routledge.
Hall, S. (ed)(1997), Representation. Cultural representations and signifying practices. London, Sage.
McQuail, D. (2005). McQuail's Mass Communication Theory. 5th ed. London : SAGE.
Naidoo, J. & Wills, J. (2005). Public Health and Health Promotion: Developing Practice (2nd ed.). London: Baillére Tindall. 283 p. Chap. 6, 8.
Schaiavo, R. (2007): Health Communication, from theory to practice. Jossey- Bass, San
Tones and Green (2004). Health Promotion: Planning and Strategies. London: Sage. Chap. 3, 6-8.
Wallack L. m.fl. (1993). Advocacy and Public Health. Power for Prevention. London:
Sage. 244 p.
Windahl, S, & Signitzer, B, H. (1992) Using Communication Theory, Sage, London 1992.
The course will be continually evaluated through reflection and feedback from the student regarding course content and implementation. At the end of the course the students will give an individual, written evaluation to express their views about the course based on the course aims and objectives and how these have been realized. The results from the evaluations will be summarized and presented to the students orally and in a protocol.