The Philosophy and Ethics of Public Health

Course - second cycle - 7.5 credits

Overview

Admission requirements

1. Bachelor degree, consisting of 180 credits (hp), or equivalent.
2. General eligibility + the equivalent of English course B in Swedish secondary school. Information on application and eligibility is available at www.mah.se/education/non-exchange

Selection:

credits 100%

Description

The aim of the course is for the students to gain intellectual tools for a better understanding of conceptual, theoretical, political, ethical and gender issues in relation to health and illness in society. A further aim is for the students to become more able to reflect critically on theoretical questions of importance for professional public health work.

Syllabus

For students spring 2012

Course Code:
FM621C revision 1
Level of specialisation
A1N
Main fields of study:
Public Health Science
Language:
English
Date of establishment:
22 November 2006
Date of ratification:
16 September 2009
Decision-making body:
Faculty of Health and Society
Enforcement date:
16 January 2011

Course description

The aim of the course is for the students to gain intellectual tools for a better understanding of conceptual, theoretical, political and ethical issues in relation to health and illness in society. A further aim is for the students to become more able to reflect critically on theoretical and practical questions of importance for professional public health work.

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.

Entry requirements

1. Bachelor degree, consisting of 180 credits (hp), or equivalent.
2. General eligibility + the equivalent of English course B in Swedish secondary school. Information on application and eligibility is available at www.mah.se/education/non-exchange

Learning outcomes

After the course the students should be able to
- identify, define and use the central concepts used in public health,
- account for, compare and evaluate normative theories and principles relevant for public health and health promotion.
- describe and critically scrutinize how political ideologies and philosophies shape society and influence public health work,
- apply, orally and in writing, central conceptual, political and ethical theories to relevant public health problems.

Assessments

The assessment of the students´ knowledge will be based on written assignments, performed individually or by a group of students, and/or on oral or written exams.

Examination re-sits
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.

Course content

Various philosophical and ethical issues related to public health are presented and discussed. Central concepts for public health are introduced, critically discussed and defined, e.g. health, health promotion, disease prevention, public health, illness and disease. Various political philosophies and ideologies are presented and discussed in relation to public health work. Issues such as freedom, equality and equity, social justice and democracy are related to public health practice and policy. Finally, ethical problems relevant to public health practice and research are discussed in relation to normative theory.

Learning activities

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.

Grading system

Fail (U), Pass (G) or Pass with Distinction (VG).

Course literature and other teaching materials

Holland, S. (2007). Public Health Ethics. Cambridge: Polity press. 222 p.

Rachels, J (2006). The Elements of Moral Philosophy (5th ed.). New York McGraw.Hill:. 210p.

Swift, A. (2006). Political Philosophy (2nd ed). Cambridge: Polity press. 230 p.

Scientific articles relating to covered topics will be added. Approx. 100 p.

Course evaluation

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.

Contact

Further information

Åsa Nilsson, Student Services Assistant
Phone: 040-66 57589
E-mail: asa.nilsson@mah.se

Per-Anders Tengland, Course Responsible
Phone: 040-66 57404
E-mail: per-anders.tengland@mah.se


The education is provided by the Faculty of Health and Society at the department Health and Welfare Studies: Public Health Science.