Course syllabus for

Society and Health, 4.5 credits

Samhälle och hälsa, 4.5 hp
This course syllabus is valid from autumn 2015.
Please note that the course syllabus is available in the following versions:
Course code
Course name
Society and Health
4.5 credits
Form of Education
Higher Education, study regulation 2007
Main field of study 
Not applicable 
GX - First cycle 
Grading scale
Fail (U), pass (G) or pass with distinction (VG)
Department of Neurobiology, Care Sciences and Society
Decided by
Programme Committee 8
Decision date
Revised by
Programme Committee 8
Last revision
Course syllabus valid from
Autumn 2015

Specific entry requirements

Passed results of the Study Programme in Psychology semesters 1-3 including 90 credits and at least 15 credits from semester 4.


On completion of the course, the student should be able to:

  • define and account for concepts and theories central for the fields social stratification, socio-economic position, society and health
  • account for and evaluate social and behavioural factors that are important for health and mortality at population level
  • explain and discuss some of the central mechanisms that contribute to creating inequalites in health over the life course
  • evaluate scientific studies about health and health inequality


The course intends to give the students in-depth knowledge of concepts, methods and empirical research about the relationship between society and health at population level. Sociological and social theories \x{2013} e.g. about social structures and social stratification \x{2013} are discussed in relation to how differences in health arise, remain and are recreated over time. Health inequalities will be highlighted based on socially and biologically defined groups in society. The student will learn basic facts concerning public health and inequality in health and gets an overview of important mechanisms that contribute to the relationships between social structures and individual health outcomes. There is also an overview of epidemiological concepts that are common scientific literature. The intention is to give the student a basis for a critical attitude when reading epidemiological research literature.

Teaching methods

Teaching is conducted through lectures by invited researchers. The contents of the course are discussed at two compulsory seminars. Compulsory assignments are part of the seminars, according to the schedule and course information. During the course, the student writes a diary/reflection. In the text, the students are expected to reflect on how the course contents will benefit them in their role as psychologists.

The course coordinator decides whether, and if so how, absence from compulsory course elements can be made up. Study results cannot be reported until the student has participated in compulsory course elements or compensated for any absence in accordance with instructions from the course coordinator. Absence from a compulsory course element could mean that the student can not retake the element until the next time the course is offered.


The examination of the course consists of an individual written course assignment , two written group assignments, an oral presentation of one of the groupassignments and oral critical review/ comments ) of another student's individual course assignment.

To pass the course, the requirement is to pass the course assignments and comment/review another students individual course assignment. To pass the course with distinction, it is required to pass the individual course assignment with distinction, in addition to the requirements for Pass.

Student who has not passed the course after regular examination has the right to participate at further five examinations (these can however be the following regular examinations in the course). If the student has failed six examinations/tests, no additional examination is given. Each occasion the student participates in the same test counts as an examination. Submission of a blank exam paper is regarded as an examination. In case a student is registered for an examination but does not attend, this is not regarded as an examination.


Transitional provisions

The transition rules follow KI's local guidelines for examination.

Other directives

Course evaluation based on the expected learning outcomes of the syllabus takes place in accordance with KI's local guidelines. Students are informed of the results and any measures taken on the course website.

This course can not be counted towards a degree together with another passed course whose contents completely or partly corresponds with the contents of this course. The following course is (partly) overlapping: 2PS027, Society and Health, 6 credits.

Literature and other teaching aids

Den orättvisa hälsan : om socioekonomiska skillnader i hälsa och livslängd Rostila, Mikael; Toivanen, Susanna
Grunderna i epidemiologi Ahlbom, Anders