Course syllabus for

Society and Health, 4.5 credits

Samhälle och hälsa, 4.5 hp
This course syllabus is valid from autumn 2020.
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
Programnämnd 8
Decision date
Revised by
Education committee CNS
Last revision
Course syllabus valid from
Autumn 2020

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:

  • account for concepts and theories central for the fields social stratification, socio-economic position, society and health
  • account for and discuss social and behavioural factors that are important for health, mortality and inequality with an international perspective
  • show basic knowledge about men's violence against women and violence in intimate relationships
  • describe how common sources of bias in epidemiological studies can affect study result


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, e.g. about social structures and social stratification, are discussed in relation to how differences in health arise, remain and are recreated over time. Health inequalities between different groups in society, based on gender, age, socioeconomic position, migration/country of birth and LGBTQ. Will be discussed during the course. The student will learn basic facts concerning public health and inequality in health from a global perspective, and gets an overview of important mechanisms that contribute to the relationships between social structures and various health outcomes.

The course also includes an overview of epidemiological concepts that are common in scientific literature. The intention is to give the student a basis for a critical attitude when reading epidemiological research literature in order to more easily evaluate scientific studies of health and health inequalities.

Teaching methods

Teaching is mainly conducted through lectures by invited researchers. Students also go through an online course about violence in intimate relationships and men's violence against women.
The contents of the course are discussed at two compulsory seminars. At these seminars, it is compulsory to present a group assignment and to comment on another student's individual assignment.


The examination of the course consists of an individual and a group assignment, presentation of the group assignment, comments on another student's individual assignment, and a quiz after completion of the online course. Grades for the individual assignment are U, G or VG. Grades for the quiz are U or G.

Course grades are U, G or VG.
To pass the course (G), the requirement is to pass (grade G) the individual assignment and the quiz, to perform a group assignment and present it, and to comment on another student's individual assignment.
To pass the course with distinction (VG), the requirements for Pass (G) must be fulfilled and in addition 1) a VG grade on the individual assignment, and 2) the individual assignment must be handed in at the specified deadlines before and after the compulsory seminar.
In case of absence at the seminar, the only course grade is Pass (G). An additional chance to participate in the seminar is offered at the next course occasion, due to resources.

Absence from or unfulfillment of compulsory course elements
The examiner decides whether, and if so how, absence from or unfulfillment of compulsory course elements can be made up for. Study results cannot be reported until the student has participated in or fulfilled compulsory course elements, or compensated for any absence/ failure to fulfill in accordance with instructions from the examiner. Absence from or unfulfillment of a compulsory course element may imply that the student can not retake the element until the next time the course is offered.

Possibility of exception from the course syllabus' regulations on examination
If there are special grounds, or a need for adaptation for a student with a disability, the examiner may decide to deviate from the syllabus' regulations on the examination form, the number of examination opportunities, the possibility of supplementation or exemptions from the compulsory section/s of the course etc. Content and learning outcomes as well as the level of expected skills, knowledge and attitudes may not be changed, removed or reduced.

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.

Literature and other teaching aids

Den orättvisa hälsan : om socioekonomiska skillnader i hälsa och livslängd Rostila, Mikael; Toivanen, Susanna
Kvinnofrid, webbkurs om våld