POPLHLTH 717 : Health and Society

Medical and Health Sciences

2022 Semester One (1223) (15 POINTS)

Course Prescription

An exploration of health within a social context. Examines the relationships between social factors, their impact on health, and the ways in which these relationships inform our understanding of health and help direct healthcare provision and public health policy.

Course Overview

This is a graduate course with highly interactive learning sessions, where students are encouraged to contribute and share their knowledge for the benefit of the group. The course runs over the first semester and requires attendance at the four one-day block sessions.

Each day will comprise introductory lectures, facilitated discussions and computer-based exercises. Students are expected to come prepared, as they will be expected to lead the critical discussions of relevant materials in class. This course includes a field trip in the local community. Preparation requires committing sufficient time to independent reading and learning. Students are encouraged to form network study groups for discussion and sharing resources.

Course Requirements

No pre-requisites or restrictions

Course Contacts

Course Director: Associate Professor Daniel Exeter, email: d.exeter@auckland.ac.nz

For other teaching-related matters contact: 
FMHS Student Centre
Phone: (09) 923 2760
Email: fmhs@auckland.ac.nz

Capabilities Developed in this Course

Capability 1: Disciplinary Knowledge and Practice
Capability 2: Critical Thinking
Capability 3: Solution Seeking
Capability 4: Communication and Engagement
Capability 5: Independence and Integrity
Graduate Profile: Master of Public Health

Learning Outcomes

By the end of this course, students will be able to:
  1. Critically assess measures of health and society from different political and disciplinary perspectives (Capability 2.1)
  2. Synthesise and apply evidence concerning poverty, deprivation and socioeconomic position in New Zealand and internationally (Capability 2.1)
  3. Critique the ethics and issues concerning use of existing approaches of using big data to inform health and social policies (Capability 4.1)
  4. Demonstrate how health inequities are driven by social and political factors, through the use of health and social data (Capability 3.2)
  5. Apply an equity lens to the structural determinants of health and their influence on society (Capability 1.2)
  6. Identify the influence your individual circumstances have on your interpretations of the causes and consequences of inequities in health and society (Capability 5.2)


Assessment Type Percentage Classification
Assignment 1: Positionality Statement 10% Individual Coursework
Assignment 2: A walk along Line Road: Exploring the local social gradient from the ground up 30% Individual Coursework
Assignment 3: What 40% Individual Coursework
Assignment 4: Martin Luther King had a dream, what is yours? 20% Individual Coursework
Assessment Type Learning Outcome Addressed
1 2 3 4 5 6
Assignment 1: Positionality Statement
Assignment 2: A walk along Line Road: Exploring the local social gradient from the ground up
Assignment 3: What
Assignment 4: Martin Luther King had a dream, what is yours?

Workload Expectations

This course is a standard 15 point course and students are expected to spend 10 hours per week involved in each 15 point course that they are enrolled in. 

For this course, you can expect  24 hours of lectures taught over 4 block days,  approximately 48 hours of reading and thinking about the content and 78 hours of work on assignments.

Delivery Mode

Campus Experience

Attendance is required at scheduled activities including the field trip to complete components  of the course.
Lectures will be available as recordings. However, some of this course involves small-group discussions which may not be available as recordings.
The course will not include live online events including group discussions.
There is no final examination for this course 
The activities for the course are scheduled as a block delivery.

Learning Resources

Course materials are made available in a learning and collaboration tool called Canvas which also includes reading lists and lecture recordings (where available).

Please remember that the recording of any class on a personal device requires the permission of the instructor.

Key readings for this course are available from the Reading List link within the Canvas page. 
Students will be expected to have read material prior to lectures, as we the readings form the basis of in-class discussions.

Student Feedback

At the end of every semester students will be invited to give feedback on the course and teaching through a tool called SET or Qualtrics. The lecturers and course co-ordinators will consider all feedback and respond with summaries and actions.

Your feedback helps teachers to improve the course and its delivery for future students.

Class Representatives in each class can take feedback to the department and faculty staff-student consultative committees.

Other Information

Part of Day 2 requires the class to travel to the local community and make observations that provide the foundations of Assignment 2. A moderate level of fitness is necessary as we will be walking through the community, taking photographs, jotting notes etc, and some parts of this field trip have a slight gradient/incline. 

Note that more information will be provided on the first teaching day. 

Please speak to the Course Director should you have any questions or concerns regarding the Field Trip. 

Academic Integrity

The University of Auckland will not tolerate cheating, or assisting others to cheat, and views cheating in coursework as a serious academic offence. The work that a student submits for grading must be the student's own work, reflecting their learning. Where work from other sources is used, it must be properly acknowledged and referenced. This requirement also applies to sources on the internet. A student's assessed work may be reviewed against online source material using computerised detection mechanisms.

Class Representatives

Class representatives are students tasked with representing student issues to departments, faculties, and the wider university. If you have a complaint about this course, please contact your class rep who will know how to raise it in the right channels. See your departmental noticeboard for contact details for your class reps.

Inclusive Learning

All students are asked to discuss any impairment related requirements privately, face to face and/or in written form with the course coordinator, lecturer or tutor.

Student Disability Services also provides support for students with a wide range of impairments, both visible and invisible, to succeed and excel at the University. For more information and contact details, please visit the Student Disability Services’ website http://disability.auckland.ac.nz

Special Circumstances

If your ability to complete assessed coursework is affected by illness or other personal circumstances outside of your control, contact a member of teaching staff as soon as possible before the assessment is due.

If your personal circumstances significantly affect your performance, or preparation, for an exam or eligible written test, refer to the University’s aegrotat or compassionate consideration page https://www.auckland.ac.nz/en/students/academic-information/exams-and-final-results/during-exams/aegrotat-and-compassionate-consideration.html.

This should be done as soon as possible and no later than seven days after the affected test or exam date.

Learning Continuity

In the event of an unexpected disruption, we undertake to maintain the continuity and standard of teaching and learning in all your courses throughout the year. If there are unexpected disruptions the University has contingency plans to ensure that access to your course continues and course assessment continues to meet the principles of the University’s assessment policy. Some adjustments may need to be made in emergencies. You will be kept fully informed by your course co-ordinator/director, and if disruption occurs you should refer to the university website for information about how to proceed.

The delivery mode may change depending on COVID restrictions. Any changes will be communicated through Canvas.

Student Charter and Responsibilities

The Student Charter assumes and acknowledges that students are active participants in the learning process and that they have responsibilities to the institution and the international community of scholars. The University expects that students will act at all times in a way that demonstrates respect for the rights of other students and staff so that the learning environment is both safe and productive. For further information visit Student Charter https://www.auckland.ac.nz/en/students/forms-policies-and-guidelines/student-policies-and-guidelines/student-charter.html.


Elements of this outline may be subject to change. The latest information about the course will be available for enrolled students in Canvas.

In this course students may be asked to submit coursework assessments digitally. The University reserves the right to conduct scheduled tests and examinations for this course online or through the use of computers or other electronic devices. Where tests or examinations are conducted online remote invigilation arrangements may be used. In exceptional circumstances changes to elements of this course may be necessary at short notice. Students enrolled in this course will be informed of any such changes and the reasons for them, as soon as possible, through Canvas.