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HLTH 101/3.0 Social Determinants of Health / GLPH 171/3.0 Social and Physical Determinants of Health and Disease

Course applicable to the following Majors / Medials/ Minors:    HLTH (core) / INDG (option) / KINE (core) / PHED (core) / Con-Ed Teaching Subject (First Nations, Métis and Inuit Studies; Science-Biology).
Course Instructor: Beth Richan - This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
This course is available in:   Fall term at the BISC
Course Prerequisites / Exclusions:   None

HLTH 101 is a great course that allows for creative exploration both individually and in groups, as we examine the different social determinants of health. I highly recommend it! This course really helped me realize my passion for global health and confirmed my desire to major in Health Studies.


Course Highlights:

A hugely interdisciplinary course - HLTH 101 raises students' awareness of how health is interconnected with everything we do as a society. For example, examine the reasons why a Coronavirus outbreak could lead to a stockmarket crash.

Students will look at a total of eleven social determinants of health, discussing issues associated with diversity, gender, education, socio-economics and more.

GLPH 171 will focus on how the contexts of peoples’ lives affect their health, methods for describing and measuring these effects, and the role of medical practice in creating and maintaining health.

This course will open your eyes! Compare and contrast levels of healthcare around the world. 

2020 26

HLTH 101 Social Determinants of Health / GLPH 171/3.0 Social and Physical Determinants of Health and Disease

This combined course, comprising HLTH 101 and GLPH 171 introduces students to basic concepts in public, population and global health, and introduces social determinants of health, such as poverty, income inequality, childhood, indigenous populations and racism within Canadian and global contexts. The added dimension of GLPH 171 examines the social factors and physical conditions of the environment in which people are born, live, learn, play, work, and age. Also known as social and physical determinants of health, this course will show you how they impact a wide range of health and quality-of-life outcomes.

The social determinants of health (SDoH) are social, political, economic and cultural conditions, forces and factors that influence how health is distributed among entire groups and populations. Like the field of public health, of which social determinants is a part, the study of the SDoH is an interdisciplinary field of study that draws on research and scholarship from many areas including sociology, anthropology, political science, policy studies, geography, epidemiology, health and gender studies, and race and disability studies. The course will introduce basic concepts in public health and then examine fundamental determinants of health, including income and colonialism, and will focus on selected specific determinants (e.g. housing). The material will not explore in depth all the social determinants of health, but the course will provide a strong foundation for understanding social determinants of health and how to approach studies of health and illness through a critical sociological lens.

A degree in Health Studies leads to entry into a wide variety of career options including physical therapy, medicine, law, occupational therapy, social work, health policy, health infomatics, urban planning, disability studies, and many others.

Learning Outcomes

At the end of the course a successful student will be able to:

  • recognize, define and apply key concepts in public, population and global health
  • understand and critically analyze the social determinants of health in the Canadian and global contexts
  • apply concepts of the social determinants of health in the analysis of a novel
  • apply concepts of the social determinants of health in international field studies contexts
  • analyze how social circumstances and medical systems shape individual health.
  • develop how environment, genetics, intergenerational circumstances and medical care connect to an individual’s health.
  • critically appraise scholarly research to interpret different types of evidence on determinants of health.

Experiential Learning Opportunities

Examples of previous ELOs include documenting health inequalities within the community in Lewes, writing and directing personal travel safety videos and a guided walk of Liverpool to examine the history of public health, with a focus on the early work of Doctor Duncan. With the assistance of a TA, the students discussed and analyzed the study in the online tutorial platform, summarizing these results in a group written report; and research posters - where students individually created a multimedia advertisement to inform, raise public awareness and provide an in-depth summary of their chosen subject.

Bader International Study Centre
Herstmonceux Castle
Hailsham, East Sussex
United Kingdom, BN27 1RN
Phone: +44 1323 834444
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Undergraduate Admission and Recruitment
Gordon Hall, 74 Union Street
Queen's University, Kingston, Ontario
Canada, K7L 3N6
Phone: (613) 533-2218
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