GEG-30023 - Geographies of Health and Illness
Coordinator: Mark Lucherini Tel: +44 1782 7 32866
Lecture Time: See Timetable...
Level: Level 6
Credits: 15
Study Hours: 150
School Office: 01782 733615

Programme/Approved Electives for 2021/22


Available as a Free Standing Elective






Barred Combinations


Description for 2021/22

Health and illness are integral parts of our everyday lives. We all have health and we all experience illness at one point or another. `Geographies of Health and Illness┐ will build upon ideas threaded through the earlier years of the Geography and Human Geography programmes by instilling a greater understanding of how populations and societies shape experiences of health and illness.
You will have the opportunity to explore your own interests through the module; with assistance from the course leader. A personal poster project will encourage critical reflection on theoretical approaches, while a research proposal on a topic of your choice, will encourage you to think critically about how societies can improve understanding of specific health issues.

The module aims to help students develop an understanding of the importance of space and place to health and illness. The module will work alongside key themes in existing Geography and Environment courses such as ideas of risk, sustainability and wellbeing. Developing these themes, students will be introduced to historical and contemporary health issues in the UK and worldwide. The concepts of health and illness will be explored through perspectives of individuals; society, service provision and policy. Students will therefore develop critical perspectives on how health and illness is defined in contemporary societies and throughout history. Students will develop their skills in evaluating how health policy and service provision has tackled these issues by developing their own research proposal. Students can develop local and national ideas but will also be encouraged to draw from their other geographical studies and think internationally. This research proposal will mirror the style of many funding agencies (e.g. Wellcome Trust), thereby developing students┐ skills identifying topics and methodologies with relevance to international public health and policy.

Intended Learning Outcomes

Explain place-based pathways to health and illness and how these have changed over time
: 1,2
Analyse the relations between individual experiences of health and illness to social, cultural and political forces in local and global contexts
: 1,2
Evaluate current approaches to health service provision in the UK and globally: 1,2
Identify a contemporary health issue and integrate learning from the course to design a research proposal with a clear geographical focus.: 1

Study hours

15 hours lectures
5 hours group work seminars
2 hours research proposal workshops
65 hours preparing research proposal assignment
25 hours preparing concept map assignment
38 hours lecture/seminar prep and follow-up

School Rules


Description of Module Assessment

1: Research Proposal weighted 70%
3000 word research proposal
Students are asked to select a health issue from the course that interests them. They will then design a research proposal including a background to relevant geographical literature, proposed methods, and relevance for policy/practice. The module leader will advise students during the module on how to develop their ideas.

2: Individual Report weighted 30%
Concept mapping poster
Students are asked to produce an individual concept map developed from their group work throughout the module. Each student will be expected to create their map as an electronic, A1 sized poster. The poster format is to provide students with enough space to create detailed and sophisticated concept maps. Students will be expected to provide an overview of key theoretical approaches in health geography and convey the advantages and disadvantages of each for understanding health issues. Student will not be required to do a presentation of their maps for assessment.