Faculty of Arts

Undergraduate - Unit

This unit entry is for students who completed this unit in 2013 only. For students planning to study the unit, please refer to the unit indexes in the the current edition of the Handbook. If you have any queries contact the managing faculty for your course or area of study.

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6 points, SCA Band 1, 0.125 EFTSL

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FacultyFaculty of Arts
Organisational UnitSchool of Social Science, South Africa
OfferedSouth Africa Second semester 2013 (Day)
Coordinator(s)Dr Alex Asakitikpi


Medical sociology examines social aspects of medicine. The unit features health from an African perspective. Students will gain an understanding of professional knowledge and the power associated with that knowledge and the way it is exercised. Areas examined will include risk assessment and management; public and private health and health promotion; HIV/AIDS and sexual health and the influence of the media and the internet on health related matters. The unit will embed these learning objectives in the African context introducing students to African interpretations of health, illness and medicine. The unit will appeal to students wanting to engage with social perspectives on health and illness from a globalised and localised perspective.


All students completing this unit will be able to:

  1. Identify, describe and analyse key perspectives in social inquiry as it applies to health and illness in contemporary society.
  2. Critically evaluate social aspects of health and illness as they effect individuals, communities and nation states.
  3. Apply critical perspectives to contemporary issues in health and illness matters.
  4. Identify implications for public health policy.

In addition, students taking the unit at level three will be able to:

  1. Understand critical difference in public and private approaches to health and illness issues.


Essay(2500 words): 50% + Research articles review (1000 words): 25%
Class test: 25% (1 hour)

Chief examiner(s)

Contact hours

One 2-hour seminar per week

This unit applies to the following area(s) of study