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Study information

Health, Place and Wellbeing

Module titleHealth, Place and Wellbeing
Module codeCSC2021
Academic year2023/4
Module staff

Dr Conny Guell (Convenor)

Dr Sarah Bell (Convenor)

Duration: Term123
Duration: Weeks


Number students taking module (anticipated)


Module description

Our health, wellbeing and access to health care resources are shaped by the spaces and places in which we are born, live, move, study and work. This includes socio-cultural, economic and political as well as physical environments. This module will introduce disciplinary perspectives from health geography and spatial epidemiology to examine key issues pertaining to health, place and wellbeing, including health inequalities, geographies of wellbeing and disability, and global health. 

Delivered in Cornwall, this is an optional module and is suitable for non-specialist students (i.e. does not require having taken other modules). The module is interdisciplinary in focus, and is open to students enrolled in different programmes.

Module aims - intentions of the module

Students undertaking this module will develop specialised knowledge and a critical understanding of the interdisciplinary social research that investigates the complex interactions between health, wellbeing and place, focusing on the dynamic environments in which people live and move. This module covers a wide range of evidence, case studies and theoretical approaches relevant to health geographical topics. 

The skills gained by students through discussion and critique of cutting edge research, coupled with independent review of the scientific literature, will stand students in good stead for careers in the environmental and health sectors by developing or enhancing employability. Transferable skills to other sectors include: critical thinking and problem solving, time management, collaboration and presentation skills.

Intended Learning Outcomes (ILOs)

ILO: Module-specific skills

On successfully completing the module you will be able to...

  • 1. Explain, using pertinent examples from social research, a range of theories and concepts that link health, wellbeing and place.
  • 2. Describe contemporary debates around the complex interrelations between health, wellbeing and place.

ILO: Discipline-specific skills

On successfully completing the module you will be able to...

  • 3. With guidance, evaluate critically varied forms of research evidence and theoretical approaches, dealing with issues of health and wellbeing within a range of environments, and their potential applications.
  • 4. Demonstrate how qualitative or quantitative research could be used to investigate the interplays between social and environmental health inequalities.

ILO: Personal and key skills

On successfully completing the module you will be able to...

  • 5. Communicate key concepts competently to engage interested stakeholders.
  • 6. Engage with a range of complex concepts to enhance problem-solving capabilities.

Syllabus plan

Whilst the module’s precise content may vary from year to year, an example of an overall structure is as follows: 

This module will study the complex interactions between health, wellbeing and place. It will draw on key theories and concepts to encourage critical examination of the social and spatial processes that shape human health and wellbeing at different scales. You will be guided through the evolution of the sub-discipline of health geography, from its inception as medical geography with a traditional focus on spatial patterns of disease and health care provision, to its contemporary engagement with more theoretically informed perspectives of health, wellbeing and place. The module will be structured around three core themes, each demonstrated and applied to pertinent contemporary issues:

  1. Medical geography: mapping illness and disease
  2. Geographies of health and wellbeing: contextualising health in the places of everyday life
  3. Global health: addressing global health inequalities in the face of environmental change 

Case studies, student debates, discussions, group activities and online forums will be used to foster an interactive learning experience throughout.

Learning activities and teaching methods (given in hours of study time)

Scheduled Learning and Teaching ActivitiesGuided independent studyPlacement / study abroad

Details of learning activities and teaching methods

CategoryHours of study timeDescription
Scheduled learning & teaching 24Lectures/seminars (12 x 2 hours of content overall; allowing for both didactic lecturing and interactive, small group activities (content to be re-structured and run online via a combination of ELE, Zoom and Teams and/or in person, depending on COVID-19 restrictions)
Guided independent study24Pre-recorded lectures and interactive online forum (12 x 2 hour, via ELE discussion boards)
Guided independent study60Guided reading
Guided independent study30Preparation of essay
Guided independent study12Preparation for small group presentations

Formative assessment

Form of assessmentSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Group discussions, debate or quizzes during seminar sessions Informally integrated each week as appropriate 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6Verbal

Summative assessment (% of credit)

CourseworkWritten examsPractical exams

Details of summative assessment

Form of assessment% of creditSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Presentation304-6 minutes depending on student cohort size1-3,5-6Verbal and Written
Essay701500 words1-4,6Written

Details of re-assessment (where required by referral or deferral)

Original form of assessmentForm of re-assessmentILOs re-assessedTimescale for re-assessment
Presentation (30%)Pre-recorded presentation (4-6 minutes)1-3,5-6Ref/Def period
Essay (70%)Essay (1500 words)1-4,6Ref/Def period

Re-assessment notes

Please refer to the TQA section on Referral/Deferral:

Indicative learning resources - Web based and electronic resources

Indicative learning resources - Other resources

Brown, T., McLafferty, S. & Moon, G. (eds.) 2009. A Companion to Health and Medical Geography, Chichester: Wiley-Blackwell. 

Brown, T., Andrews, G. J., Cummins, S., et al. (eds.) 2017. Health Geographies: A Critical Introduction, Chichester: Wiley-Blackwell. 

Crooks, V. A., Andrews, G. J. & Pearce, J. (eds.) 2018. Routledge Handbook of Health Geography, New York: Routledge.


Key words search

Health; Place; Wellbeing: Health geography; Health inequalities

Credit value15
Module ECTS


Module pre-requisites


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NQF level (module)


Available as distance learning?


Origin date


Last revision date