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Health Policy & Delivery - SPY00056H

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  • Department: Social Policy and Social Work
  • Module co-ordinator: Prof. Neil Lunt
  • Credit value: 20 credits
  • Credit level: H
  • Academic year of delivery: 2023-24

Module summary

This module addresses the principles, structure, and financing that underpin the UK’s health system, while exploring the key challenges being faced.

Module will run

Occurrence Teaching period
A Semester 1 2023-24

Module aims

What are the challenges facing health policy and delivery in the UK? What do potential responses look like and how do they fit alongside prevailing social attitudes towards healthcare and the NHS?

The module has three ‘blocks’: Contexts; Issues in health; and healthcare scenarios. In the first students will explore the structures of healthcare and place these in a wider context. In the second block students will consider the myriad of challenges faced by and changes within the health system. In the final section will critically engage with such issues and then develop ‘solutions’ to particular issues.

  • Contexts: Health as a pillar; Development and structure of healthcare in the UK; Financing and delivery.

  • Issues: Ageing and Social Care; Superdiversity and epidemiology; Workforce; When it goes wrong - complaints, scandals and Public Inquiries.

  • Scenarios: Future of general practice; Role of technology; Income generation in the NHS; Choice and patient-centred care.

Module learning outcomes

On successful completion of the module students will be able to:

  • Understand challenges facing health policy and delivery in the UK.

  • Conceptualise the NHS as both a historical artefact and site for reform.

  • Assess how NHS reforms address population change and diversity, i.e. age, disability and ethnicity.

  • Outline and compare suggested improvements to NHS policy and delivery.

  • Evaluate contemporary reform of the NHS.


Task Length % of module mark
Poster: A4 poster and 150 words
N/A 40
Traditional essay (scenario-based)
N/A 60

Special assessment rules



Task Length % of module mark
Essay: Context, Issues and Scenarios
N/A 100

Module feedback

Feedback will be given in accordance with the University Policy on feedback in the Guide to Assessment as well as in line with the School policy.

Indicative reading

Glasby, J. (2012). Understanding Health and Social Care. Bristol: Policy Press.

Baggott, R. (2010). Public Health Policy and Politics (2nd Edition). Basingstoke: Palgrave.

Klein, R. (2013). The New Politics of the NHS (7th Edition). CRC: Florida.

Exworthy, M., Mannion, R., and Powell, M. (eds). (2016). Dismantling the NHS?: Evaluating the impacts of health reforms. Bristol: Policy Press.

The information on this page is indicative of the module that is currently on offer. The University is constantly exploring ways to enhance and improve its degree programmes and therefore reserves the right to make variations to the content and method of delivery of modules, and to discontinue modules, if such action is reasonably considered to be necessary by the University. Where appropriate, the University will notify and consult with affected students in advance about any changes that are required in line with the University's policy on the Approval of Modifications to Existing Taught Programmes of Study.