Applied Health Sciences – assignment brief

One of the learning outcomes for the module is to:

Discuss how social determinants of health and psychological factors impact on the physical and mental health of an individual


The module assignment is based on this learning outcome and will focus on the elements of the module content that introduce sociological perspectives on health, explore key aspects of sociology & their effect on the individual and introduce psychological theories and key aspects of psychology



Within the module there are both keynote lectures and seminar sessions that are designed to help you in developing an understanding of these elements.  The link between sociology, psychology and health is well documented; this module will begin to explore some of the issues which impact on our daily lives.   During the psychosocial seminar sessions you will undertake directed learning in groups and this will lead you to gather, share and discuss information with your group, some of which will be of use to develop your assignments.  You will then need to undertake further independent study and reading to provide the additional information to complete your assignments.  

The essay needs to explore social determinants and psychological factors that may influence both the physical and mental health of an individual:

You need to choose one of the following three social determinants on which to focus your discussion: 





You will need to carry out some further reading and research to find the relevant evidence which you will then need to include within your assignment to support your discussion.  Examples of where this information can be found include:

sociology and psychology textbooks (try to use those with a health focus)

websites such as: Department of Health, World Health Organisation

Key policy documents related to health inequalities such as:  The Acheson Report, The Black Report and The Marmot Review

journal articles that explore the psychosocial determinants of health


There needs to be a clear introduction, main body and conclusion to the assignment:

Within the introduction you need to set the scene for the assignment – you might want to consider describing what a social determinant is and make reference to some of the key publications that have identified the impact that a social determinant may have upon an individual.  You also need to state which determinant you are going to focus on within the assignment.   

The main body will need to have a logical structure and be supported with citations throughout.    

Within your discussion you need to explore your chosen determinant explaining aspects that may influence it and also how it may influence other factors in an individual’s life from a psychosocial perspective. 

You should also consider psychological factors such as: values, health beliefs, attitudes and behaviours that may also affect an individual in relation to the chosen social determinant.

Within the above discussions there should be links made to how the social determinant or psychological factors may impact upon the individual’s physical and mental health.


Finally, to end the work you need to include a short conclusion that summarises the key points from the main body.  It may be worth reflecting upon the assignment question and learning outcome to help focus this discussion.  

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