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Unit information: Introduction to Child and Adolescent Health in 2020/21

Unit name Introduction to Child and Adolescent Health
Unit code SPOL20060
Credit points 20
Level of study I/5
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 2 (weeks 13 - 24)
Unit director Dr. Lucas
Open unit status Not open




School/department School for Policy Studies
Faculty Faculty of Social Sciences and Law


The unit will provide lectures and seminars introducing a range of topics and contexts to illustrate this learning. Students will be expected to read and understand policy documents and research studies linked to these topics, and to apply their learning to a range of health conditions.

The aims of this unit are to:

  • Introduce students to core knowledge about child health and development
  • Provide descriptions of common health problems of childhood and adolescence and evidence-based responses to them
  • Help students understand the health policy context, including how health care provision aims to meet the health needs of children and young people
  • Help students understand how our physical and social environment shapes child health
  • Allow students to apply their knowledge and understanding to a range of topics and contexts

Intended learning outcomes

On successful completion of this unit, students will be expected to:

  1. Recognise the normal patterns of child growth, health and development and common conditions and circumstances affecting them
  2. Understand the how health care systems promote child health and development
  3. Explain how our physical and social environment shapes child health
  4. Be able to access and critically appraise information about the health of children
  5. Be able to apply and communicate knowledge of child health and development to new contexts or topics

Teaching details

Teaching will be delivered through blended learning involving a combination of synchronous and asynchronous sessions across the teaching block, including weekly lectures/narrated presentations, self-directed exercises and group activities.  Weekly synchronous sessions will be scheduled to enable discussion, debate and the sharing of learning. Feedback will be provided for formal assessments, preparation for which will be supported through online activities, study group sessions and in the weekly synchronous sessions.

Assessment Details

Part 1 (25%): Critical reading (500 words)

A structured critical reading of a research article, evaluating a child health intervention (therapeutic treatment

or prevention programme).

Part 2 (75%): Policy brief (2,500 words)

A policy brief (including a summary for parents and carers) about a child health topic of your choice.

Reading and References

  • Emond, Alan (2019) Health for All Children. Oxford University Press ISBN-10: 0198788851
  • RCPCH (2017) State of Child Health 2017, and further reports and updates
  • Sharma, A., Cockerill, H., Okawa, N., Sheridan, M. D., Sharma, A. and Ōkawa, N. (2014) Marysheridan's from birth to five years. Fourth edn. London: Routledge, Taylor & Francis Group.