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Discuss how health and wellbeing are socio-politically situated and the impact this has on the individual, their community and society.

Welcome to the Nursing and Social Justice module. We are very excited to be facilitating your learning and hope you enjoy the next 6 weeks working with us on some thought provoking and often challenging topics.


This is an enquiry based learning (EBL) module. EBL enables you to examine issues in a more sensitive way particularly those areas where a resolution to a situation may not be achievable but where nurses need to be able to support service users with their changed circumstances. Using EBL you are able to consider complex issues as space is created to follow thoughts and arguments through to a deeper understanding.  


Aims and Objectives of the modules

The aims of this module are to enable the student to critically examine how health and wellbeing is constructed in society today and to develop strategies to ensure they work in partnership with all health service users. 

Learning Outcomes 

By the end of this module you should be able to: 

  1. Discuss how health and wellbeing are socio-politically situated and the impact this has on the individual, their community and society.   
  2. Examine the role of the nurse in health activism  
  3. Examine critically their own privilege, values, beliefs and biases in order to challenge themselves and others in overcoming oppressive practice that may inhibit their ability to work in person centred ways.  

Module Teaching Team

For this module you will have an identified tutor who will take you for the first session looking at intersectionality. They will also be the tutor who will offer you advice regarding your assessment. As such they should be your first contact.

All your subsequent sessions will be taken by an expert in the area under discussion:

Module Content

Through the lens of intersectionality and using social models of health and disability, this module will provide you with the opportunity to examine critical concepts in understanding health and wellbeing within a broader socio/cultural/political frame. It will encourage you to begin to critique the dominant biomedical approach to health, disability and illness and in doing so enhance their ability to work in person centred, solution-focused ways and develop skills of anti – oppressive health activism.  

Through a focus on the UK Equalities Act (2010) 10 protected characteristics (age; disability; gender reassignment; marriage and civil partnership; pregnancy and maternity; race; religion or belief; sex; and sexual orientation), the module will specifically examine the social construction of health, wellbeing and illness; global and local inequalities of health; ethics of care; discrimination and prejudice; stigma and othering. Example topics may include: Gender based violence including Female Genital Mutilation (FGM); global health issues including pandemics and epidemics, HIV/AIDS activism; and health narratives from minority groups e.g. women of colour, migrants and refugees and LGBT identified people.  

Learning and Teaching

This module will employ an enquiry based approach to learning and teaching.     

Each week will focus on one of the five topics chosen for the module; Race, Gender, Sexuality, Disability and Activism. Each class will undertake the topics in a different order so that your enquiry can be facilitated by a tutor with expertise in the field.

Fuelled by critical case studies, readings, videos, podcasts and blogs you will discuss how society views and positions people in an illness paradigm and then attaches oppressive labels to them.  

Blackboard learning resources are structured to help you progress through the learning materials and each topic is divided into three key areas:

  • Pre- session work, this preparatory work will need to be completed before Monday’s seminar but should take you no longer than 2 hours
  • Session materials: here you will find 5 sub folders, one for each day of the week.
    • Monday’s seminar will introduce the core concepts and key theories to you, providing you with a foundation on which to discuss the chosen case studies
    • Tuesday-Thursday folders contain directed study activities. These should be undertaken sequentially and the activities completed in time for Friday’s seminar. Each day should take you no more than 2 hours
    • Friday’s (Thursday) seminar will focus on the directed learning you have undertaken and ask the critical question “what does this mean for MY nursing practice?”

You will be expected to come to class having undertaken the directed learning activities. Failure to undertake these learning activities may result in you being asked to leave the class.  

Class room based activities, include case study analysis; debate; and discussion and reflection on critical readings. You will also be encouraged to bring your own examples from practice of where you feel a health inequality may have been enacted for critical discussion.

There will also be a core lecture each week that will supplement the classroom based learning

Trigger Warnings

This module employs trigger warnings, you will be given advanced notice of upsetting or challenging materials. Some of the material will be difficult to engage with and may invoke strong emotional responses or trigger memories. Smith (2014) recognises the emotional labour of nursing and suggests that nurses should develop strategies to enable them to continue to work in challenging circumstances whilst attending to their own wellbeing, Audre Lorde (1988) in the same vein coined the phrase “Self-care as warfare” highlighting the importance of activists caring for themselves in order to continue their work. In order for you to attend to emotional labour and enact self-care you will undertake debriefing within the module but will also be encouraged to take issues discussed in the class to your clinical supervision sessions.   

Assessment Guidelines:

How will we test the learning outcomes?

Drawing from the topics we’ve discussed in class you are required to produce either:

a)    A piece of artwork in the form of a drawing, painting, sculpture poem, etc.


b)    Write a blog post in the vein of those given as examples within the module.

Your work is a piece of activism based on your chosen topic and should challenge the dominant socio-political/biomedical approaches to health, disability and illness. 

This will be supported by a personal reflective narrative exploring how your examination of your own privilege, values, beliefs and biases led to the creation of the piece.

Assessment process

  1. You will create a piece of artwork, write a poem or a blog post during the module focusing on a topic discussed in the module. This should be negotiated with your module tutor (the tutor who took you for the first session on intersectionality) 
  2. You will display your art work or blog post on the assessment date in the venue given.
  3. You must be prepared to display your work for assessment from 10am on the assessment date. The allocated room[s] will be available for you to set up in from 8am.  
  4. You will then be allotted a time slot where you will have a 10 minute conversation with two members of the module team.
  5. In this conversation you will explain your work and talk about your own privilege, values, beliefs and biases and reflect on how this exploration helped you create your piece of art work or write your blog post.
  6. The module team members will ask you questions about your work and your reflection during this 10 minute conversation.
  7. You will not be marked on your artistic abilities!
  8. You will need to upload a photo of your work or a copy of your blog to Turnitin. You should include a title page stating your name and candidate number, the title of the work and a the following declaration that this is your own work:

By submitting this form with my assessment, I hereby declare that this submission is my own work and has been prepared in full knowledge of the Assessment Regulations of the University and the Confidentiality Policy of the Faculty

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