Health Communication Theory and Practice

Module code: MS7021

Health Communication affects all persons throughout their lives, whether through direct conversations with their doctors, exposure to health information and images in the media, or use of digital media (e.g. internet, smart phones or wearable devices) to monitor their own health. The field of health communication is a fast-developing, complex and vibrant area of research in media and communication. This module teaches students key approaches, theories, and methods of health communication, some of which have been applied to study the latest global health crisis - the COVID-19 pandemic.  

The module introduces these perspectives through a number of case studies informed by recent and ongoing research projects conducted by the teaching team.

Topics covered

  • Key approaches, methods, applications in health communication
  • Media coverage of public health crises (e.g. BSE, COVID-19)
  • Health campaigns and communicative interventions
  • Social media and health dis/misinformation
  • Digital media and e-health: using pregnancy apps and the NHS maternity service
  • Health literacy for minority ethnic groups
  • Advertising of drugs (Viagra) and health products (health insurance)
  • Risk communication: e-cigarette use and vaping
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