Fall 2021 - HSCI 340 D100

Social Determinants of Health (3)

Class Number: 2134

Delivery Method: In Person


  • Course Times + Location:

    Fr 2:30 PM – 5:20 PM
    SWH 10041, Burnaby

  • Prerequisites:

    60 units and two HSCI 200-level courses with a minimum grade of C-, one of which may be taken concurrently.



Social determinants of health and health inequities. Explores how and why the social advantages and disadvantages that people experience - based on their social position(s) and social circumstances - determine their health status and overall well-being.


Over the last decades the international community, including Canada, has recognized the primary role social determinants play in fuelling our inequitable population health outcomes. In this course, we will examine how some of the major determinants of health help illustrate and explain the complex linkages between the structural organization of society and population health outcomes. Key social determinants of health to be covered include class & social/health inequality,  ethnicity, racialization & social exclusion, and colonization & indigeneity.  

This class will challenge students to interrogate traditional viewpoints on health, healing and disease and question the interplay between values, power and politics embedded in discussion of healthy individuals, families and communities. Students will be asked to critically assess the context/causes, evidence, intersections and health effects of social inequities and to develop better understandings regarding the social determinants of health, health inequity and policy solutions.


  • Reflect on your social location, biases and responsibility and how these impact your work promoting health equity
  • Link systems of inequity to upstream social structures, exploitative processes and poor health outcomes
  • Apply important equity-promoting tools and frameworks to your areas of public health interest and public health practice
  • Build resources that help you centre important knowledge regarding social inequities and share this knowledge with others
  • Leverage resources, tools and frameworks for action in multiple domains



This course will use labour-based grading, so your final grade will reflect the effort you put into the class. You will earn a B if you put in the labour to complete all of the work asked of you, demonstrating a sincere intention. For a B, there are four different assignments to complete: (1) journaling, (2) participation in class, (3) Building and Sharing knowledge project and (4) Infographic project. Students who want an A will complete more assignments. Students who complete fewer assignments will earn less than a B.



All materials for this class will be available over the web and SFU library website.


Registrar Notes:


SFU’s Academic Integrity web site http://www.sfu.ca/students/academicintegrity.html is filled with information on what is meant by academic dishonesty, where you can find resources to help with your studies and the consequences of cheating.  Check out the site for more information and videos that help explain the issues in plain English.

Each student is responsible for his or her conduct as it affects the University community.  Academic dishonesty, in whatever form, is ultimately destructive of the values of the University. Furthermore, it is unfair and discouraging to the majority of students who pursue their studies honestly. Scholarly integrity is required of all members of the University. http://www.sfu.ca/policies/gazette/student/s10-01.html


Teaching at SFU in fall 2021 will involve primarily in-person instruction, with approximately 70 to 80 per cent of classes in person/on campus, with safety plans in place.  Whether your course will be in-person or through remote methods will be clearly identified in the schedule of classes.  You will also know at enrollment whether remote course components will be “live” (synchronous) or at your own pace (asynchronous).

Enrolling in a course acknowledges that you are able to attend in whatever format is required.  You should not enroll in a course that is in-person if you are not able to return to campus, and should be aware that remote study may entail different modes of learning, interaction with your instructor, and ways of getting feedback on your work than may be the case for in-person classes.

Students with hidden or visible disabilities who may need class or exam accommodations, including in the context of remote learning, are advised to register with the SFU Centre for Accessible Learning (caladmin@sfu.ca or 778-782-3112) as early as possible in order to prepare for the fall 2021 term.