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PHDH905 Health and social care services research. Contextual conditions for health, function and participation

Course description for academic year 2024/2025

Contents and structure

The course highlights contextual conditions for health, function and participation at the individual, organisational and policy levels, and how the connection between these levels has implications for professional practice and those receiving health and social care services. Central themes are how welfare state models influence the delivery of health and social care and how the services are perceived by the service users. The course highlights the different contextual conditions for health and social services, such as political, legalisational, organisational, material, economical and social conditions. New forms of management and organisation of health and social services will be critically illuminated and examined. The topic facilitates critical reflections on whom "health problems" are a problem for; is it a problem for patients, relatives and / or communities with their professionals.

Learning Outcome

After completing the course, the student

Knowledge: The student ...

  • is able to critically reflect on different forms of public governance in the welfare state, and the implications this will have for health care professionals and recipients (users, patients, clients)
  • has in-depth knowledge of welfare research in relation to health, function and participation
  • has extensive knowledge on how individuals' health, function and participation are influenced by organisational and legalisational frames, as well as prioritisations and division of responsibilities between health and social care services

Skills: The student ...

  • can identify and problematise their own project using different perspectives on the relationship between context and health, function and participation in relation to contextual frames
  • know how to critical examine different forms of governance and organisation in health and welfare services
  • can analyze how different contextual conditions influence the service providers and service users relevant in the candidates own project.

General competence: The student ...

  • is able to critically reflect on how new and older forms of health and social care services work, and can analyse how these services influence patients' health, function and participation
  • can carry out research in line with research ethical standards, and uses the overall theme of the course in his / her own project
  • can participate in discussions and critically analyse historical and societal conditions for partcipants to be actively enganged
  • know how to investigate, examine and analyse contextual conditions for health, function and participation.

Entry requirements

Master's degree with 120 ECTS credits or equivalent in relevant academic fields.

Number of participants: The course requires a minimum of 5 and a maximum of 20 participants. The number of PhD students should preferably comprise at least 50% of the total number of participants.

Teaching methods

Lectures, workshops, seminar presentations with opposition and discussion participation in two sessions:

  • The students will each present excerpts from their own research and then illustrate with use of theory how contextual conditions can explain relevant aspects in their own research.
  • The students will each present an excerpt from their scientific paper and receive feedback from their co-students and teachers as opponents.
  • The students will give a speech based on the topics highlighted in the literature and in the lectures.
  • Self-study and active participation via ICT-based learning platforms are expected between the sessions.

The examination assignment starts at the same time as the course, and the candidate receives individual and group-based feedback from fellow students and teachers.

Compulsory learning activities




Individual written scientific paper based on the candidates` own PhD project in light of core literature and perspectives highlighted in the course. The paper should have a range of 3500-4000 words.

Grading Pass / fail

If failing to pass, a second exam date allows for an improved version of the scientific paper to be handed in once.

Examination support material

All aids are permitted.

More about examination support material