SOS3608 - Social Inequalities in Health


Examination arrangement

Examination arrangement: Assignment
Grade: Letters

Evaluation Weighting Duration Grade deviation Examination aids
Oppgave 100/100

Course content

There have been major changes in the health of Norwegians, Europeans and in the world within a fairly short historical perspective.

Life expectancy in many parts of the world has increased drastically, which can be attributed to increasingly better living conditions and healthcare.

However, some groups of the population has not taken part of this improvement to the same degree. The improvement has been greater for people with higher education and high incomes as compared to people with less education or income.

Thus, there are large disparities in depression, physical chronic conditions, subjective health, life expectancy and all other measurements of health when we compare people´s level of education, income or occupational status. It is possible, in principle, for groups that have lessresources to achieve the same health as those with the most resources. Consequently, there is an enormous potential for improving public health if we were able to reduce inequalities in health between the rich and the poor.

This course provides a description of how health in Norway and other European countries are distributed by various measures of social status and for various measures of health. It will show how health inequalities are measured, how they evolve over time, and we compare and explain the magnitude and variation of health inequalities between countries. Explanations will be discussed at both the individual and contextual level, and it will be clear that there are complex processes behind. The lectures are based on the research from CHAIN, which is a research group at the Department of Sociology and Political Science:

Learning outcome

Knowledge - the student will:
- be familiar with the key discussions and recent research in the Norwegian and international health sociology.

Skills - the student will:
- be able to apply relevant theories independently.

Learning methods and activities

The program is based on a combination of lectures, field trips and seminars.

Joint lectures with SOS2021. If few students attend the course in the first two weeeks of teaching, the course will be given as an individual study course with supervision. Whether or not the course is offered also depends on the departments available resources. Please contact the department for further information.

Compulsory assignments

  • Presentations

Further on evaluation

Form of assessment: Individual paper

Required previous knowledge

60 credits including SOS1002 or an equivalent course in research methods. The requirement must be fulfilled to be admitted to the course.

Course materials

To be decided at the start of the course

Credit reductions

Course code Reduction From To
SOS8529 5.0
SOS2021 7.5
More on the course



Version: 1
Credits:  7.5 SP
Study level: Second degree level


Term no.: 1
Teaching semester:  AUTUMN 2019

Language of instruction: Norwegian

Location: Trondheim

Subject area(s)
  • Sociology
Contact information
Course coordinator:

Department with academic responsibility
Department of Sociology and Political Science


Examination arrangement: Assignment

Term Status code Evaluation Weighting Examination aids Date Time Examination system Room *
Autumn ORD Oppgave 100/100





Room Building Number of candidates
Spring ORD Oppgave 100/100 INSPERA
Room Building Number of candidates
  • * The location (room) for a written examination is published 3 days before examination date. If more than one room is listed, you will find your room at Studentweb.

For more information regarding registration for examination and examination procedures, see "Innsida - Exams"

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