Module details for Social Science of Physical Activity and Health


This module introduces the student to social issues in physical activity and health contexts.


The aim of this Module is to provide the student with an understanding of key social issues in physical activity and health contexts.

Learning Outcomes

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

1.  Identify and describe disciplines within the study of physical activity and health that are associated with the social sciences.

2.  Demonstrate a basic understanding of key issues in physical activity and health.

3.  Identify key structures and governing bodies/policies associated with health and physical activity.

4.  Demonstrate a basic understanding of methodologies associated with physical activity and health and what they help us to learn/explain.

Indicative Content

1 Interdisciplinary nature of social sciences

Students will explore the ways in which various disciplines within social science help us to understand and explain issues relating to physical activity and health (e.g., sociology of sport, sociology of health and illness, epidemiology, sport development, sport history)

2 Critically engage with the notion of ‘healthy’ lifestyles

Students will question the construction of ‘healthy’ living

3 Research topics within the social sciences

Students will make connections between the approaches/findings of physical activity and health research and how these inform debates around agency− structure

4 Political Ideology and Social Inequalities

Students will question the ways in which health and physical activity participation are framed by political ideologies and consider how and why this influences social inequalities

5 Qualitative methodologies

Students will be introduced to qualitative research and how it has developed our understanding of physical activity and health.

Teaching and Learning Work Loads

For session 2020/21 the expectation is that the teaching and learning hours stated in this descriptor will form a mix of synchronous and asynchronous student/staff activity, with the majority of this being online. The exact pattern of this activity is likely to vary from the standard face-to-face hours listed below but the overall student effort remains the same. Up-to-date information on the delivery of the module can be found on the relevant module MLS site and on your student timetable.

Teaching and Learning Method Hours
Lecture 12
Tutorial/Seminar 26
Practical Activity 0
Assessment 60
Independent 102
Total 200

Guidance notes

SCQF Level - The Scottish Credit and Qualifications Framework provides an indication of the complexity of award qualifications and associated learning and operates on an ascending numeric scale from Levels 1-12 with SCQF Level 10 equating to a Scottish undergraduate Honours degree.

Credit Value – The total value of SCQF credits for the module. 20 credits are the equivalent of 10 ECTS credits. A full-time student should normally register for 60 SCQF credits per semester.


We make every effort to ensure that the information on our website is accurate but it is possible that some changes may occur prior to the academic year of entry. The modules listed in this catalogue are offered subject to availability during academic year 2020/21 , and may be subject to change for future years.