This course is discontinued

HME4404 – Health Communication

Schedule, syllabus and examination date

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Course content

  • Communication conditions
  • Hermeneutics and the process of understanding
  • Different groups within the health system
  • Different groups in the public
  • Lay beliefs about health and the health service
  • Analysis of documents
  • The fact-value distinction
  • Comparison of different conceptions of what a good health service is.

Learning outcome

The issue of health communication has an internal and an external dimension. The internal dimension concerns understanding and interaction between different members of the health service, while the external dimension concerns the relation between the health service and the public. The students will be introduced to relevant challenges and problems related to the aim of achieving efficient communication in both areas. A key concept in the course will be the concept of communication conditions, the conditions that must be met in order for health communication to function adequately within a given context. The students will also be introduced to the connection between beliefs about the health service and basic health concepts like disease, illness, and sickness, as well as the question of how health beliefs are connected to values. The course will pay special attention to the question of whether arguments in official documents concerning the organization of the health system employ as premises claims that are accepted by many members of the public.


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Formal prerequisite knowledge



Lectures, extensive group work and supervision on topics for the compulsory home assignment (essay).

Weeks 13 and 14.


In order to pass the course, each student must write an essay related to health communication (in a wide sense!). It is a good idea to think about possible topics one would like to write about before the course starts. Essays must be submitted for evaluation after the course and will be graded passed/not passed. Students are offered supervision during this period.

Language of examination


Grading scale

Grades are awarded on a pass/fail scale. Read more about the grading system.

Explanations and appeals

Resit an examination

Withdrawal from an examination

It is possible to take the exam up to 3 times. If you withdraw from the exam after the deadline or during the exam, this will be counted as an examination attempt.

Special examination arrangements

Application form, deadline and requirements for special examination arrangements.

Facts about this course






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Teaching language