Due to the Corona virus it is unclear how the programmes will take place. For the latest news please check the course page in Blackboard/Brightspace.


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Social Determinants of Health




Admissions requirements



Vulnerable and socially disadvantaged people suffer more from diseases and have a shorter lifespan on average than people in higher social positions. Factors like an increased risk of exposure to tobacco, unhealthy food and pollution, limited access to health services or lack of financial resources for appropriate treatment, play a major role. Chronic diseases often carry high health-care costs , quickly draining limited house hold resources. At the same time they cause loss of income generating capacity leading families into a vicious circle of poor health and poverty.

These kind of mechanisms play a role all over the world, not only in low income countries, and illustrate the complex interactions between conditions in which people are born, grow, work, live and age, and their health.

During this course we will explore these interactions and discuss the role public health workers can play in reducing these health inequalities.

Course objectives

After this course students will be able to:

  • explain what social determinants are and how they influence health.

  • describe how to measure health inequalities

  • explain how health inequalities develop.

  • evaluate interventions and policies to reduce health inequalities

  • describe the underlying assumptions and elements required for the development of an intervention aimed at reducing health inequalities


Once available, timetables will be published here.

Mode of instruction

Self study


Written Individual assignment (30%)
Written group assignment (30%)
Presentations (20%)
Peer review (20%)


There will be a Blackboard site available for this course. Students will be enrolled at least one week before the start of classes.

Reading list



This course is open to LUC students and LUC exchange students. Registration is coordinated by the Curriculum Coordinator. Interested non-LUC students should contact course.administration@luc.leidenuniv.nl.


Emile Kruyt, MPH