Ecology of the Health


1. Acquire skills in the specific dynamics of human populations, models and processes of demographic and epidemiological transition.

2. Identify major health-related issues in the context of social change, as well as the relations between health, environment and quality of life.

3. Identify health determinants from an ecological perspective and social inequalities in health.

4. Analyse the social construction of disease and how it influences perceptions and experience of disease and critically analyze the progressive medicalisation of society and recognise the social implications of this process.

5. Identify health policies and their adequency to the new demographic, environmental and organizational challenges.

General characterization





Responsible teacher

Ana Paula Bexiga Martins Arguelles Gil


Weekly - 3

Total - 280

Teaching language



Available soon


CARAPINHEIRO, G., CORREIA, T.(2015). Novos temas de saúde, Novas questões sociais. Lisboa: Editora: Mundos Sociais. DAVIDSON, Alan (2015). Social Determinants of Health – a comparative approach. London: Oxford University Press. FERNANDES, Ana A., (2008). Questões demográficas. Demografia e Sociologia da população, Lisboa: Edições Colibri. HONARY, Morteza, BOLEYN, Thomas,(1999), Health Ecology: Health, Culture, and Human-environment Interaction, Routledge. KRUK, M. (2018), Sistemas de saúde de alta qualidade na era dos objetivos de desenvolvimento sustentátvel, The Lancet Global Health Commission. MARMOT, Michael & ALLEN, Jessica J. (2014). Social Determinants of Health Equity. American Journal of Public Health.Supplement 4, Vol 104, No. S4. MCQUEEN, D., Kickbusch, I, Potvin, L.; Pelikan, J., Balbo, L., Abel, A. (2007). Health modernity - The Role of Theory in Health Promotion, Springer. SCAMBLER, G., (2002), Health and Social Change. A critical theory, Open University Press

Teaching method

Teaching method: 3 hours per week. Sessions are theoretical and practical. It means that lessons are expository, on the theoretical subjects, by the teacher and presentation and discussion of scientific texts by the students.

Evaluation method

A critical review about a global health issue and oral discussion - final grade(40%), One thematic individual work - written component (60%)

Subject matter

1. Health Ecology and Public Health: a conceptual relation The implications of applying the concept of human ecology to health. Public health: evolutions and definition of a concept Methods in public health: ecological studies;

2. Global public health: the determinants of health from an ecological perspective Demographic and epidemiological transition Determinants of Health in a Globalised world Theoretical models around health determinants;

3. Health inequalities and equity Mortality, morbidity and health: population and epidemiological aspects Impacts of ageing on population health;

4.Health and disease: exploration and definition of concepts The social construction of health and disease and their cultural diversity The biomedical model of disease and its critique;

5. Health Policies in a globalized world and disease prevention.


Programs where the course is taught: