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2018/19 Taught Postgraduate Module Catalogue

JUSO5911M GIS for Analysis of Health (WUN)

15 creditsClass Size: 20

Module manager: Dr Jim Wright
Email: j.a.wright@soton.ac.uk

Taught: 1 Oct to 31 Jan, 1 Oct to 31 Jan (adv yr) View Timetable

Year running 2018/19

This module is not approved as an Elective

Module summary

This module is intended to introduce students who have already studied the principles of geographical information systems (GIS) how to utilise GIS tools in the analysis of health. The unit introduces the analysis of health, with a particular objective to show that many of the central concepts surrounding health and disease are in fact ambiguous and contested - they have different meanings to different groups of people and at different times.Academic study of the geography of health has traditionally been divided between two traditions - firstly concerned with the causes and spread of disease and secondly with the organisation and use of health care services. The methods and examples covered in this unit 'GIS for Analysis of Health' deal primarily with the first of these. GIS can play an important role in many aspects of health analysis, but should not be applied without recognition of contextual factors such as the interests of different agencies and the value-laden nature of standard definitions. Using a generalised model for the disease causation, the role of environmental, individual behavioural and predisposing factors on health effects are explored. Attention is given to international sources of data describing health events, and the role of GIS is introduced in five analytical areas: - the direct mapping of health data; - analysis of spatial clustering in health events; - analysis of the spread of diseases; - measuring and modelling exposure to risk factors and exploring inequalities in health outcomes. This course has been primarily designed for online delivery and comprises an extensive set of online learning objects, each of which has associated directed activities.

Objectives

On completion of the module students should:
1. be able to critically evaluate contemporary developments in health from a spatial analysis perspective;
2. understand the role of GIS-based analyses of health alongside a range of complementary approaches to explanation and the implications for the results and interpretations presented;
3. understand the issues involved in representing people, their health and potential explanatory factors as spatial objects in GIS;
4. be able to discuss the relative roles of individual-level effects and area-level effects (or composition and context) in influencing patterns of health and the role that GIS can play in exploring these;
5. be able to critically evaluate the evidence for and against causal relationships between health outcomes and environmental factors;
6. know how to use GIS tools to identify spatial patterns in health and to undertake an exploratory analysis of potential explanatory factors.

Learning outcomes
At the end of this unit, students will be able to display knowledge and understanding of:
Detailed knowledge of selected parts of the subject that allow you to study the current literature and engage in discussion with peers – in relation to the spatial distribution of health and disease
Knowledge of contemporary methods used to analyse remotely sensed imagery and other spatial data sets – in relation to the identification of spatial pattern in health data

At the end of this unit, students will be able to display a range of subject specific intellectual skills:
Critically analyse the literature relating to remote sensing and spatial analysis
Abstract and synthesise information from a range of different sources – in relation to sources of health, population and relevant environmental data
Use appropriate principles, theories and methods to design and undertake primary research within the subject area
Analyse and critically interpret primary and secondary data

At the end of this unit, students will be able to display a range of subject specific practical skills:
Spatial data analysis – including patterns in point and area-based health data

At the end of this unit, students will have developed a range of transferable/general (key) skills:
Pursuit of knowledge in an in-depth, ordered and motivated way
Learning and independent study
Information processing (including IT skills): literature searches
Data manipulation (including IT skills): analysis of data (especially spatial data); statistical methods;
Communication: oral and written presentation; scientific writing
Management: safe and effective project planning and execution; time management

Skills outcomes
- Pursuit of knowledge in an in-depth, ordered and motivated way
- Learning and independent study
- Information processing (including IT skills): literature searches
- Data manipulation (including IT skills): analysis of data (especially spatial data); statistical methods
- Communication: oral and written presentation; scientific writing
- Management: safe and effective project planning and execution; time management.


Syllabus

1. Definitions of health
2. Spatial aspects of health analysis
3. Spatial data source considerations for GIS
4. GIS for mapping health
5. GIS for analysing the spatial clustering of health events
6. GIS for analysing the spread of diseases
7. GIS for measuring and modelling exposure to risk factors

Teaching methods

Delivery typeNumberLength hoursStudent hours
Email/Phone Tutorial201.0020.00
Independent online learning hours60.00
Private study hours70.00
Total Contact hours20.00
Total hours (100hr per 10 credits)150.00

Private study

- To work through online course materials: 45 hours
- To undertake online self-assessment review questions: 4 hours
- Additional reading: 31
- To complete the practical exercises: 50 hours.

Opportunities for Formative Feedback

Through email communication and the online discussion room.

Methods of assessment


Coursework
Assessment typeNotes% of formal assessment
Practical1 x 1,500 word practical33.00
Report1 x 1,500 word report33.00
Practical1 x 1,500 word practical34.00
Total percentage (Assessment Coursework)100.00

Normally resits will be assessed by the same methodology as the first attempt, unless otherwise stated

Reading list

The reading list is available from the Library website

Last updated: 02/02/2017

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