Health Policy and Action


About this course

The field of health is dynamic and complex. Health is influenced by a diversity of interconnected factors, and different sectors and actors are involved. As a consequence, the development of public health policy is essential and organisations and professionals have to collaborate in the provision of care, prevention and health promotion.
In this course we review the influence of global, national and local health policies on the organisation of public health systems. For instance, policies of the World Health Organization (WHO) and European Union (EU) influence the organization of health systems on the national level. Likewise, national health policies determine local health policy and thereby local health systems. Decision-making during the development of health policies, depends on the actors involved and on the context in which the policy-making takes place. We take a closer look at health policy on the global, national and local level and discuss theories, decision-making models and tools in the field of health policy development and in network societies. We also unravel the policy-making process and address priority setting in health.
The functioning of organisations and actors within the health field is strongly related to health policies. Public health and society professionals have an important role in promoting and protecting health. They collaborate with policy-makers, with professionals within the health care sector, professionals of other sectors and communities. We discuss theories and methods to set policy on the agenda, and to develop, implement and evaluate policy. We also study policy implementation from the perspective of specific stakeholders such as general practitioners, health promotion professionals and the public.
In this course, students acquire more in-depth knowledge and competencies in the field of health and health promotion and are trained in program level learning outcomes of the Bachelor Health and Society. Program level learning outcomes addressed are: applying theoretical approaches, explain health policy making in the field of public health, choose and apply research methods, explain ethical issues that may arise when working in the field of public health, collaborate in a (multidisciplinary) team, communicate clearly (verbally and writing) and reflect upon personal knowledge, skills, attitudes and functioning. As such, the course helps students to prepare themselves for their professional life, for example as a researcher, health promoter, health policy advisor or manager.

Learning outcomes

After successful completion of this course students are expected to be able to:

  • Understand how social, cultural, economic, demographic and political factors influence policy-making processes in health and coordinated action in public health
  • Understand policy-making processes in Health at different levels
  • Understand the importance of coordinated action within public health policy
  • Apply relevant theories about policy- making and coordinated action
  • Apply tools for policy-making and for coordinated action for Health
  • Apply competencies such as networking, communication and chairing a meeting

Required prior knowledge

Assumed Knowledge:
HSO20306 Environmental Assets for Health and HSO20806 Health Psychology.

Link to more information

If anything remains unclear, please check the FAQ of Wageningen University.


  • Start date

    10 February 2025

    • Ends
      7 March 2025
    • Term *
      Period 4
    • Location
    • Instruction language
    • Register between
      1 Jun, 00:00 - 12 Jan 2025
These offerings are valid for students of Utrecht University