Health Communications

Course Number
5800 (Health Promotion)
Course Instructor(s)
Larry Hershfield

Course Description

CHL5807H is an interdisciplinary graduate course that examines a variety of approaches and actions that inform health communication initiatives, including behavioural, sociological, political- economy, and cultural studies lenses.

The course will be structured around the objectives, platforms, messages, audiences, and components of communication approaches such as:

  • media framing
  • media advocacy
  • health and media literacy
  • social marketing of health
  • patient provider communication
  • communication for social change
  • risk & emergency communication
  • communicating social determinants
  • entertainment education or edutainment
  • Web 2.0 and social media engagement

Course Objectives

By the conclusion of this course, students will:

  • acquire a broad understanding of health communication theory, methods and professional practice;
  • develop practical experience in developing health communication materials and campaigns;
  • be able to identify and critically assess media frames for public health issues;
  • appreciate media discourse and the role of story-telling on public knowledge, attitudes, behaviours and power relations relevant to individual and community health issues; and
  • develop scholarly review techniques, media analysis skills, scholarly writing and presentation skills.

Methods of Assessment

Participation 15%
Health Media Reflections and Reframing Blog or Podcast 15%
Health Communication Tool Demonstration and Critique OR Facilitate Class Discussion on selected course reading 15%
Major Health Campaign Project (Individual or group project):

  • 25%: Critical review essay of major public health campaign
  • 15%: Scholarly presentation of essay (20 min. plus 10 min Q&A)
  • 15%: Campaign production: prototype of campaign to redress limitations