Major Electives Courses Description

Health and Social Services Management Programme

Health and Social Services Management Programme

The world is experiencing several social problems some of which are new while several older ones have taken new and complicated dimensions. These social problems need to be understood from local and global perspectives to enhance its management. This course discusses several social problems within the context of health and social service delivery. Students will be led to reflect on how unique and vulnerable populations groups, such as older persons, children and youth, the poor, drug abusers, the mentally ill, and disability, experience health and social care and their place in society. The course relates the various social problems to policy measures and institutional structures meant to deal with them. It will be delivered through lectures, tutorials and some field visits to better understand the experiences of vulnerable groups through interactions with them and/or service providers. The module will expand students’ horizon about these social problems and equip them with first-hand knowledge in addressing the health-related plights of these groups from a social care perspective.

Health information systems are systems that manage individual health data and assist health and allied health professionals in their daily operational tasks. Increasing automation over the years has allowed these systems to accumulate a large volume of data. With an increasing demand for operational efficiency, these data represent an opportunity to extract useful knowledge to support decision-making by health and social service managers and policymakers. Health information systems store a wide variety of structured and unstructured data from different aspects of healthcare management, including medical, administrative and financial data. This course is designed to equip students with the skills to apply appropriate statistical and data mining tools to different types of data to support decisions in a health and social care setting.

This course is delivered in partnership with the Office of Service Learning (OSL) and Asia Pacific Institute of Ageing Studies (APIAS). The course involves engagement in the community for the promotion of healthy lives and well-being. The students will be divided into small groups and attached to one of the OSL/APIAS’ community-based projects (a list of projects will be announced in class). The students will work as a team in the projects to design, plan and implement activities for promoting healthy lives and well-being in various forms, for example, to conduct interviews with the participants and other stakeholders, write feature stories, do photo/video shooting, organize activities to promote healthy community and intergenerational solidarity, etc. Students are expected to document their experiences throughout the course and submit a report of the activities and the relevance for health and well-being of the participating groups and individuals.

The course aims to provide students with knowledge and skills in addressing the gaps in health and social services and technology interface, particularly for older people. Technology is an integral part of health and social services and, if used with care, can enhance the range and quality of services provided. This course teaches students in what ways technology can be used to this end. Students will learn about assistive technologies and equipment for meeting the changing needs of various service users and improving their quality of life. Ethical issues will be discussed in class to give students a broad overview of the current and potential impact of technology on the health and social services sectors. The course will also introduce human-centered design principles to students and provide them hands-on practice with designing simple prototypes to address specific health and social services related challenges. No background knowledge in technology is needed. The course will not focus on the technical details of assistive technologies and equipment, but instead introduces students to the design principles behind technology for health and social services and in what ways it can be implemented to improve these services.

This course introduces principles and practices in managing human resources in health and social services sectors. It uses lectures, tutorials and case studies to engage students. It trains students how to apply theoretical concepts to analyse practical situations across various areas, including strategic human resource management, human resource planning, recruitment and selection, training and development, performance management, labour relations, health, safety and employee wellbeing, and future trends in human resource management. On completion of this course, students should be able to master the basic principles of human resource management and also apply them to various health and social service settings.

This course is delivered in partnership with the Office of Service Learning of Lingnan University and health and social care organisations in both private and public sectors. Students will be involved in activities of these organisations in the form of service-learning, with the aim of learning about and critically examining a specific health and social welfare issue. They are expected to come out with a report that critically analyses a group of service users, a service project, a service approach, and a social policy or welfare issue.

This course aims to introduce and compare welfare and healthcare policies in Hong Kong and mainland China. It will discuss five traditional social policy areas (security, education, housing, employment and health) and also examine contemporary issues on ageing in place and community care support for older people. It will critically analyse how socio-economic factors shape policy developments in the two societies. The course also will compare the similarities and differences of social and health policies between Hong Kong and China.

Social innovation is an emerging practice to respond to the new challenges to health and social services provisions. This course aims to promote students’ understanding of social innovation and equip them with essential skills in developing social entrepreneurship. Students will be offered opportunities to develop new products or provide new services. They will be inspired to critically examine the current social issues in local and global contexts, and the development and practices of social enterprises in offering solutions to these social issues. Experiential learning will be integrated into the course delivery, such as field visits, dialogue with social entrepreneurs, staff members or service users.

(Prerequisite: PSY2101 Introduction to Psychology)

Stress is an aspect of everyday contemporary life, whether minor or major, acute or chronic. How we cope with stress has substantial influence on our psychological well-being. This course provides a theoretical-experiential approach to understanding and coping with stress. Students are exposed to various stress management strategies with the intention of preventing and/or alleviating the negative impact of stress on health, communication, relationships, academic and work performance.

(Prerequisite: PSY2101 Introduction to Psychology)
Health psychology focuses on the role of psychosocial processes in health promotion and maintenance, illness prevention and treatment, and the relationship between psychosocial factors and physiological processes involved in health and diseases. The course provides a general introduction to the field of health psychology. We will study the biopsychosocial model of health and illness, and examine its contribution to understanding: a) health promotion and illness prevention, b) becoming ill and adopting the sick role, and c) coping with chronic illness. In each domain, we will discuss and critically evaluate the basic research, explanatory theories, and interventions developed or used by health psychologists. Finally, the course enmeshes you in the theory of, techniques for, and research on how psychology can help people live longer, healthier lives.

This module introduces students to the academic discipline of social policy. It provides an overview of key concepts and ideologies in social policy study, and outlines core areas of social provision with examples of policy goals, policy instruments and policy problems that exist within them. Although the main focus of the course is Hong Kong, social policies are considered within an international context and issues are examined using ideas, examples and evidence from across the globe.

(Restriction(s): Students are not allowed to take both this course and SOC3319 Family, Gender and Society)

Families play an important role in individual development, social organisation and social processes. This course introduces students to sociological approaches to the study of the family as institution, process and practice. The course also focuses on the use of relevant empirical data, research findings and the application of sociological concepts and theories to analyse issues relating to contemporary families in Hong Kong and elsewhere.

This course aims to demonstrate how and why many societies globally in East and West are growing older (“demographic ageing”) and what can happen when this occurs. The course aims to show how older persons and their families are viewed and act in society. Major social theories of ageing are introduced and concepts such as Productive ageing, Successful ageing, and the WHO policy framework on Active Ageing. Selected main biological explanations for ageing are also discussed because, when individuals age, biological changes may be accompanied by changes in behaviour, social integration and economic status. These can lead to changes in social relations and attitudes towards life and some people cope better than others (“successful ageing”). The course aims to show positive and negative socio-economic perspectives on ageing. Potential negative stereotyping is discussed as sometimes older persons may be presented in an unfavourable light. Occasionally, ‘scapegoating’ (blame of older people) or a ‘moral panic’ attitude to growing numbers of older people is to be seen in the media, among some politicians and policymakers and even among some academics. Positive approaches to ageing are presented, as well as successful, productive and active ageing and Gerontechnology. Increasingly, the older population is being regarded as a positive social and economic source and resource, sometimes called the ‘silver market’. The importance of an age-friendly and supportive environment for older persons can be seen in the WHO’s 2015 World report on ageing and health.

(Prerequisite(s): (a) SOC2101 Introduction to Sociology, or (b) Grade D or above in AL Sociology, or (c) GOV2101 Introduction to Political Science (coded as POL2101 in 2021-22 or before)
Social justice is concerned with the ways in which valued resources are distributed in society. This is a topic of interest and importance for a wide range of academic disciplines, including sociology, public and social policy, social theory, political philosophy. Students will be introduced theories and concepts on social justice, as well as their application to contemporary social issues such as equality, equity, rights and discrimination.

This course provides analysis of health policy issues with particular reference to Hong Kong and China, but will also draw from the health reform debate overseas to shed light on the health policy problem in general. Students will use the tools of economic analysis in learning how health is the joint output of private and public sector input and lifestyle, and how different approaches in financing and designing health care delivery will affect efficiency, distribution, and the quality of health care.