Health Communication

Universidade Católica Portuguesa

Course Description

  • Course Name

    Health Communication

  • Host University

    Universidade Católica Portuguesa

  • Location

    Lisbon, Portugal

  • Area of Study

    Communication Studies, Health Science

  • Language Level

    Taught In English

    Hours & Credits

  • ECTS Credits

  • Recommended U.S. Semester Credits
  • Recommended U.S. Quarter Units
  • Overview


    1. Recognize multiple aspects of health communication.

    2. Understand the importance of health communication, including the concept of health literacy and health education.

    3. Understand the context of health institutions and services in the Portuguese Health System and in the world, including the differences between the public health area, primary health care and hospital health care.

    4. Identify major sources of health information, including scientific journals, health organizations and online resources.

    5. Critically assess the quality of scientific evidence and non-evidence-based information.

    6. Know the most relevant public health concepts in health risk communication.

    7. Discuss communication strategies used in health promotion and disease prevention campaigns.

    8. Know basic principles of risk communication and communication in crisis situations in health emergencies.

    9. Discuss the potential of new digital technologies for health communication. 


    Syllabus to be addressed in the course:

    1. Introductory concepts about public health, health services and health communication. Strategic health communication.

    2. The Portuguese Health System and the National Health Service. Relevant international organizations in healthcare.

    3. Main sources of health information. 

    4. Health misinformation. How to identify false information and how to combat misinformation. Health misinformation in digital media.

    5. The impact of marketing on health. Introduction to the concept of social marketing.

    6. Approach to health topics in Portuguese media. Health news in Portugal.

    7. The importance of clear language and information visualization.

    8. Health communication planning. Communicate in different contexts: health promotion, risk communication and crisis communication.

    9. New technologies in health communication. How to critically use artificial intelligence. 



    Evaluation is continuous and includes the following components, with respective weightings:

    Response to multiple-choice questions at the beginning and/or end of each session, individually 15%

    Written individual work (reflection about specific topic) 20%

    Group work presentation 25%

    Written test with multiple-choice and developmental questions (season of second assessment elements) 40% 

Course Disclaimer

Courses and course hours of instruction are subject to change.

Eligibility for courses may be subject to a placement exam and/or pre-requisites.

Some courses may require additional fees.

Credits earned vary according to the policies of the students' home institutions. According to ISA policy and possible visa requirements, students must maintain full-time enrollment status, as determined by their home institutions, for the duration of the program.

ECTS (European Credit Transfer and Accumulation System) credits are converted to semester credits/quarter units differently among U.S. universities. Students should confirm the conversion scale used at their home university when determining credit transfer.


This site uses cookies to store information on your computer. Some are essential to make our site work; others help us improve the user experience. By using the site, you consent to the placement of these cookies.

Read our Privacy Policy to learn more.