Faculty of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences

Skip to content | Change text size

print version

Monash University Handbook 2010 Undergraduate - Unit

6 points, SCA Band 2, 0.125 EFTSL

FacultyFaculty of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences
OfferedCaulfield First semester 2010 (Day)
Coordinator(s)Professor Helen Keleher


This unit provides foundation knowledge in public health that begins with its historical underpinnings and leads to examination of the principles, practices and values of contemporary public health. Case studies will be used to illustrate the importance for success of cross-cutting, interdisciplinary, systems thinking. Students will be required to access data about morbidity and mortality in populations and to critically analyse the determinants and burdens of disparate rates of illness and disease from the perspectives of health inequalities and vulnerable populations.


  1. Describe the characteristics of public health and the social enterprise that sustains it;
  2. Examine public health values from different paradigms;
  3. Describe the history and evolution of public health in country-specific contexts with emphasis on broad influences and social movements and how they have impacted on the health of the public;
  4. Describe morbidity and mortality data and burdens;
  5. Discuss social, economic, environmental and cultural factors and determinants that create health and cause ill-health and inequalities;
  6. Identify the variety of tools and approaches available to improve population health and their strengths and weaknesses;
  7. Examine the intersectoral and interdisciplinary systems that comprise good public health and implications for the workforce.


+ Report (30%) 1500 words
+ Essay (30%) 1500 words
+ Examination 2 hours (40%).

Chief examiner(s)

Prof Helen Keleher

Contact hours

Lecture 1.0 hour and Tutorial 2.0 hours per week plus 9 hours per week