Faculty of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences

Undergraduate - Unit

This unit entry is for students who completed this unit in 2012 only. For students planning to study the unit, please refer to the unit indexes in the the current edition of the Handbook. If you have any queries contact the managing faculty for your course or area of study.

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6 points, SCA Band 2, 0.125 EFTSL

Refer to the specific census and withdrawal dates for the semester(s) in which this unit is offered, or view unit timetables.

FacultyFaculty of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences
OfferedNot offered in 2012
Coordinator(s)Belinda Lewis


This unit demonstrates that 'health' is a contested concept with multiple definitions and meanings. ICF and 'socio-ecological' models of health are used to explore individual, socio-cultural, economic and environmental determinants of health for individuals, families and communities. Principles of social equity are used to explore patterns of ill-health, risk and resource distribution within social groups, communities and broader society. Differences between individual and population health are examined. Critical perspectives explore political and ideological dimensions of health including individual and collective responsibility, and roles for governments, private enterprise and volunteers.


By the completion of this unit, it is expected that the student will be able to

  1. reflect on their own values and assumptions regarding health and wellbeing
  2. discuss health and wellbeing in terms of the diversity of definitions, concepts and meanings
  3. define, compare and contrast biomedical and ecological models of health
  4. explain the ICF framework and its applications in health and social care practice
  5. identify the socio-cultural, environmental, economic and political determinants of health for individuals, families and communities
  6. apply the principles of the 'determinants of health' approach to selected health issues from the National Health Priority Areas across a range of population groups and settings within urban and rural Australia
  7. describe and discuss inequalities in health and utilisation of services, and the underlying reasons
  8. critically reflect on contemporary debates regarding individual and collective responsibility for health and the role for governments and private enterprise
  9. critically reflect on the philosophical and ideological underpinnings of various professional and lay perspectives on health and examine their implications for health and social care practice.


Community interview and report: 25%
Written assignment: 45%
Examination: 30%
Hurdle requirement: attendance at 80% of tutorials, unless medical or other certification provided.

Contact hours

On campus students: 12 hours per week including contact time (1 hour lecture, 2 hour tutorial), fieldwork and self-directed learning.