This unit (HHB1104) will assist students to develop skills in describing the origins and concepts of public health and its relationship to contemporary public health initiatives, challenges and practices. Students will gain knowledge on health and its determinants and how these impact on public health interventions. The role of public health at each stage of the disease continuum will be used to introduce definitions and interventions that address identified health priorities.

Unit details

Study level:
Credit points:
Unit code:

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this unit, students will be able to:
  1. Review the development of public health in Australia and beyond;  
  2. Explain the basic principles and concepts that underpin public health and wellness;  
  3. Discuss the potential role and the interface of political, cultural, social, behavioural and environmental determinants of health in the design and delivery of public health programs;  
  4. Discuss health issues affecting Australia's diverse population.  


Assessment type Description Grade
Test Two (2) Online Tests 20%
Portfolio Review on a contemporary public health issue currently in the news (600 words) 40%
Presentation Individual Presentation (5 minutes) on a local or national public health intervention (7 slides with notes approx. 1500 words) 40%

Required reading

Introduction to Public Health 3rd ed.
Fleming, M.L. and Parker, E. (2015)
Churchill Livingstone, Elsevier, Sydney

Where to next?

As part of a course

This unit is studied as part of the following courses. Refer to the course page for information on how to apply for the course.

Study a single unit

This unit can be studied on its own, without enrolling in a full degree. Learn more about single units of study at VU.

VU takes care to ensure the accuracy of this unit information, but reserves the right to change or withdraw courses offered at any time. Please check that unit information is current with the Student Contact Centre.