Non-communicable diseases are emerging as a major challenge to global health and development. In this unit students will investigate and critique responses to the non-communicable disease epidemic through public health interventions. Trends in non-communicable diseases and their impact globally, including in low and middle-income countries will be analysed. The determinants of non-communicable diseases and the challenges faced in researching and controlling these conditions will be viewed through the lens of nutrition and active living. . The consequences of non-communicable diseases on the health and wellbeing of individuals and communities and their effect on national economic growth and development is examined.

Unit details

Study level:
Credit points:
Unit code:

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this unit, students will be able to:
  1. Critically review the epidemiology and burden of non-communicable diseases in the global context and predict their impact on the health and well-being of various populations;  
  2. Conceptually map and commentate on the evolution of the global non-communicable disease epidemic considering political, social and economic influences;  
  3. Investigate the causal pathways to non-communicable diseases, particularly relating to nutrition and physical activity; and  
  4. Survey and evaluate public health strategies to control non-communicable diseases and interrogate the evidence-base required to implement policy.  


Assessment type Description Grade
Annotated Bibliography Evolution of global non-communicable disease epidemic (1,000 words) 20%
Essay Evolution of global non-communicable disease epidemic (2,500 words) 40%
Assignment Report on public health policy to control non-communicable disease (2,500 words) 40%

Required reading

Sick Societies: Responding to the Global Challenge of Chronic Disease 1st ed.
Stuckler, D. & Siegel, K., (2011)
Oxford, Oxford University Press

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.

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.