This unit explores policy tools and regulatory mechanisms that can be used to make decisions to address the social determinants of heath and by doing so promote efficient and equitable gains in population health. Students will compare and contrast health policy with 'healthy' policy to highlight the critical leadership role of the health sector in promoting health in all policies. The unit explores how global and national frameworks and commitments such as the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) inform public policy formulation and decision making. Students will examine the policy making process in detail including how to frame a policy issue based on evidence, how to facilitate whole of society approaches, how to formulate policy through negotiation and advocacy, how policy is implemented and enforced through regulation and legislation and how policies are evaluated and reviewed. Students will also interrogate the politics of policy development and how politics and power influence policy decision making and funding.

Unit details

Victoria University Online
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Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this unit, students will be able to:
  1. Extrapolate the policymaking cycle for action on the social determinants of health;  
  2. Critically evaluate the critical leadership role of the health sector in promoting health in all policies;  
  3. Exhibit skills to evaluate, present and prescribe evidence for policymaking;  
  4. Evaluate the efficacy of a government population health policy; and  
  5. Compose policy briefs to demonstrate communication, consultation, negotiation and advocacy skills with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.  


Assessment type Description Grade
Other Contribution to a discussion board on the role of public policy in promoting and protecting health (500 words) 10%
Annotated Bibliography Evaluate the efficacy of a government population health policy. (2500 words) 50%
Assignment Analyse, critique and reflect on collaborative policy-making (2000 words) 40%

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.

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