Contemporary Public Health Practice

Unit code: HMG7002 | Study level: Postgraduate
(Generally, 1 credit = 10 hours of classes and independent study.)
City Campus
St Albans


This unit will examine the theoretical basis of the different approaches used in the practice of public health to prevent disease, prolong life, protect and promote health. It examines how these approaches form the foundation of organised and transdisciplinary efforts to address contemporary global public health challenges. Using both settings and place-based approaches students will examine how to create supportive environments for optimal health across the lifespan. Students will examine the role and efficacy of healthy public policy to promote equitable gains in health in diverse populations through addressing the social determinants of health. This unit will examine how research, health monitoring and surveillance are all used to inform evidence-based decision making in public health practice. Students will gain an appreciation of social justice, ethical practice, cultural safety and community engagement as central to finding local, sustainable and equitable solutions to improve health.

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this unit, students will be able to:

  1. Commentate on how population health information through monitoring and surveillance informs decision making in public health practice;
  2. Investigate disease prevention strategies to detect and prevent communicable and non-communicable disease in diverse populations;
  3. Critically appraise health protection interventions and how they ensure safe and healthy environments in different settings where people live;
  4. Evaluate the efficacy of public health policy and advocate for a transformation to healthy public policy to address the social determinants of health for improved health outcomes and health equity; and
  5. Compose local, sustainable and equitable solutions to global contemporary public health challenges.


For Melbourne campuses

Assessment type: Other
Grade: 20%
Flow chart for informed decision making in public health practice (1000 words equivalent)
Assessment type: Assignment
Grade: 45%
Develop and apply a framework for public health practice (2250 words)
Assessment type: Presentation
Grade: 35%
Written evaluation (1000 words) and pitch presentation (3 mins) for a local public health program

Required reading

Required readings will be made available on VU Collaborate.

As part of a course

This unit is studied as part of the following course(s):

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