This unit (HMG7100) is designed to introduce students to the main theories, principles and values of public health illustrated by selected major topics from a global perspective. It investigates policy, systematic and multi-discipline public health approaches as a global and local effort to address contemporary health challenges. The origins and evolution of public health and major global achievements in public health and their impact on health of populations are explored. The role and interface of political, cultural, social, behavioural and environmental determinants of health of populations informs critique and discussion throughout the unit.

Unit details

Study level:
Credit points:
Unit code:

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this unit, students will be able to:
  1. Critically appraise local, national and global health disparities, identify their determinants and propose strategies to address them based on a contemporary evidence-base;  
  2. Critically analyse the philosophical underpinnings of public health and evaluate how these both differ from, and inform, contemporary approaches;  
  3. Conceptually map and interrogate theories and frameworks used in developing and evaluating health practices in the global arena;  
  4. Prescribe and apply multi-discipline public health approaches to review evidence and produce practice recommendations; and  
  5. Debate global threats to, and opportunities for, public health and well-being in various authentic and simulated contexts.  


Melbourne campuses

Students studying under the VU Block Model.

Assessment type Description Grade
ICT (Wiki, Web sites) Contribution to a discussion on concepts in public health (1000 words) 20%
Other Conceptual map on the social determinants of health (2000 words) 40%
Assignment Briefing paper on a course of action (2000 words) 40%
To pass this unit, students must undertake and successfully complete the 5 VU student modules on Academic integrity as a hurdle requirement. This is an essential requirement for this course as students will need an understanding of academic integrity and writing to successfully complete assessment tasks.

Other locations

Assessment type Description Grade
Other Contribution to a discussion board on concepts in public health (500 words) 10%
Report Critical analysis on social determinants of health (2500 words) 50%
Assignment Policy Brief on a cause of action (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.

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.