Social Epidemiology

    Unit code: HHB2000 | Study level: Undergraduate
    (Generally, 1 credit = 10 hours of classes and independent study.)
    Online Real Time
    St Albans
    HHB1104 - Introduction to Public Health and Wellness (applicable for HBHL students ONLY)
    HHB1204 - Australian Health and Social Care Systems and Policy (applicable for HBHL students ONLY)
    (Or equivalent to be determined by unit coordinator)


    The unit introduces students to the social determinants of health and their influence on the distribution of health and disease patterns in national, and global contexts. Social epidemiology seeks to understand the ways in which social, psychological, physical, political, cultural, indigenous, geographic and economic circumstances influence our chances for a healthy life. It examines the connections between social factors, health and health patterns in individuals and communities. It will identify social environmental exposures that may be related to a broad range of physical and mental health outcomes, and how people engage with the Australian healthcare system. It will focus on specific social phenomena such as a socioeconomic stratification, social network and support, discrimination, work demands and control. This unit explores social factors that affect the health of individuals and communities and how to address health needs in a more holistic manner.

    Learning Outcomes

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

    1. Critically reflect on historical frameworks for social epidemiology;
    2. Analyse the common key social determinants that contribute to states of health and engagement with Australia's healthcare system;
    3. Determine the connections between social inequalities and health inequalities; and
    4. Investigate health behaviours and their contributions to overall health.


    For Melbourne campuses

    Assessment type: Assignment
    Grade: 30%
    Individual report on social health equity (1500 words total)
    Assessment type: Project
    Grade: 50%
    Group project (interview project 2000 words and 10mins presentation)
    Assessment type: Test
    Grade: 20%
    Quizzes (3) throughout the unit

    Required reading

    Social Epidemiology
    Berkman,L.F., Kawachi,I. & Glymour,M. (2014)| New York, Oxford University Press

    As part of a course

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

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