This first unit scopes and interrogates concepts, origins and the development of the planetary health approach – the relationship and interdependence between the health of people and of the planet. The context setting place-based approach, which focuses upon finding socially equitable local solutions relevant to local communities, whilst sharing globally is interrogated. Indigenous ways of knowing, being and doing and relationships with Country foreground these explorations. The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which are contextualised by the ongoing spatial and political contestations as a consequence of colonialism, and increasingly frame global and local policy and action, provide a lens to explore key debates and challenges. As we interrogate new ideas and thinking, students will have the opportunity to draw upon expert commentators, theorists and researchers through conversation. Through surveying key issues, principles and approaches, this first unit informs the subsequent units.

Unit details

Online Real Time
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Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this unit, students will be able to:
  1. Critically evaluate key concepts and approaches in planetary health drawing upon origins and development of the discourse;  
  2. Distinguish multidisciplinary, interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary approaches drawing upon previous discipline framed knowledge and practice;  
  3. Formulate advocacy perspectives from research evidence and through appreciation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander standpoints and perspectives;  
  4. Propose and advocate a place-based planetary health approach to addressing a policy or organisational problem or issue;  
  5. Articulate and apply place-based planetary health concepts to implementing the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).  


Assessment type Description Grade
Literature Review Review of 2-3 articles identifying and discussing key issues and concepts 20%
Review Review a video foregrounding Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander standpoints and perspectives 20%
Case Study Develop a case study of a place-based intervention from within students’ professional field 30%
Report Report (written & verbal) applying place-based planetary health concepts to implementing the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) 30%

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.

Study a single unit

This unit can be studied on its own, without enrolling in a full degree. Learn more about single units of study at VU.

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