Unit description

Provides students with an understanding of key principles that inform the practice of public health and an overview of factors that influenced the development of public health. Students will critically analyse the social, ecological and political determinants related to the burden of illness across different populations and the implications for public health practice.

Unit content

Topic 1: Approaches to public health
Topic 2: Political economy of public health
Topic 3: Health inequities: profiles, patterns and explanations
Topic 4: Unhealthy environments: global and Australian perspectives
Topic 5: Healthy societies and environments
Topic 6: Healthy public policy
Topic 7: Community development in health
Topic 8: Public health in the 21st Century

Learning outcomes

Unit Learning Outcomes express learning achievement in terms of what a student should know, understand and be able to do on completion of a unit. These outcomes are aligned with the graduate attributes. The unit learning outcomes and graduate attributes are also the basis of evaluating prior learning.

Learning outcomes and graduate attributes

Prescribed texts

Session 1

  • This is the latest edition of this excellent text even though it is a bit old: Baum, F , 2008, The new public health , 3rd edn, Oxford University Press, Melbourne. ISBN: 978-0-19-555046-7.
Prescribed texts may change in future study periods.

Teaching and assessment


Teaching method
Tutorial on-site 2 hours (12 weeks)
Discussion board15%
Presentation and critical review45%
Critical review40%


Teaching method
Structured online learning 2 hours (12 weeks)
Discussion board15%
Presentation and critical review45%
Critical review40%

Intensive offerings may or may not be scheduled in every session. Please refer to the timetable for further details.

Southern Cross University employs different teaching methods within units to provide students with the flexibility to choose the mode of learning that best suits them. SCU academics strive to use the latest approaches and, as a result, the learning modes and materials may change. The most current information regarding a unit will be provided to enrolled students at the beginning of the study session.

Fee information


Commonwealth Supported courses
For information regarding Student Contribution Amounts please visit the Student Contribution Amounts.
Commencing 2014 Commonwealth Supported only. Student contribution band: 2

Fee paying courses
For POSTGRADUATE or UNDERGRADUATE full fee paying courses please check Domestic Postgraduate Fees OR Domestic Undergraduate Fees


Please check the international course and fee list to determine the relevant fees.