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HSC2062 - Communicating health

6 points, SCA Band 2, 0.125 EFTSL

Undergraduate Faculty of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences

Leader: Dr Belinda Lewis


Peninsula Second semester 2007 (Day)


Students will critically analyse the structure, politics and role of the mass media (public relations, news, advertising, advocacy, popular culture) in constructing public health issues. Throughout the unit, students will critically review a range of recent communication campaigns and case studies of contemporary issues. The unit will cover health communication skills for a range of audiences and purposes, including presentation and report writing, developing health communications materials, social marketing, working with the mass media, e-health and the internet, and advocacy for policies, programs and resources. Various applications in rural and minority communities will be explored.


By the completion of this unit, it is expected that the student will be able to:

  1. discuss and critically reflect on theoretical models of communication, social change and marketing in relation to health and their application in medical, behavioural and socio-environmental approaches to health promotion;
  2. critically analyse the role of the media in construction health issues;
  3. describe, compare and contrast different approaches to health communication and explain their strengths and limitations;
  4. critically review a range of local and international health communication campaigns;
  5. identify key stages in designing a communication campaign and apply them to a selected health issue;
  6. demonstrate practical skills for working with the medica (obtaining media coverage, writing press releases, conducting interviews, using the internet);
  7. demonstrate oral and written presentation skills for a range of professional and lay audiences;
  8. critically review a range of health communication materials (print-based, electronic and web-based); and
  9. plan, design and develop written materials and communication strategies for a specific purpose and target audience.


Press release: 10%
Written assignment: 40%
Group project individual report: 30%
Group presentation: 20%
Hurdle requirement: 80% attendance at tutorials