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Monash University

Monash University Handbook 2010 Undergraduate - Course

This course entry should be read in conjunction with information provided in the 'Faculty information' section of this Handbook by the Faculty of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences

Managing facultyMedicine, Nursing and Health Sciences
Abbreviated titleBHSc
CRICOS code068365J
Total credit points required144
Standard duration of study (years)3 years FT, 6 years PT
Study mode and locationOn-campus (Caulfield)
Contact details

Telephone: +61 3 9903 1680, email: or visit


  • Site visits and fieldwork placements will be attached to some units.


The Bachelor of Health Science is a multidisciplinary flexible three year degree that provides students with opportunities to choose pathways in public health/health promotion programs and policy, and public health sciences, leading to a wide range of careers. It also provides a pathway to postgraduate clinical programs (for example medicine, social work, nursing and allied health) as well as honours and higher degrees by research.


On successful completion of the BHSc, it is expected that the student will be able to:

  • demonstrate the knowledge, skills and technical competency appropriate for an entry level practitioner in professional fields of health promotion or health policy and management
  • value research and be skilled at accessing, critically appraising and applying the best available evidence to the professional fields of health promotion or health policy and management
  • develop health promotion knowledge and skills, and management skills for improved utilisation of the resources required to advance population health and wellbeing
  • recognise population health and wellbeing issues associated with social and cultural diversity and the skills and resources required for working across diverse populations
  • demonstrate awareness of equity, and health, and human rights and social justice
  • demonstrate awareness of the determinants of illness, health and wellbeing
  • integrate knowledge of relevant public policy and health and social care systems into practice
  • demonstrate critical awareness of the relationships between population health and wellbeing, and the policy and institutions framing health and social care systems, and a capacity to utilise this awareness in the advancement of population health and wellbeing
  • achieve a broad education based on independent learning, critical thinking, problem-solving and evaluation.

Special requirements

Police and Working with Children checks

Organisations that host clinical and community placements require students to have current Police and Working with Children checks regarding their suitability to undertake such placements. All enrolled and prospective students are advised that they will be required to obtain Police and Working with Children checks prior to undertaking their course. Working with Children checks are valid for five years and are available free. Police checks must be applied and paid for annually. However, in some community partnered programs there may be a requirement to have a police check renewed every six months.

Health requirements

In order to meet health requirements for working in the healthcare facilities and for the protection of other students, and themselves, students may need to comply with certain precautionary procedures. These may consist of confidential tests for immune status (including blood tests and skin tests), receiving vaccines and having x-rays where the evidence indicates that these are appropriate.


The faculty recommends that all students accept responsibility for having up-to-date immunisations before commencing this course. Recommended immunisations include diphtheria, tetanus, polio, measles, mumps, rubella, tuberculosis and hepatitis B.


Fieldwork practice units

This course requires students to undertake off-campus fieldwork placements. In the fieldwork setting students will have an opportunity to apply theory to practice under supervision. Attendance is mandatory for the fieldwork component of each unit.

Where a student's skill or knowledge is found to be inadequate, access to the fieldwork component of the unit will be denied. A student may be withdrawn from a fieldwork practicum if required skills and knowledge are deemed inadequate, or on other grounds deemed appropriate by the head of school.


In order to meet the requirements for the Bachelor of Health Science degree, a student must complete:

(a) health science core units (78 points)

(b) units in a health science major sequence of 36 points

(c) electives at first, second and third-year level from the list provided or from anywhere in the faculty or University, provided that non-faculty units comprise a maximum of 12 points. (30 points)

(d) a maximum of eight first-year level units

(e) a minimum of 36 points at third-year-level including those completed in the major

(f) a total of 144 points (24 units).

Candidates may complete a second major or a second minor sequence from disciplines offered by the school or from other faculties or schools.

Health science major

A major sequence requires the completion of a minimum of 48 points. Normally a major will include a first-level sequence (12 points or core units), two units at second-level (12 points) and four units at third-level (24 points), or three units at second-level (18 points) and three units at third level (18 points). A major is normally taken over three years. Majors are available in:

  • clinical and public health sciences
  • health programs and policy.


Electives may be taken from the lists of major sequence units provided or anywhere in the University. Electives must be taken at first, second and third year. A maximum of 12 points from electives outside of the faculty is permitted.


Students complete the following units:

Core units

First year

Semester one
  • HSC1061 Data evidence and critical thinking in health
  • HSC1081 Foundations of public health
  • HSC1101 Biological bases of health and disease 1
  • elective (first year level)
Semester two
  • HSC1052 Health and social care systems and policy
  • HSC1102 Biological bases of health and disease 2
  • HSC1112 Global health: opportunities and challenges
  • elective (first year level)

Second year

Semester one
  • HSC2071 Analysing paterns of health and disease
  • HSC2101 Health promotion: global and local
  • major sequence 1
  • elective (second year level)
Semester two
  • HSC2022 Health, society and culture
  • HSC2081 Research methods in the health sciences
  • major sequence 2
  • elective (second year level)

Third Year

Semester one
  • HSC3001 Health law and ethics
  • HSC3041 Disease prevention and control
  • major sequence 3
  • clinical and public health sciences or health programs and policy major sequence 4 or elective (third year level)
Semester two
  • HSC3002 Health for all in a global world
  • major sequence 5
  • major sequence 6
  • major sequence 4 or elective (third year level)

Elective units can be drawn from any faculty of the University although no more than two units may be taken from outside the Faculty of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences.

Major sequences

Health programs and policy

  • HSC2052 Health program planning*
  • HSC2092 Community partnerships and capacity building
  • HSC2121 Communicating health*
  • HSC3011 Contemporary health challenges
  • HSC3052 Health promotion in primary and clinical settings
  • HSC3061 Health program evaluation*
  • HSC3082 Health program practicum*
  • HSC3072 Health policy and politics*
  • PSY4600 Qualitative research methods for health professionals

* This unit is compulsory in a health programs and policy major.

Clinical and public health sciences

  • BMS3021 Molecular medicine and biotechnology, or any second year BMS unit (subject to prerequisites) excluding BMS2031
  • HSC2111 Treatments and technologies*
  • HSC2112 Clinical medicine and society
  • HSC3121 Environmental determinants of health and disease*
  • HSC3122 Statistical modelling for health science research and practice
  • HSC3131 Quantitative research design and analysis
  • HSC3132 Research/practical project
  • HSC3141 Fundamentals of health service management
  • HSC3142 Health economics
  • MGW2430 Human resource management
  • MTH2222 Mathematics of uncertainty
  • any first year BMS (Bachelor of Biomedical Science) unit excluding BMS1042
  • any second year BMS (Bachelor of Biomedical Science) unit (subject to prerequisites) excluding BMS2031
  • one or more of MTH1010 Functions and their applications, MTH1020 Analysis of change, MTH1030 Techniques for modelling
  • two units from the health program and policy major (second year level)

* This unit is compulsory in a clinical and public health sciences major.


Bachelor of Health Sciences