Skip to content | Change text size

print version

Monash University

Monash University Handbook 2011 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)
Admission, fee and application details
Contact details

Telephone: +61 3 9903 4504, email: or visit

Course coordinator

Associate Professor Ben Smith


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


The Bachelor of Health Science is a multidisciplinary flexible 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 (eg medicine, social work, nursing and allied health) as well as honours and higher degrees by research.


On successful completion of this course, 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 will be required to obtain these checks 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.

Fieldwork expenses

Students are responsible for all travel and accommodation expenses during fieldwork placements.

Professional recognition

Graduates of this course are eligible to join the Public Health Association of Australia, the Australian Health Promotion Association and the Australian Epidemiology Association.


This course comprises:

(a.) health science core units (78 points)

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

(c.) electives at first, second and third-year level (30 points)

(d.) a maximum of eight first-year level units (48 points)

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

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

Health science major

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 and/or from 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.


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
  • one first-year level elective
Semester two
  • HSC1052 Health and social care systems and policy
  • HSC1102 Biological bases of health and disease 2
  • HSC1112 Global health: Opportunities and challenges
  • one first-year level elective

Second year

Semester one
  • HSC2141 Analysing patterns of health and disease
  • HSC2101 Health promotion: Global and local
  • one major sequence unit
  • one second-year level elective
Semester two
  • HSC2022 Culture, society and health
  • HSC2142 Research methods in the health sciences
  • one major sequence unit
  • one second-year level elective

Third year

Semester one
  • HSC3001 Health law and ethics
  • HSC3041 Disease prevention and control
  • one major sequence unit
  • one major sequence unit or one third-year level elective
Semester two
  • HSC3002 Health for all in a global world
  • two major sequence units
  • one major sequence unit or one third-year level elective*

* Students compete the major or elective unit not undertaken in semester one.

Major sequences

Students select six units from one of the following streams.

Health programs and policy

  • HSC2032 Health program planning*
  • HSC2052 Health and social care systems and policy 2
  • HSC2062 Communicating health *
  • HSC2092 Community development and partnerships
  • HSC3011 Contemporary health challenges
  • HSC3052 Health promotion in primary and clinical settings
  • HSC3061 Health promotion evaluation *
  • HSC3072 Health policy and politics*
  • HSC3082 Health program and practicum*

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

Clinical and public health sciences

  • BIO1011 Biology 1
  • BIO1022 Biology 2
  • HSC2102 Introduction to clinical research
  • HSC2111 Treatments and technologies**
  • HSC3102 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
  • MTH2222 Mathematics of uncertainty
  • PHY2021 Body systems physiology
  • one or more of MTH1010 Functions and their applications, MTH1020 Analysis of change, MTH1030 Techniques for modelling
  • one second-year level unit from the health program and policy major
  • one third-year level unit from the health program and policy major

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


Bachelor of Health Science