Faculty of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences

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Monash University

Monash University Handbook 2011 Postgraduate - Unit

6 points, SCA Band 2, 0.125 EFTSL

Refer to the specific census and withdrawal dates for the semester(s) in which this unit is offered.

FacultyFaculty of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences
OfferedCaulfield Second semester 2011 (Off-campus)
Coordinator(s)Dr Nikos Thomacos


Health literacy is both a public health issue and a social determinant of health. Health literacy involves a range of skills and knowledge about health and health care and includes the sourcing and interpretation of health information, seeking of appropriate care and managing health decisions. One in five Australians do not have adequate literacy skills to participate effectively in everyday life, while health literacy is fundamental for good health and for people to successfully manage their own
health. Further about half the Australian population has the minimum level of competence needed to cope with everyday life and work. There is an enormous need for health services to become more responsive to health literacy issues and for the development of approaches to address low health literacy. In this unit students will examine health literacy concepts, measurement research and strategies, and develop practical approaches for the advancement of health communication to address
low literacy.


On completion of this unit, students should be able to demonstrate and communicate a broad, critical conceptual and practical understanding of:

  1. the theoretical approaches to understanding health and other types of literacy
  2. the approaches to measurement of health literacy and their validity
  3. the efficacy of strategies to address health literacy
  4. the guidelines for advancing health literacy
  5. project development that enables health literacy to be addressed utilizing a settings-based health promotion approach.

Chief examiner(s)

Dr Nikos Thomacos

Off-campus attendance requirements

Off-campus with compulsory study days.


HSC5002 Foundations of health promotion and program planning