Faculty of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences

Monash University

Undergraduate - Unit

This unit entry is for students who completed this unit in 2012 only. For students planning to study the unit, please refer to the unit indexes in the the current edition of the Handbook. If you have any queries contact the managing faculty for your course or area of study.

print version

6 points, SCA Band 1, 0.125 EFTSL

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

FacultyFaculty of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences
OfferedCaulfield Second semester 2012 (Day)
Coordinator(s)Dr Charles Livingstone


In this unit, students will examine the political foundations of health promotion and public health policies in Australia, different types of health policy, policy development processes and theories that underpin them. Interest groups and the challenges they pose to decision-making processes will be discussed. The social and political impacts of health policy will be explored, as well as the jurisdictional responsibilities held by different levels of government for health policies. Concepts of power, authority and influence will be discussed. Students will learn critical skills for policy analysis in the context of case studies of effective advocacy that have influenced policy change in Australia.


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

  1. understand health policy as a dynamic process which impacts on societies and individuals;
  2. identify the structures, systems and institutions that contribute to the Australian health policy environment with emphasis on health promotion and public health policy;
  3. critically engage with a range of public policy issues and policy processes;
  4. discuss types of health policy within the context of jurisdictions which hold responsibility for them;
  5. explain the role of government and their agencies, NGOs and the community in the development and implementation of health policy;
  6. distinguish types of power and how they are used by interest groups and individuals in policy development, and
  7. use policy analysis skills to critique existing policy using a case study approach.


Essay (2500 words): 50%
Case study (2000 words)and presentation: 50%

Chief examiner(s)

Dr Charles Livingstone

Contact hours

12 hours per week including contact time and private study over 12 weeks of semester: a total of 156 hours (1 hour lecture and 2 hours tutorial)