Monash University

Undergraduate - Course

Students who commenced study in 2013 should refer to this course entry for direction on the requirements; to check which units are currently available for enrolment, 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.

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This course entry applies to students commencing this course in 2013 and 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

School of Public Health and Preventive Medicine: telephone +61 3 9903 1657; email

Course coordinator

Associate Professor Catherine Joyce


  • Unit codes that are not linked to their entry in the Handbook are not available for study in the current year.
  • This course may require students to undertake off-campus site visits and fieldwork placements.


This course offers learning that encompasses the biomedical and social aspects of health, including the physiology of disease, epidemiology, health care systems, health promotion, policy analysis and health sociology. The course has a global orientation, examining Australian and international health challenges. Graduates will be able to undertake roles as health policy and health promotion practitioners or to move into clinical or public health research. Employment may be found in hospitals and community health organisations, government health departments, non-government health agencies and research centres. Students may also take the course as a preparation for graduate study in medicine, nursing or allied health.


These course outcomes are aligned with the Australian Qualifications Framework level 7, the Bologna Cycle 1 and Monash Graduate Attributes. For more information refer to

Upon successful completion of this course it is expected that graduates will be able to:

  • identify and explain the determinants of illness, health and wellbeing
  • develop, implement and evaluate public health programs
  • recognise social and cultural diversity and apply the skills and resources required for working across diverse populations in global and Australian contexts
  • demonstrate awareness of equity, human rights and social justice in relation to health in Australian and international contexts
  • access, critically appraise and apply the best available evidence to the professional practice of public health
  • conduct ethical research using appropriate paradigms
  • integrate knowledge of relevant public policy and health and social care systems into practice
  • demonstrate professional skills such as critical thinking, problem-solving, effective communication, working in a team, operating from an ethical framework, reflective practice and ongoing professional development

Maximum credit allowed

96 credit points.

Special requirements

Students must refer to the information available on the special requirements outlined below. It is the responsibility of the student to ensure they have the correct documentation.

Police checks

Students must have a current Police check regarding their suitability to undertake placements. All students are required to obtain these checks prior to participating in practical units. Students are only required to obtain a Police Check if on placement. Information available at

Working with Children checks

Students must have a current Working with Children check regarding their suitability to undertake placements. Students are only required to obtain a Working with Children Check if on placement. Information available at

Immunisation and infection procedures

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. Information available at


Fieldwork practice units

This course provides opportunities for 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 consists of:

(a.) health science core units (72 points)

(b.) health science/public health electives (36 points)

(c.) electives at first, second and third-year level (36 points)

(d.) a minimum of eight first-year level units (48 points) and a maximum of ten first-year level units (60 points)

(e.) a minimum of 36 points at third-year level

Health science/public health electives

Students extend their core studies in health science by choosing from a set of health science elective units, which provide opportunities to develop and strengthen learning in areas including health programs, health policy and public health research.


Electives may be taken from the lists of health science/public health elective units outlined under 'Requirements' and/or from anywhere in the University. Electives must be taken at first, second and third year.


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

  • HSC2101 Health promotion: Global and local
  • HSC2141 Analysing patterns of health and disease
  • one health science/public health elective unit
  • one second-year level elective

Semester two

  • HSC2022 Culture, society and health
  • HSC2142 Research methods in the health sciences
  • one health science/public health elective
  • one second-year level elective

Third year

Semester one

  • HSC3041 Disease prevention and control
  • two health science/public health elective units
  • one third-year level elective

Semester two

  • HSC3002 Health for all in a global world
  • two health science/public health elective units
  • one third-year level elective

Health science/public health elective units

(a.) Students complete two level-two units from the following:

  • HSC2041 Working with people
  • HSC2051 Health program planning
  • HSC2062 Communicating health
  • HSC2092 Community development and partnerships
  • HSC2102 Introduction to clinical research
  • HSC2111 Treatments and technologies

(b.) Students complete four level-three units from the following:

  • HSC3001 Health law and ethics
  • 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
  • HSC3132 Action in public health research
  • HSC3102 Environmental determinants of health and disease
  • HSC3131 Quantitative research design and methodology


Bachelor of Health Science