Faculty of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences

Monash University

Undergraduate - Unit

This unit entry is for students who completed this unit in 2013 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.

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6 points, SCA Band 2, 0.125 EFTSL

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FacultyFaculty of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences
Organisational UnitDepartment of Epidemiology and Preventive Medicine
OfferedBerwick First semester 2013 (Day)
Caulfield First semester 2013 (Day)
South Africa First semester 2013 (Day)
Coordinator(s)Dr Rosalie Aroni(Berwick), Margaret Brand (Caulfield) TBA(South Africa)


Students will critically analyse the structure, politics and role of the mass media (public relations, news, advertising, advocacy, popular culture) in constructing public health issues. Throughout the unit, students will critically review a range of recent communication campaigns and case studies of contemporary issues. The unit will cover health communication skills for a range of audiences and purposes, including presentation and report writing, developing health communications materials, social marketing, working with the mass media, e-health and the internet, and advocacy for policies, programs and resources. Various applications in rural and minority communities will be explored.


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

  1. discuss and critically reflect on theoretical models of communication, social change and marketing in relation to health and their application in medical, behavioural and socio-environmental approaches to health promotion;
  2. critically analyse the role of the media in the construction of health issues;
  3. describe, compare and contrast different approaches to health communication and explain their strengths and limitations;
  4. critically review a range of local and international health communication campaigns as well as a range of health communication materials (print-based, electronic and web-based);
  5. identify key stages in designing a communication campaign and apply them to a selected health issue;
  6. demonstrate practical skills for working with the media (obtaining media coverage, writing press releases, conducting interviews, using the internet);
  7. demonstrate oral and written presentation skills for a range of professional and lay audiences including low literate audiences; and
  8. develop an understanding of the role and principles of public health advocacy in the strategic use of the media and community action to influence decision makers and public opinion.


Press release: 10%
Written assignment: 40%
Group project individual report: 30%
Group presentation: 20%
Hurdle requirement: 80% attendance at tutorials

Chief examiner(s)