Faculty of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical 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

To find units available for enrolment in the current year, you must make sure you use the indexes and browse unit tool in the current edition of the Handbook.

FacultyFaculty of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences
OfferedSunway Second semester 2013 (Day)
Coordinator(s)Dr Ong Chin Eng; Dr Uma Devi M Palanisamy

Quota applies

This unit is quota restricted.


The Community Engagement (CE) is a community-based project that offers our students an unrivalled opportunity to understand issues of social justice and equity and relate these to the practice of pharmacy. Empathy in this area is an essential part of good pharmacy practice. Through the completion of a community placement, our students have the opportunity to observe the outstanding human skills of multi-disciplinary teams in a community setting and be actively involved in the work of the host agency. Through the project, students have a specific opportunity to explore community responses to social justice issues; reflect upon their own attitudes and behaviours; and relate these to an evolving understanding of the relationship between medicine, pharmacy, healthcare professionalism and social justice. The project requires students to consider their own knowledge, values and skills in relation to the impact of political, social, and economic determinants on people's lives. It will allow students to better understand the use of contemporary approaches in service delivery, and it will also serve as an opportunity to explore alternative strategies to health and well-being of their patients in their future practice.

The project provides students with an opportunity to gain a unique learning experience off-campus, based within a community organisation involved in the provision of clinical, health and social care to needy individuals (see Appendix A for list of organisations). Practical involvement with their community-based placements provide an opportunity for students to understand what these organisations do, why they need to do so and how they serve individuals, families and communities. This community-centred approach will allow pharmacy students to experience health and social care issues at a grassroots level.

Students will undertake a group project in their community placement under guidance of academic convenors (AA) from Monash University and field educator (FE) from the organisations involved. Both AA and FE will provide support, guidance and manage academic progress of the students' projects They will also assist students during the planning and implementation of the projects. The students will also develop skills in communicating their project work orally, visually, and in written form to fellow students, faculty, and community groups or organisations with whom they will be working. The knowledge and skills gained through the lectures and workshops, as well as through readings will be applied in the real world during the conduct of these projects.


This unit aims to help the students develop as professionals and as individuals and their understanding of the distribution and determinants of health. It also aims to facilitate the acquiring of knowledge about the effects of being disadvantaged on health and the development of skills while working in the community.

At the end of the placement, the students should demonstrate an understanding of; or develop skills in:

  • the way the organisation works
  • professional relationships within and external to the organisation
  • the users of the services provided by the agencies and the issues encountered
  • the relationships between the service providers and the clients/communities served
  • the impact of political, economic and social policies on the organisation, staff professional practice and service users
  • communication, ethical awareness, socio-cultural understanding; professional behaviour with diverse populations.

At the end of this unit students will be able to:

  • Understand the "whole person", and in particular the social and economic context of health and illness
  • Appreciate the interplay of medical, scientific, social, cultural, political, economic and ethical factors in health promotion
  • Develop knowledge of barriers faced by people in accessing services, their relevance to medicine and individuals health
  • Develop an understanding of social and public policy and how it impacts on individuals health
  • Develop an appreciation of how and why community organisations deliver their services
  • Develop skills in communicating placement experience to an audience by different methods (oral and written presentations).


Successful completion of this unit requires students to complete all phases of the project. This includes formulating a personal learning plan (a plan describing the placement goals and how these are achieved), completing their placement, carrying out the agency activity (group project), and finally presenting their projects. They must also complete a peer assessment (assessment of group dynamics and contribution of individual members towards project completion) and receive favorable assessments from the field educator (FE's assessment) and the academic advisor (AA's assessment).
The breakdown for the assessment components for the unit is as follows: personal learning plan: 10%; project report: 40%; project presentation: 30%; and academic advisor's assessment 20%

Chief examiner(s)

Contact hours

Contact hours for on-campus students:
Six 1-hour lectures
Four 1-hour tutorials

Additional requirements:
Seven 8-hour placements


Additional information on this unit is available from the faculty at: