Faculty of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences

Undergraduate - Unit

This unit entry is for students who completed this unit in 2014 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

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
Organisational UnitDepartment of Epidemiology and Preventive Medicine
OfferedCaulfield Second semester 2014 (Day)
Coordinator(s)Dr Darshini Ayton (Caulfield)


Students will gain understanding of the processes involved in community development and building partnerships to improve health, and the theories that underpin them. The unit examines the importance of participation and collective efforts in the social, economic and political life of the community and the contribution this makes to health development. Students will reflect critically on community development theory, concepts of social equity, empowerment, participation and the role of health professionals in community-based practice. Frameworks for community development and partnership building will be examined using a range of Australian and international case studies and current issues.


By the completion of this unit, the student will be able to:

  1. define community development and explain the principles which underpin it;
  2. describe and discuss a range of theories for promoting change in communities and organizations - including their strengths and limitations;
  3. critically appraise the concepts of social equity, empowerment, participation and engagement, as well as the role of health professionals in community-based practice;
  4. demonstrate an understanding of the role and principles of advocacy in achieving individual and community empowerment;
  5. explain key stages in developing a community response to a health-related issue;
  6. identify roles and skills for working collaboratively with community members and a range of stakeholders to create change;
  7. analyse contemporary issues and debates regarding evaluation of community development approaches


Essay (2000-2500 words) (30%)
Case study (oral group presentation) (30%)
Written report (3000 words) (40%)
Hurdle requirement: 80% attendance at tutorials

Chief examiner(s)

Workload requirements

1 hour lecture and 2 hour tutorial per week