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
OfferedBerwick First semester 2014 (Day)
Caulfield First semester 2014 (Day)
South Africa First semester 2014 (Day)
Coordinator(s)Dr Charles Livingstone (Caulfield), Dr Rosalie Aroni (Berwick), Ms Natasha Khamisa (South Africa)


The unit explores global and local health challenges that are at the forefront of Australia's health sector. Students will critically examine the construction of contemporary health challenges including: the implications of global inequalities in health and health problems arising from war and terrorism and political violence such as the refugee crisis.


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

  1. discuss in depth some key contemporary health challenges, such as HIV/AIDS, demonstrating awareness of multiple perspectives, including the ways in which different health professions approach the issues (and the strengths and weaknesses of these varied approaches) and exploring how integrated approaches to addressing the issues may be mounted across disciplines;
  2. demonstrate an in-depth understanding of global determinants of health;
  3. consider the common and specific factors involved in the construction of various contemporary health challenges as being of 'high priority' with an understanding of the role that evidence and other factors, including the media, play in this process;
  4. demonstrate the complex interplay of political, economic, legal and socio-cultural frameworks in shaping contemporary health challenges and how they are responded to;
  5. identify and discuss the implications of ideology, values and power bases in determining our understanding (and prioritising) of contemporary public health challenges;
  6. explore specific case studies of contemporary health challenges (global or local) and critically reflect on current strategies and approaches to responding to them.


Written outline of research topic (500 words) (15%)
Literature review (1500 words) (25%)
Research essay (3000 words) (50%)
Class presentation (in class oral presentation) (10%)
Hurdle requirement: 80% attendance at tutorials

Chief examiner(s)

Workload requirements

A one hour lecture plus a two hour tutorial per week.


Must have passed one of BMS1042, HSC1031, HSC1041, HSC1081, HSC1082, HSC2022 or HSC2042