Monash University

Undergraduate - Course

Students who commenced study in 2015 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.

print version

This course entry applies to students commencing this course in 2015 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.

If you are seeking to commence your studies in 2016, please visit our new Find A Course for 2016.

Course code3882
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

This course must be completed in a minimum of 3 years and a maximum of 8 years. The course duration is inclusive of any periods of intermission.

Study mode and locationOn-campus (Caulfield)

This course may require students to undertake off-campus site visits and fieldwork placements.

Admission, fee and application details
Contact details

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

Course coordinator

Associate Professor Dragan Ilic


  • Unit codes that are not linked to their entry in the Handbook are not available for study in the current year.


This course provides foundation skills and knowledge in public health. It 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 community based 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 AttributesAustralian Qualifications Framework level 7, the Bologna Cycle 1 and Monash Graduate Attributes (

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 who choose to undertake a fieldwork placement unit must have a current police checkpolice check ( regarding their suitability to undertake placements. Students are required to obtain this check prior to participating in placement units.

Working with Children checks

Students who choose to undertake a fieldwork placement unit must have a current working with children checkworking with children check ( regarding their suitability to undertake placements. Students are required to obtain this check prior to participating in placement units.

Immunisation and infection requirements

In accordance with the National Health and Medical Research Council recommendations, this course requires that students comply with the faculty's Immunisation and vaccination policy and proceduresImmunisation and vaccination policy and procedures ( These are designed to provide maximum protection against the increased risk of some vaccine preventable diseases for students, patients and workers in a health care setting.

This policy, and the associated procedures require that students have certain specified vaccinations, and have their blood borne virus status determined, before they commence a clinical placement. Students who have not complied with this policy may not be able to undertake clinical placement, with the attendant academic consequences.

Prospective students are provided detailed information on the effect of blood borne virus infection on the scope of practice of health care workers. Students who test positive to a blood borne virus (including HIV, Hepatitis B and Hepatitis C) will be required to consult a specialist medical practitioner approved by the faculty to provide advice on any necessary restrictions on work practices to protect patients and others from infection.


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 these units.

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 Australasian Epidemiological Association.


This course consists of:

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

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

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

Over the course of the degree students must complete:

  • a minimum of 48 points at first-year level
  • 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.

General electives

General electives to the value of 36 points are completed from the lists of health science/public health elective units outlined under 'Requirements' and/or from anywhere in the University. Suitable units can be identified using the browse units toolbrowse units tool ( in the current edition of the Handbook. Note: Some units may require permission from the owning faculty. The level of the unit is indicated by the first number in the unit code; undergraduate units are those that commence with the numbers 1-3.

NOTE: Students cannot complete more than 24 points (usually four units) of general elective units at level 1.


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 level-1 general 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 level-1 general 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 level-2 general elective

Semester two

  • HSC2022 Culture, society and health
  • HSC2142 Research methods in the health sciences
  • one health science/public health elective
  • one level-2 general elective

Third year

Semester one

  • HSC3041 Disease prevention and control
  • two health science/public health elective units
  • one level-3 general elective

Semester two

  • HSC3002 Health for all in a global world
  • two health science/public health elective units
  • one level-3 general elective

Health science/public health elective units

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

  • 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 community and organisational settings
  • HSC3061 Health program evaluation
  • HSC3072 Health policy and politics
  • HSC3082 Health promotion practicum
  • HSC3132 Action in public health research
  • HSC3102 Environmental determinants of health and disease
  • HSC3131 Quantitative research design and methodology

Areas of study


Bachelor of Health Science