Faculty of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences

Monash University

Postgraduate - Unit

This unit entry is for students who completed this unit in 2015 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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12 points, SCA Band 2, 0.250 EFTSL

Refer to the specific census and withdrawal dates for the semester(s) in which this unit is offered.

FacultyFaculty of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences
Organisational UnitEastern Health Clinical School
OfferedClayton Second semester 2015 (Online)
Coordinator(s)Dr Belinda Lloyd and Prof Robin Room


This unit considers the socio-historical precedents of drug policy and the public health responses to drug use. It aims to compare and contrast the differences seen in policy and public health measures employed around the world and the results of these measures. Considered will be the role of supply and demand reduction around illicit drugs, and issues of price and availability for alcohol. It will assess the effectiveness of different forms of intervention at individual, group and population level, including prevention, harm minimisation and treatment, in managing problem use.

The unit will be taught through distance education and include topics such as:

  • Epidemiology and addiction
  • Policy responses to drug use
  • Population level prevention activities
  • The effectiveness of both primary and secondary public health measures in response to tobacco, alcohol, & other licit drugs
  • Illicit drugs
  • Binge eating
  • Gambling (& other process addictions)

The materials for this unit will be provided by academic staff with specialist knowledge of population based research in the addiction field and its translation to public health policy, and will include the most recent research in this area.


Upon successful completion of this unit, students should be able to:

  1. Describe and critically review approaches to epidemiological research in addictions, and public policy research in alcohol, illicit drugs and gambling.
  2. Communicate confidently with one another and academic experts in the field around specific issues in AOD-related epidemiology, public policy and public health.
  3. Critically evaluate epidemiological studies of addiction, including methodological approaches and generalisability of results.
  4. Conduct a thorough policy analysis on an approved area of independent study.
  5. Compare and contrast policy responses to drug use across drug types and across cultures.
  6. Explore the role and contribution of population based prevention activities compared with individual based prevention.
  7. Discuss the effectiveness of primary and secondary public health measures across different aspects of addiction.


Participate in online discussion (Hurdle)
Article review: Review of evidence base (3,000 words) (30%)
Essay (3,000 words) (30%)
Policy analysis (4,000 words) (40%)

Workload requirements

Students enrolling in ASC5003 will be expected to contact the course co-ordinator regularly throughout the semester and participate in online discussion with fellow students and academic staff. Together with accessing online resources and listening to podcasts etc. students might expect to spend around 4 hours a week online and an additional 20 hours per week in independent study, including reading, research and writing activities.

See also Unit timetable information

Chief examiner(s)

This unit applies to the following area(s) of study

Behavioural studies, Psychology, Mental health, Addiction studies