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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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.

FacultyFaculty of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences
Organisational UnitDepartment of Epidemiology and Preventive Medicine
OfferedNot offered in 2015


Health literacy is both a public health issue and the agendas of national health policy. One in five Australians do not have adequate literacy skills to participate effectively in everyday life and even fewer have high levels of health literacy, which is fundamental for good health. Health literacy involves a range of skills and knowledge including the sourcing and interpretation of health information, seeking of appropriate care and managing health decisions. At more upstream levels, health services need to become more responsive to health literacy issues and develop approaches to ensure their health communications are accessible to people of all literacies. In this unit students will examine health literacy concepts, measures of literacy, tools for readability and increasing understanding, and practical approaches for services to become health literate organisations.


On completion of this unit, students should be able to demonstrate and communicate a broad, critical conceptual and practical understanding of:

  1. the theoretical approaches to understanding health and other types of literacy
  2. the approaches to measurement of health literacy and their validity
  3. the efficacy of strategies to address health literacy
  4. project development that enables health literacy to be addressed utilizing a settings-based health promotion approach.

Chief examiner(s)


Off-campus attendance requirements

Off-campus with compulsory study days.

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