Faculty of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences

Monash University

Undergraduate - 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 UnitSouth Africa School of Health Sciences
OfferedSouth Africa First semester 2015 (Day)
Coordinator(s)Ms Natasha Khamisa


The unit explores global and local health challenges that are at the forefront of the 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.


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

  1. discuss in depth some key contemporary health challenges demonstrating awareness of multiple perspectives, including the ways in which different health professions approach the issues and exploring how integrated approaches to addressing the issues may be mounted across disciplines;
  2. demonstrate understanding of key 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', particularly in the context of the role that evidence and other factors, including the media, play in this process;
  4. demonstrate understanding of 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 (1,500 words) (25%)
Research essay (3,000 words) (50%) (Hurdle)
Class participation (10%)

Hurdle: 80% attendance at tutorials.

Workload requirements

4 hour seminar per week PLUS 8 hours of private study hours per week.

See also Unit timetable information

Chief examiner(s)

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


Any one of (HSC1081, HSC2022, PHH1081 or PHH2022).