Faculty of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences

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This unit entry is for students who completed this unit in 2016 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.

Monash University

6 points, SCA Band 2, 0.125 EFTSL

Postgraduate - Unit

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


Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences

Organisational Unit

Department of Epidemiology and Preventive Medicine


Dr Ewan MacFarlane


Not offered in 2016


This unit will cover the environmental influences on health. The unit will examine the impact of physical, chemical and biological hazards in the environment. It will integrate that knowledge with the principles of assessment, management and control of environmental health risks. Theoretical models of risk communication will be developed, with learners applying this knowledge in developing evidence based interventions to control and prevent simple environmental risks.


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

  1. Identify important chemical, physical and biological hazards in the environment and analyse related risks to health from environmental factors in Australia.
  2. Communicate fluently in a written format using appropriate terminology to describe chemical, physical and biological hazards encountered in a variety of contexts.
  3. Critically appraise the epidemiological literature which informs the evidence base for environmental health risk control strategies.
  4. Identify common hazards, appropriate techniques for exposure measurement and risk assessment methodologies in environmental media such as water air and food.
  5. Apply theoretical models of risk communication to appropriately communicate the principles of effective management of environmental health risks.
  6. Develop evidence based interventions to control simple environmental risks and prevent harm, including strategies for standard setting and systematic management of key personal, social and economic factors, to inhibit, control or reduce potential for harm.


Responses to 6 weekly forum discussion topics (30%)
Quiz/evaluation (1,500 words) (25%)
Written assignment (2,700 words) (45%)

Workload requirements

24 hours per week for 6 weeks.

See also Unit timetable information

Chief examiner(s)

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


Must be enrolled in course 4529.