MPH5002 - Foundations of health promotion and program planning - 2017

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


Associate Professor Ben Smith

Unit guides


Alfred Hospital

  • First semester 2017 (Day)
  • First semester 2017 (Off-campus)


This unit provides opportunities to examine the impact of multiple factors that contribute to the health of populations, focusing on role of the social determinants of health, and to develop knowledge and skills in program planning for health promotion.

Students will examine the values and principles that guide contemporary health promotion and its capacity to influence the determinants of health.

They will develop skills in needs assessment, priority setting, designating targets for change, using evidence and theory to make intervention choices and establishing systems for program management.

The roles played by partnerships, capacity building and participation will be explored, and the steps toward improving program sustainability examined.

Attention will be given to the opportunities and challenges presented in different organisational settings and social and cultural contexts.


On successful completion of this unit students will:

  1. Assess and interpret health promotion from differing perspectives and explain the principles that underpin contemporary health promotion;
  2. Critically reflect on the link between the social determinants of health and social equity, health inequities and the ethical project of health promotion;
  3. Research and compare a range of approaches for promoting health that address upstream, mid-stream and dowstream determinants of health;
  4. Implement the steps in comprehensive program planning as a basis for action to address health determinants;
  5. Identify the information sources that can be used to identify health needs, assess determinants and select targets for change;
  6. Demonstrate skills in priority setting and development of project goals, objectives and strategies based on a logic model.


  • Review of data and evidence (1,800 words) (30%)
  • Case study (1,200 words) (20%)
  • Program plan (3,000 words) (50%) (hurdle)

Workload requirements

Teacher directed learning will comprise online activities and readings each week (4 hours), and two compulsory on-campus block days (12 hours).

In addition to this, students will be required to undertake an average of 6 hours per week of self-directed study.

See also Unit timetable information

Chief examiner(s)

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