HSC2062 - Communicating health - 2018

6 points, SCA Band 2, 0.125 EFTSL

Undergraduate - 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

School of Public Health and Preventive Medicine

Chief examiner(s)

Ms Micaela Drieberg


Ms Micaela Drieberg

Not offered in 2018




Students will critically analyse the structure, politics and role of the mass media (public relations, news, advertising, advocacy, popular culture) in constructing public health issues. Throughout the unit, students will critically review a range of recent communication campaigns and case studies of contemporary issues. The unit will cover health communication skills for a range of audiences and purposes, including presentation and report writing, developing health communications materials, social marketing, working with the mass media, and advocacy for policies, programs and resources.


On successful completion of this unit students will:

  1. Discuss and critically reflect on theoretical models of communication, social change and marketing in relation to health and their application in medical, behavioural and socio-environmental approaches to health promotion;
  2. Critically analyse the role of the media in the construction of health issues;
  3. Describe, compare and contrast different approaches to health communication and explain their strengths and limitations;
  4. Critically review a range of local and international health communication campaigns as well as a range of health communication materials (print-based, electronic and web-based);
  5. Identify key stages in designing a communication campaign and apply them to a selected health issue;
  6. Demonstrate oral and written presentation skills for a range of professional and lay audiences including low literate audiences; and
  7. Develop an understanding of the role and principles of public health advocacy in the strategic use of the media and community action to influence decision makers and public opinion.


  • Essay (1,800 words) (30%)
  • Essay (2,400 words) (40%) Hurdle
  • Group oral presentation (20 minutes) (30%)

Hurdle: 80% attendance at tutorials.

Workload requirements

1 hour lecture, 2 hour tutorial, 3 hours of directed online student learning activities, plus 6 hours of self-directed study per week.

See also Unit timetable information

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