PBH3005 - Social and behavioural sciences in public 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)

Stav Zandes


Stav Zandes

Unit guides



  • First semester 2018 (On-campus)


In this unit, students will be introduced to psychological, behavioural and social factors that are key determinants of a range of health outcomes. Students will examine a range of social and behavioural theories, principles of evidence-based practices and interventions that correlate with prevention and maintaining good health. Students will apply these principles to the development, onset, recovery and management of disease.

Students will explore the mind-body interactions of health and illness, psychosocial determinants of health, the significance of the sick role and patient behaviour and motivation. Behaviour will be examined from the view of the health professional's role (clinician-patient interactions), behavioural and psychosocial interventions (behaviour change strategies and techniques), and stress and illness management. Cultural and social issues, including responses to health care, chronic illness and death will also be analysed.

Students will be guided with an emphasis to understanding human behaviour through assessment based interventions that are patient-centered and holistic, as well as collaborative and values focused.

Throughout the unit, students will develop critical analysis skills, learning to review, assess and critically analyse a range of behaviour issues and behavioural interventions and practices, based on real world case studies of current and present-day health issues prevalent in Australia.


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

  1. Discuss the social and behavioural theories in relation to prevention, health, and their application to the development, onset, recovery and management of disease.
  2. Describe the psychosocial determinants of health, and the influence of these contributing factors to health and illness.
  3. Compare the behavioural and psychosocial interventions in relation to health and disease, and their application to real world scenarios.
  4. Critically analyse a range of behaviour issues, and assess behavioural interventions and practices that could be utilised.
  5. Recognise the cultural and social context of behaviour change, and their relevance to health care, chronic illness and death.
  6. Communicate the nature and application of behavioural and psychosocial interventions for both professional and lay audiences, including low literate audiences.


  • Essay (1,800 words) (30%)
  • Oral group presentation (20 minutes) (20%)
  • Online quizzes (10%)
  • iSAP Case report (2,400 words) (40%)
  • 80% attendance at tutorials and participation in online tasks.

Workload requirements

6 hours per week contact hours plus 6 hours per week private study. This includes a weekly one hour lecture and two hour tutorial.

See also Unit timetable information

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