PBH3003 - Environmental determinants of health and disease - 2019

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)

Dr Ewan MacFarlane


Dr Ewan MacFarlane

Unit guides



  • First semester 2019 (On-campus)


BMS1042, HSC2141, NUT1002, PHH2141, PBH2001




This unit explores the role of environmental factors in human health, how environmental health hazards are identified and how the risks can be assessed and managed. This unit will cover chemical, biological and physical hazards and their potential health effects in a range of environmental contexts.

This unit will encourage students to critically evaluate environmental health information and its application in realistic situations.

In this unit students will explore practical examples of environmental health hazards to identify the human health risks present, ways to assess exposure and options and strategies for assessment and management of the health risks identified.


On successful completion of this unit students will:

  1. Describe the essential principles of hazard identification, risk assessment, risk management and risk communication.
  2. Demonstrate fluency with the basic concepts and terms used to describe chemical, physical and biological hazards.
  3. Describe basic principles of identifying common hazards and nominate ways to assess the risks presented.
  4. Nominate common interventions used to control environmental risks and the key personal, social and economic factors which may reduce the effectiveness or prevent control measures being successful.
  5. Critically evaluate environmental health research evidence and explain the limitations, relevance and application of the evidence to specific situations.


  • Weekly online tasks (60%) (hurdle)
  • Written examination (2 hours) (40%) (hurdle)

Workload requirements

2 hour lecture, 4 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