History and Principles of Public Health
Your upfront cost: $0
Established in 1991 after amalgamating four eastern Australian Catholic tertiary institutes, Australian Catholic University now has seven campuses, from Brisbane to Melbourne and welcomes students of all beliefs. Specialising in arts, business, education, health sciences, law, theology and philosophy, ACU encourages its students to think critically and ethically and bring change to their communities and offer this online through Open Universities Australia.
Learn more about ACU.
Explore ACU courses.
QS Ranking 2023
Times Higher Education Ranking 2023
Our student advisors are here to guide you with:
- Enrolling and eligibility
- Fee and loan information
- Credit and recognition for prior learning
On successful completion of this unit, students should be able to:
- Demonstrate advanced knowledge of the history and principles of 'public health' as well as public health values, principles and scope of practice (GA5)
- Critically analyse research evidence for public health in priority setting and policy development (GA4, GA5)
- Critique the role of public health principles and community engagement in improving population health (GA2, GA5)
- Apply methods and assessment tools used in contemporary practice to public health challenges (GA6, GA7, GA8)
- History of public health
- - Emergence of public health as a discipline
- - Key figures and events in the history of public health (e.g John Snow and the London cholera epidemic)
- - The contribution of the broad social and economic conditions to the emergence of public health
- - Historical influences on contemporary practice (including colonization and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health)
- Public health values, principles and scope of public health practice
- - Public health values and principles (e.g. Individual verus population health, inequality, inequity)
- - Principles of the Ethical Practice of Public Health
- - Australian public health legislation
- - Scope of public health practice
- Evidence for public health prioirity setting and policy development
- - Evidence-based public health research
- - Evidence based resources (e.g. Cochrane Library)
- - Using evidence for public health:
- - prority setting
- - policy development
- Community engagement and behaviour change for improving population health
- - Community engagement, community empowerment and approaches to public health action
- - Value of partnership
- - Cultural competency
- - Theorectical frameworks for individual behaviour change
- Contemporary public health challenges and approaches
- - Public health challenges (e.g. equity, climate change, (non) communicable diseases, pollution, injury, healthy cities, migration, advocacy and others)
- - The new public health
In order to enrol in this subject, you must be accepted into one of the following degrees:
No additional requirements
An in depth understanding of the history and principles of public health is vital to becoming an effective public health professional. In this unit, students will examine the principles of public health and consider key historical developments that have shaped public health, with an emphasis on the broader social and economic influences. Students will examine public health values and ethical principles indicating how they support public health scope of practice. The assessment of evidence used in public health will be introduced particularly as it relates to priority setting and policy development in health care. . Students will apply their understanding of the principles for public health in activities that exemplify key debates, difficulties and resourcing dilemmas of contemporary public health challenges. The aim of this unit is to provide students with the opportunity to evaluate the historical milestones in public health that have shaped it as a discipline and through critical analysis of the key principles that underpin public health practice develop experience in using tools used in the discipline.
A range of assessment procedures will be used to meet the unit learning outcomes and develop graduate attributes consistent with University assessment requirements. In order to successfully complete this unit, students need to complete and submit three graded assessment tasks and obtain an aggregate mark of greater than 50%. ACU-PUBH610 assessment tasks 1 and 2 are designed to simulate the work of public health practitioners. In Assessment Task 1, students act as population health consultants contracted to perform a health inequality audit of a local area in Victoria. Students apply a standard audit tool to available data on the health status of the local population, and provide an analysis of health inequality in the area. In Assessment Task 2, students will consider factors that influence priority setting and resource allocation in Victoria, informed by their health inequality audits. Assessment Task 3, a learning reflection, allows students to consider the unit content as a whole, in terms of its relevance to public health and its applicability to situations students have observed in practice and its practical effects. All assessment tasks will be submitted electronically.
- Journal article response (20%)
- Health Inequality audit (40%)
- Priority setting activities (40%)
For textbook details check your university's handbook, website or learning management system (LMS).