Subject details

At the completion of this subject students will be able to:

  1. understand how government policies are initiated, developed, get implemented and evolve over time using appropriate policy theories
  2. discuss factors that influence government policies and decisions to improve population’s health, using policy analysis approaches and tools
  3. analyze government policy responses to a selected priority health issues and develop alternative policy strategies, taking equity into consideration
  4. critique policy implementation and coordination theories and practices
  5. develop strategies for influencing policy change that take account of actor power, politics and evidence-based practice.
  • Topics
    • Health, society and the role of government
    • The policy process and the policy cycle
    • Identifying issues for policy
    • Health policy design
    • Health policy implementation
    • Health care as a system
    • The Australian health care system
    • Globalisation and health care systems
    • Privatisation, politics
    • Power and professionalism
    • Development and aid and equity in health care
  • Study resources
    • Online Materials
      • Resources and Links

No eligibility requirements

Special requirements

No special requirements

This subject was previously known as HTHM801 Health Policy.

This subject provides a comprehensive understanding of the government's roles of policy development and decision making related to improving population's health. The subject introduces students to explore factors that influence policy and decision-making processes and their implications for the health sector. It covers the theoretical frameworks for understanding and analyzing how health policies and decisions develop, change and get implemented. It explores the technical nature of health policy and decision-making processes (agenda setting, policy formulation, decision making, implementation, evaluation and policy change) and the political nature of understanding the power and influence of policy actors. The subject also helps students to develop skills in engaging stakeholders, coordinating the development and implementation of government policies and decisions; and managing policy evaluation and change. The subject does not cover analytical skills of assessing cost-effectiveness of government policies, policy outcomes and impact at population level. In addition, it does not cover research methods for that could be used for evaluating government policies.

Please Note: If it’s your first time studying a Curtin University subject you’ll need to complete their compulsory ‘Academic Integrity Program’. It only takes two hours to complete online, and provides you with vital information about studying with Curtin University. The Academic Integrity Program is compulsory, so if it’s not completed your subject grades will be withheld.

Find out more about the Academic Integrity module.

  • Assignment 1 - Developing and presenting a policy brief (20%)
  • Assignment 2 - Invigilated Exam (40%)
  • Assignment 3 - Case analysis report and a plan of how to influence policy change (40%)

Textbooks are subject to change within the academic year. Students are advised to purchase their books no earlier than one to two months before the start of a subject.

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