University of Technology, Sydney

Staff directory | Webmail | Maps | Newsroom | What's on

92320 Health and Society

Warning: The information on this page is indicative. The subject outline for a particular session, location and mode of offering is the authoritative source of all information about the subject for that offering. Required texts, recommended texts and references in particular are likely to change. Students will be provided with a subject outline once they enrol in the subject.

Subject handbook information prior to 2020 is available in the Archives.

UTS: Health
Credit points: 6 cp

Subject level:


Result type: Grade and marks

There are course requisites for this subject. See access conditions.


The philosophy and expression of primary health care, health promotion and community development is the basis for therapeutic nursing practice in the community. Health promotion and primary health care as defined by the World Health Organization form the framework for exploring the principles and practice of community health nursing and the dynamic and diverse nature of the community. The influence of power and politics on health care are explored within this framework as are the implications of a culturally diverse society.

Subject learning objectives (SLOs)

Upon successful completion of this subject students should be able to:
A. Articulate the philosophy, principles and practices of Primary Health Care (PHC) (ANMC 2)
B. Demonstrate awareness of the biological, social, economic and environmental determinants of health and implications for health care and nursing behaviour (ANMC 2)
C. Appreciate the effect of the social stratification of Australian society, social disadvantage, and gender on the acquisition of health and the development of health inequalities (ANMC 6)
D. Recognise wellness/illness distribution patterns(including national and global trends) to use in identifying the health needs of the entire Australian population (ANMC 2)
E. Identify Primary Health Care practices and population health strategies which could be incorporated into nursing practice that would lead to positive healthcare gains (ANMC 2)
F. Provide examples of major contemporary health issues that have an impact on the population in Australia (ANMC 6)
G. Reflect on the impact of the primary health care practitioners own values, attitudes and beliefs as they engage in the professional role (ANMC 2)
H. Develop and demonstrate nursing knowledge through reading, questioning and using relevant professional and scholarly evidence to describe, explain and apply key nursing concepts, writing in a style appropriate to purpose and context (ANMC 7)

Course intended learning outcomes (CILOs)

This subject also contributes specifically to the following graduate attributes:

  • Embody a professional disposition committed to excellence, equity and sustainability (1.0)
  • Inquire critically to assess a body of evidence to inform practice (4.0)
  • Demonstrate professional cultural competency which contributes to the health and wellbeing of Indigenous Australians, inclusive of physical, social, emotional and spiritual wellness (6.0)

Teaching and learning strategies

In this subject, you will participate in a range of teaching and learning strategies that are designed to encourage you to engage and learn about health and our society.

Lectures and online learning materials
This subject benefits from both the real time delivery of content and access to online resources including podcasts, videos and learning modules. Face to face lectures enable students to quickly clarify complex descriptions and terminology, and engage with sensitive or confronting topics. Online materials include scenario-based learning software which unfold at the student's pace and instant feedback is provided to develop students' judgement.

Academic Writing
Demonstrating information literacy and technology skills, students will synthesise the professional literature to answer an essay question. Students will learn to develop thier academic writing practices and use information ethically, legally and respectfully.

Student-led tutorials
Tutorials help students explore health related ideas and scenarios. Students use these scenarios to learn concepts, interpret information, form clinical judgements and develop creative solutions. Critical thinking is developed through analysis, interpretation of and reflection on issues or situations. Tutorials involve students either individually or in groups providing feedback and presentations to the class. Students receive feedback from peers and teachers not only on their knowledge of a subject area, but also their ability to communicate their thoughts, and relevant information in a clear, coherent, and confident manner.

Online learning guide
This subject benefits from the provision of on line learning guide. The guide provides students with an overall plan for the subject and learning strategies and resources to enable achievement of expected learning outcomes for each week of semester. The guide includes preparatory activities, lecture overviews and follow up activities including clinical language activities. Access to websites, online videos and literature contribute to these learning resources.

Reflective blog
Through the use of self-reflection, students will engage with their own ideas and thoughts and how these shape our attitudes, beliefs and ideologies. Self-reflective processes are usually discrete pieces of work that we use as a platform for further critical development that will enable us to become more self-aware and compassionate nurses.

Content (topics)

The concepts that underpin this subject are: Primary health care (PHC); The social determinants of health (SDH); Health promotion; Public health.

More specifically this subject will: Introduce PHC principles and PHC in practice; Exploration of definitions of ‘health’ and ‘community’, and the different ways in which health can be effected within our contemporary Australian environment; Examine the socio-ecological models of health, embedded within a framework; Discuss class, health inequality and social justice. This topic is fundamental to a discussion of minority or disadvantaged groups. An understanding of social structure and social stratification gives the basis for why some groups are more disadvantaged than others; Explore contemporary and historically rooted environmental health concerns and the importance of sustainable projects and resources within the context of health; Explore the influences of power, politics and health care: Influence of ideology, the market and medical dominance in health care; Allow for students to develop a working knowledge of key Australian demographic information (including Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples) and discuss how this is incorporated into health care and nursing; Exploration of the concepts and principles of epidemiology, and the role of PHC nurse in assessing and using the relevant data bases; Explore the application of health promotion and education, and examine current policy and identified priority areas, and how this relates to nursing practice; Discuss the role of community development and capacity building within the PHC nurse’s role, including how a nurse can be an agent for change; Begin to develop an understanding of the PHC nurse’s values, attitudes and beliefs, and how PHC principles can guide all nursing practice


Assessment task 1: Reflective journal


This assessment will provide students with the opportunity to reflect on thier own ideas and understanding about culture and how their ideas have changed through subject engagment.


This assessment task addresses subject learning objective(s):

G and H

This assessment task contributes to the development of graduate attribute(s):

1.0 and 6.0

Weight: 15%

400-500 words x 2

Assessment task 2: Presentation on Social Determinants of Health


For students to gain an understanding of the social determinants of health and how these influence health outcomes across society. Students will develop creative solutions to address health disparities. Students will also have the opportunity to develop academic writing.


This assessment task addresses subject learning objective(s):

B, C, D, E, G and H

This assessment task contributes to the development of graduate attribute(s):

1.0 and 4.0

Weight: 40%

1200-1500 words

Assessment task 3: Application of Knowledge and Academic Writing


For students to undertake a formal exam where they have the opportunity to apply key concepts learned throughout the semester. This exam is in extended response format which provides an opportunity for students to develop their academic writing.


This assessment task addresses subject learning objective(s):

B, C, D, E and H

This assessment task contributes to the development of graduate attribute(s):

4.0 and 6.0

Weight: 45%

Required texts

All required material will be available via links from within UTSOnline. Please bring the readings and any other relevant content to the tutorial class in the week required.

Recommended texts

There is no compulsory text book for this subject. However there will be readings, podcasts and other online activities which you expected to complete week by week prior to coming to class. These will be posted on UTS Online each week.


Refer to UTS Online for access to up to date references for this subject

Other resources

UTS Student Centres
Building 10
Monday to Friday: 9am - 5pm
Tel: 1300 ASK UTS (1300 275 887)

Details for student centres:
For other resources/information refer to the Faculty of Health website (, the Health Student Guide ( and UTSOnline at:

UTS Library
The Library has a wide range of resources, facilities and services to support you including textbooks, subject readings, old exam papers, academic writing guides, health literature databases, workshops, a gaming room and bookable group study rooms. There is also a team of librarians to help you with all your questions.
W:, Facebook: utslibrary, Twitter: @utslibrary Tel: (02) 9514 3666

Improve your academic and English language skills
Marks for all assessment tasks such as assignments and examinations are given not only for what you write but also for how you write. If you would like the opportunity to improve your academic and English language skills, make an appointment with the HELPS (Higher Education Language & Presentation Support) Service in Student Services.

HELPS (Higher Education Language & Presentation Support)
HELPS provides assistance with English language proficiency and academic language. Students who need to develop their written and/or spoken English should make use of the free services offered by HELPS, including academic language workshops, vacation intensive courses, drop-in consultations, individual appointments and Conversations@UTS ( HELPS staff are also available for drop-in consultations at the UTS Library. Phone (02) 9514 9733

Please see for additional information on other resources provided to students by UTS.