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96702 Foundations in Public Health

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:

Postgraduate

Result type: Grade and marks

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

Description

This subject is designed to provide an overview of conceptual underpinnings of public health, introduce key approaches, and apply these to a range of contemporary issues that impact on health. It first critically examines some of the different conceptions of health including personal, lay, non-Western, and organisational definitions. In the second module, several different models of public health are considered and how population-level approaches differ from those of the individual focus of the medical sector are discussed. Included is a brief examination of several public health processes and models – research, advocacy, implementation, prevention and promotion – that are central to public health. There are then applies to a range of key challenges, including communicable and non-communicable diseases, globalisation, environmental sustainability and social justice.

Subject learning objectives (SLOs)

Upon successful completion of this subject students should be able to:
A. Appraise public health scholarship/thinking and its major components
B. Contrast the different and comparable elements of biomedical and public health perspectives/approaches to health issues
C. Analyse and relate the historical and disciplinary roots of contemporary public health
D. Describe the role and contribution of different health fields to public health scholarship
E. Recognise a range of key international public health issues
F. Appraise the relevance and insights of public health to a number of important substantive topics currently challenging health systems, health care and health outcomes

Course intended learning outcomes (CILOs)

This subject also contributes specifically to the following graduate attributes:

  • Demonstrate reflective critical thinking to enable critical appraisal of current practice, policy and research with the aim to enhance health care and healthcare outcomes, and transform health (1.0)
  • Communicate effectively and appropriately in challenging, complex and diverse situations (4.0)

Teaching and learning strategies

In this subject, you will participate in a number of online teaching and learning activities that are designed to actively engage you to develop learning in Public Health principles and scholarship. This will involve work both individually and in groups. The first two main modules (Modules 1 & 2) are each divided into two parts, with each part taking two weeks to complete, while Module 3 has just one part covering three weeks. Each part has two or three core readings and viewings, with additional interactive tasks, case studies, and problem-based learning activities. These are designed to help you anticipate, explore, dissect and integrate the materials. You are required to complete all assigned readings and engage with other materials, including podcasts, videos, and other multimedia resources. Within this structure, you are free to work according to your own schedule, although you will need to complete each module on time to ensure that you are able to complete all of the discussion activities and assessment tasks.

While the course is delivered online, it is really important that you participate actively and engage with each other during the course, as you would in a classroom environment. This way, you will learn more and others will have a chance to learn from your ideas as well. Your contributions to online discussions and activities are assessable as part of Assessment Task 4. The subject co-ordinator will organise several webinar sessions to discuss upcoming assignments and any questions that students may have regarding learning materials. Individual written feedback will be provided on Canvas approximately two weeks after the submission date. In the case of group assignments, some direct feedback may be given at the end of the presentation session.

To determine your current academic language proficiency, you are required to complete an online language screening task, OPELA (information available at <https://www.uts.edu.au/research-and-teaching/learning-and-teaching/enhancing/language-and-learning/about-opela-stud>. If you receive a Basic grade for OPELA, you must complete additional Language Development Activities in order to pass the subject. These personalised activities are designed to support you to develop your language and communication skills. Students who do not complete this component of the subject will receive a Fail (X) grade.

Content (topics)

Module 0: INTRODUCTIONS
Course expectations, requirements, OPELA, meeting your fellow students

Module 1: SOCIAL AND INSTITUTIONAL UNDERSTANDINGS OF HEALTH
Part 1:

  • Lay and non-medical understandings of health
  • Sociological assessments of health

Part 2:

  • Critiquing institutional definitions of health
  • Non-Western and feminist understandings of health

Module 2: THE SCOPE OF PUBLIC HEALTH
Part 1:

  • Defining public health
  • The burden of disease
  • The social determinants of health
  • Key public health challenges (demographic change, climate change, non-communicable and communicable diseases, increasing cost of care, inequalities)

Part 2:

  • Key public health challenges (demographic change, climate change, non-communicable and communicable diseases, increasing cost of care, inequalities)
  • The ‘old’ public health and biomedical models
  • The new public health

Module 3: KEY APPROACHES IN PUBLIC HEALTH

  • Other key models and approaches to public health: Prevention models, health promotion, primary health care, ethics, etc.
  • Introduction to research methods and designs used in public health

Assessment

Assessment task 1: Concepts of health

Intent:

To review some important conceptions of health and consider why awareness of such conceptions is important to the healthcare sector and for the promotion of broader social wellbeing.

Objective(s):

This assessment task addresses subject learning objective(s):

A and C

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

1.0 and 4.0

Weight: 20%
Length:

1,000 words (plus or minus 10% and excluding reference list)

Assessment task 2: The burden of disease and its social determinants

Intent:

To be effective at addressing health challenges, one must first understand the burden of disease and the social determinants that contribute to them; to develop important skills for working in teams

Objective(s):

This assessment task addresses subject learning objective(s):

A, D, E and F

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

1.0 and 4.0

Weight: 20%
Length:

10 PowerPoint Slides plus speaker notes

Assessment task 3: New public health approach and contemporary health challenges

Intent:

To examine whether and how new public health approaches can be used in addressing health and broader social challenges.

Objective(s):

This assessment task addresses subject learning objective(s):

A, B, C, D, E and F

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

1.0 and 4.0

Weight: 40%
Length:

2000 words (plus or minus 10%)

Assessment task 4: Contribution to online activities

Intent:

To assess the contributions made by students to online activities and discussions throughout the semester.

Objective(s):

This assessment task addresses subject learning objective(s):

A, B, C, D, E and F

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

1.0 and 4.0

Weight: 20%
Length:

Portfolio of posts, best post, plus a one-page reflection

Minimum requirements

It is a requirement of this subject that all students complete OPELA. Students who received a Basic grade in the OPELA test are required to attend 80% of the Language Development Tutorials in order to pass the subject. Please see the UTS Student Rules Section 3.8 (detailed under ‘other resources’).

Students are required to complete 80% of the Language Development Activities in order to pass the subject. Students who do not complete this component of the subject will receive a Fail (X) grade.

Other resources

UTS Student Centre
Building 10

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

Details for student centres: www.uts.edu.au/current-students/contacts/general-contacts
For other resources/information refer to the Faculty of Health website (www.uts.edu.au/about/faculty-health), the Health Student Guide (www.uts.edu.au/sites/default/files/uts-health-student-guide.pdf) and Canvas at: http://canvas.uts.edu.au.

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: lib.uts.edu.au, 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 (www.ssu.uts.edu.au/helps). HELPS staff are also available for drop-in consultations at the Library. Phone (02) 9514 9733

Please see www.uts.edu.au for additional information on other resources provided to students by UTS.