University of Technology Sydney

96732 Foundations in Public Health

3cp; 3 x 3 hrs workshops, 5hpw independent activities (distributed, online), Zoom webinars (recommended)



This subject is designed to provide students with an overview of conceptual underpinnings of public health and its historical development, introduce key terms and approaches, and apply these to a range of contemporary issues that impact on health. In answering the question, “What is health?” students first explore different conceptions of health, including personal, lay, non-Western, gender-diverse, Indigenous and organisational definitions, and assess reasons why health workers and systems may need to incorporate an understanding of these in addressing health issues. Students then look at the question of “What is public health?” and consider some of its main approaches. Students are introduced to several public health processes and models that are central to public health. Finally, students examine the development of public health over time, including a discussion of some of the key historical events that led up to the development of the new public health approaches from the 1980s until the present day, both in Australia and globally. Students then apply these to a range of key health challenges.

Typical availability

Spring session

Detailed subject description.

Access conditions

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