University of Technology Sydney

93205 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 2021 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.


This subject allows students to develop understanding of the philosophy and expression of primary health care, health promotion and community development as the basis for therapeutic nursing practice in the community. The influence of power and politics on health care and the implications for patients are also explored. Students appreciate the dynamic and diverse nature of the community and the principles and practice of community health nursing. Health promotion and primary health care as defined by the World Health Organization and the social determinants of health form the framework for this subject. Knowledge of the social determinants of health and how they affect people's lives before, during and after illness is necessary for students to develop empathy and understanding of individual circumstances. Empathy and understanding are intrinsic to all nursing practice. The concepts that underpin this subject are: Primary Health Care (PHC); The Social Determinants of Health (SDH); Health Promotion; Public Health.

Subject learning objectives (SLOs)

Upon successful completion of this subject students should be able to:
A. Outline the philosophy, principles and practices of Primary Health Care (PHC) and how this translates into practice
B. Identify and demonstrate an understanding of the social determinants of health (individual, environmental and social factors) that have the potential to impact the health and wellbeing of Indigenous and Non-Indigenous Australians and their implications for nursing practice
C. Recognise current health issues pertaining to the health and wellbeing of Indigenous and Non-Indigenous Australians and employ a strengths-based, upstreaming approach aimed to facilitate empowerment and improved health outcomes
D. Demonstrate ability to communicate key subject concepts in a style appropriate to purpose and context through reading, questioning and using relevant professional and scholarly evidence
E. Reflect on the impact of the practitioner's own values, attitudes and beliefs as they engage in the professional role

Teaching and learning strategies

Each 6-unit subject requires at least 140 hours of work (including face-to-face and self-directed learning activities) to successfully complete academic requirements.

In this subject, you will participate in a range of teaching and learning strategies.

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. Students are provided with the resources to complete approximately 60-90 minutes of preparatory work to enable engagement during face-to-face tutorials. Online lectures will enable students to quickly clarify complex descriptions and terminology, and engage with nursing leaders who are experts in their field.

Students will be supported and guided by a tutor and also work in pairs and groups to unpack the tutorial content using patient stories and clinical scenarios. In class content is structured to contribute to the required assessment tasks.

Students will be provided feedback from their tutor and peers with the opportunity to collaborate and develop interpersonal, communication and reflective skills.

Content (topics)

  • Introduce the principles and practice of PHC
  • Explore definitions of ‘health’ and ‘community’, and the different ways in which health can be effected within our contemporary Australian environment
  • Discuss health inequality and inequity, social justice, minority and disadvantaged groups.
  • 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
  • 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
  • Explore of the concepts and principles of epidemiology, and the role of PHC nurses 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
  • Increase understanding of the PHC nurse’s values, attitudes and beliefs, and how PHC principles can guide all nursing practice.


Assessment task 1: Primary Health Care Report


Student to identify a PHC service in your community and describe the following aspects of that service::

  • Service profile
  • PHC or PH
  • Health promotion or education
  • Service Collaboration
  • Determinants of health
Weight: 50%

1500-200 words

Assessment task 2: Health Promotion


In small groups, develop a health promotion or health education intervention and present to the tutorial group.

Weight: 30%

Assessment task 3: Online quiz


Students to demonstrate recall of knowledge and the ability to apply this new knowledge to patient stories and case studies.

Weight: 20%