PUBH 1012 Public Health

Credit Points 10

Legacy Code 401398

Coordinator Cristy Brooks Opens in new window

Description The subject introduces fundamental concepts of public health. Public health is examined from individual, community, historical, contemporary, cultural, gender, ethnic, economic, political, environmental, population, emergency and epidemiological perspectives. The subject shows how innovation and development in public health thinking and practice have improved the health of populations in Australia and globally. Continuing and recently emerging challenges to local, Indigenous, national and international public health are explored, along with public health challenges facing future generations.

School Health Sciences

Discipline Public Health

Student Contribution Band HECS Band 2 10cp

Check your fees via the Fees page.

Level Undergraduate Level 1 subject

Incompatible Subjects PUBH 2016 - Public Health

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this subject, students should be able to:

  1. Define physical and mental health in the public health context from historical and contemporary perspectives
  2. Explain how developments in public health concepts, policy, practice have influenced public health from early to modern times
  3. Describe the current burden of disease from communicable, non-communicable, infectious, chronic and acute categories of disease
  4. Identify risk and protective factors, including physiological, social, behavioural and environmental determinants of health, morbidity and mortality, and preventative health strategies
  5. Investigate major threats to public health, continuing, emerging and re-emerging in local, national and international contexts
  6. Analyse a public health emergency and describe appropriate responses
  7. Examine government, organisational and individual strategies and countermeasures for maintaining and improving public health

Subject Content

- definitions of physical and mental health applicable to public health
- The history of public health from Pre-modern to modern times and The new public health
- indigenous health
- Models of disease, including communicable, non-communicable, infectious, chronic and Acute
- Defining characteristics and Exemplars of public health emergencies, and appropriate responses
- causes and Determinants of disease and ill-health among specified populations and community groups
- An introduction to The role of epidemiology in determining The Burden of disease and public health needs among specified populations and community groups
- environment and public health ? locally, nationally and internationally
- society, culture and health ? locally, nationally and internationally
- gender and health ? locally, nationally and internationally
- politics, economics, globalisation, population and health ? locally, nationally and internationally
- elements of population-based disease prevention and control strategies
- Models of individual behaviour and health; behaviour change through public health campaigns
- The role of governments, non-government, national and international agencies, corporate entities and individual action in public health policy, practice, Advocacy and outcomes.

Special Requirements

Legislative pre-requisites

Special Requirements - NSW Health Legislative Prerequisites Pre-requisites

Student Compliance Information for all Health-Related Placements

Prior to enrolling in this subject, students must have submitted a Student Undertaking Form and undertake to apply for a National Police Check, which is required to be submitted before placement, and a Working with Children Check Student Declaration. Use the link to the Special Requirements webpage below for more information.

To be eligible to enrol in this subject and complete any required health-related placements or experiences, students must meet Western Sydney University program requirements as well as any special, legislated, or policy-mandated requirements.

Western Program Requirements

Visit the Special Requirements webpage for details about your program.

Special Requirements

Mandatory NSW Health student placement policy requirements

To be able to undertake placement in any NSW Health facility you must be assessed as compliant with NSW Health student placement policy in the first year of your program, regardless of when you expect to go on your first placement. Access and read the NSW Student Compliance Information Booklet.

NSW Student Compliance Information Booklet

Please ensure that you

  1.  Find your existing National Police Check or apply for one
  2.  Gather documentary evidence of your vaccination history
  3.  Print and compete all relevant NSW Health forms relevant to the campus you are enrolled at or online enrolment requirements
  4.  Follow booklet instructions on how to have your compliance documents assessed by NSW health staff.

International students have additional requirements; the link to the booklet will inform you of these requirements.

School Requirements

Contact your School for further details regarding your School’s requirements, if any, such as

  • If you live outside of NSW or Australia and need to meet your state, territory or country’s compliance requirements
  • If you need to meet different state, territory or country compliance requirements.
  • NSW Working with Children Check (WWCC) or other state equivalent, valid for your entire program.
  • Current approved first aid certificate valid for your entire program - approved program providers can be found at the Government Training website
  • Other non-health related requirements.

Student Compliance Resources are also available on the Placements Hub web page (NSW students only)


The following table summarises the standard assessment tasks for this subject. Please note this is a guide only. Assessment tasks are regularly updated, where there is a difference your Learning Guide takes precedence.

Type Length Percent Threshold Individual/Group Task
Case Study 800 words 30 N Individual
Essay 1,000 words 30 N Individual
Multiple Choice 2 hours 40 N Individual

Prescribed Texts

  • Baum, F. (2017). The new public health. (4th ed.). South Melbourne, Australia: Oxford.
  • Liamputtong, P. (Ed.). (2019). Public health: Local & global perspectives (2nd ed.). Port Melbourne, Australia: Cambridge.
  • Fleming, M (2019) Introduction to Public Health (4th edition) Elsevier Australia

Teaching Periods

Sydney City Campus - Term 2 (2023)

Sydney City


Subject Contact Cristy Brooks Opens in new window

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Autumn (2024)



Subject Contact Anna Spencer Opens in new window

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Subject Contact Anna Spencer Opens in new window

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Sydney City Campus - Term 2 (2024)

Sydney City


Subject Contact Cristy Brooks Opens in new window

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