PUB HLTH 1001 - Public Health IA

North Terrace Campus - Semester 1 - 2014

Public Health 1A aims to introduce students to a population view of health and to answer questions by drawing on a range of disciplines that contribute to a focus on the health of populations, including history, politics, ethics and epidemiology. The course invites students to develop a critical view about what constitutes a public health issue and about the responses offered to these issues

  • General Course Information
    Course Details
    Course Code PUB HLTH 1001
    Course Public Health IA
    Coordinating Unit Public Health
    Term Semester 1
    Level Undergraduate
    Location/s North Terrace Campus
    Units 3
    Contact Up to 4 hours per week
    Course Description Public Health 1A aims to introduce students to a population view of health and to answer questions by drawing on a range of disciplines that contribute to a focus on the health of populations, including history, politics, ethics and epidemiology.
    The course invites students to develop a critical view about what constitutes a public health issue and about the responses offered to these issues
    Course Staff

    Course Coordinator: Dr Adriana Milazzo

    Course Coordinator: Adriana Milazzo
    Phone: +61 8313 0199
    Location: Level 7, 178 North Terrace

    Course Coordinator: Catherine Chittleborough
    Phone: +61 8313 1684
    Location: Level 7, 178 North Terrace

    Learning and Teaching Team
    Phone: +61 8313 2128
    Location: Level 7, 178 North Terrace
    Course Timetable

    The full timetable of all activities for this course can be accessed from Course Planner.

  • Learning Outcomes
    Course Learning Outcomes
    1 Describe a public health problem and how it is measured using basic epidemiological terminology, and in terms of person, place, and time
    2 Evaluate how social determinants and other risk factors for communicable and chronic disease influence personal and population health
    3 Identify the major causes of morbidity (sickness) and mortality (deaths) in Australia
    4 Calculate basic epidemiological measures and understand their use
    5 Evaluate the roles and functions of diverse stakeholders, including government departments and health systems, in defining and responding to public health issues
    6 Analyse ethical concerns that arise in the field of public health
    7 Identify, critique, synthesise, report and reference appropriate public health literature
    8 Participate constructively, as an individual or within groups, in tutorials and practicals
    University Graduate Attributes

    This course will provide students with an opportunity to develop the Graduate Attribute(s) specified below:

    University Graduate Attribute Course Learning Outcome(s)
    Knowledge and understanding of the content and techniques of a chosen discipline at advanced levels that are internationally recognised. 1-8
    The ability to locate, analyse, evaluate and synthesise information from a wide variety of sources in a planned and timely manner. 7
    An ability to apply effective, creative and innovative solutions, both independently and cooperatively, to current and future problems. 7, 8
    Skills of a high order in interpersonal understanding, teamwork and communication. 5, 7, 8
    A proficiency in the appropriate use of contemporary technologies. 7
    A commitment to continuous learning and the capacity to maintain intellectual curiosity throughout life. 5-7
    An awareness of ethical, social and cultural issues within a global context and their importance in the exercise of professional skills and responsibilities. 2, 6
  • Learning Resources
    Required Resources
    A hard copy of the Public Health 1A Handbook is provided to all students at the beginning of semester one. A digital version is also available on MyUni.

    The Book of Readings lists the chapters of the text to be read for each topic and contains additional readings which expand on material in the textbook and frequently are the basis for tutorial discussion.
    The Book of Readings is available for purchase from the Image and Copy Centre, Level 1 Hughes Building. A digital version of all the readings is also available on MyUni – you can elect to purchase the Book of Readings so you have a hard copy of the readings, or you can view the readings via MyUni and choose to print if you wish.
    The Book of Readings in hard copy is moderately priced to cover printing costs. Some copies are in the Reserve Section of the Barr Smith Library. You all need access to this book and need it for use in the first week of semester.

    The required textbook is: Fleming ML, Parker E. Introduction to Public Health. 2nd ed. Australia. Churchill Livingstone; 2012. Copies are available from Unibooks, Encompass Books and Ramsay’s Bookstore. All students should purchase this text.
    Recommended Resources
    Anderson, J & Poole, M. Assignment and Thesis Writing, 4th ed. John Wiley & Sons. Brisbane. 2001. This text is an excellent guide to assignment writing at tertiary level with sections that cover planning, writing, editing and referencing your document. It is not compulsory but will assist you in your work across a range of courses.

    Higgs J, Ajjawi R, McAllister L, Trede F. Communicating in the Health Sciences. OUP Australia. 2008. This text includes a section on plagiarism, learning to do academic writing, learning to write essays and assignments and referencing. It is not compulsory but will assist you in your work across a range of courses.

    Summers J, Smith M. Communication Skills Handbook 3rd Edition. Brisbane: Wiley; 2010 is a useful guide on scientific writing, referencing and communication skills to assist students with the required format of assessment tasks and assignments for the other core Health Sciences courses (Human Biology 1A and 1B and Biology of Disease II). It is not a recommended text, although since students use it in other courses, it may be useful for report writing. The handbook provides successful approaches to researching, writing and referencing, along with examples and practical tips for preparing and presenting oral reports, essays and assignments. It is not compulsory but will assist you in your work across a range of courses.

    Success in Public Health, and, indeed, in much university study, depends on reading widely and learning to respond critically to what you read. To help you locate other readings (apart from the text book) which will be useful for Public Health, we provide the following list which includes Barr Smith Library catalogue numbers and web addresses, where applicable. Note that references with no web address and simply a library catalogue number are likely, in addition, to be found in the Reserve Collection.

    There is a comprehensive Public Health Web page, developed by the Public Health Subject Librarian in the Barr Smith Library, Ms Maureen Bell. Links are provided to other internet sites, databases, search engines, sources of statistical information in Australia and overseas, newspaper services, journals etc.
    The address of this site is:

    The Australian Institute of Health and Welfare site has a publication search function for topics of interest:

    Of particular interest and relevance are the Australia’s Health series:
    The Australian Bureau of Statistics has a publication search function for topics of interest:
    Of particular interest and relevance are the Year Book series:
    Australian Bureau of Statistics, Year Book Australia, 2009-10
    From that page, click on the “Past and Future Releases” tab to access other Year Books

    ABC Radio National’s Health Report is a source of thought-provoking, up-to-date discussion on health issues:

    Other Radio National Health programs may be of interest too:

    SA Health is the peak state government health authority and the site of much public health thinking and activity:

    An excellent site on referencing and avoiding plagiarism can be viewed at:

    Friis, RH and Sellers, TA 2004, Epidemiology for Public Health Practice, 3rd edition, Jones and Bartlett.
    BSL Main Collection 614.4 F912e.3

    Keleher, H and Murphy, B. Eds. 2004, Understanding health: a determinants approach. Melbourne, Oxford University Press. BSL Reserve Collection 613.0994 K2912u

    Leeder, S. 2002. Public health change and challenge: an academic (and personal) response: WG Armstrong Lecture. Sydney, University of Sydney. BSL Reserve Collection 614.440994 L675p

    Liamputtong, P and Gardner, H. Eds. 2003, Health, social change & communities. Melbourne : Oxford University Press. BSL Reserve Collection 362.1042 L693h

    Murray, CJL. Eds. (2002) Summary measures of population health: concepts, ethics, measurement and applications. Geneva: World Health Organization. BSL Reserve Collection 362.10723 M982s

    Palmer, GR and Short, SD 2000, Health Care and Public Policy: an Australian analysis, 3rd edition, Macmillan Education Australia, South Melbourne. BSL Reserve and Main (short loan) Collection 362.10994 P174h.3

    Barraclough, Simon and Gardner, Heather (ed). 2008, Analysing health policy: a problem-oriented approach, Elsevier, Marrickville, N.S.W. BSL Reserve Collection 362.10994 B2687a

    Green J and Labonte R, 2008. Critical perspectives in public health, Routledge, New York. BSL Main Collection 362.1 G7964c

    Gillam, S, Yates J and Badrinath P, 2007. Essential public health: theory and practice, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge. BSL Main Collection 362.1 G4759
    Online Learning

    University information on computer laboratories and other computing services is available at:

    The Faculty of Health Sciences Computer Suite is located on level 2, Barr Smith South, Room 1059, 1060 and 1063 and is open Monday to Fridays between 8.00am and 6.00pm. The Medical School Sth has computers available to students on level 1, Room S118 and is open Monday to Fridays between 8.00am and 6.00pm. The Hub Central provides 24 hour access Monday to Friday and is available Saturday and Sunday from 7am to 10pm. In addition, 24 hour access to computers is provided at the Barr Smith Library 24 Hour Suite.
    Public Health makes lecture notes and other teaching aids available electronically to students, through MyUni. 

    MyUni is the primary entry point to online learning at Adelaide University. MyUni provides students and staff with access to course materials, discussion forums, announcements, online and many other features to help manage your study or teaching. You can connect to MyUni on or off campus from an internet connected computer using a Web browser. The URL is:
    Login to this resource using your Username and Password. Once logged on to MyUni, you will find the information displayed is customised to present only details relevant to you and the online content for courses that you are studying.

    For enquiries about online education services, what’s available and access, contact the Online Education Helpdesk:
    Phone: (08) 8313 3000
    The Helpdesk is available for extended hours during the week or through voicemail.

    In Public Health 1A, you will be expected to use MyUni for a number of purposes:-
    Accessing announcements about changes in scheduling, course information etc.
    Accessing lecture notes both in pdf format and, if recording is possible in the allocated lecture theatre, in audiofile format.
    Completing the Maths Diagnostic Test and on-line quizzes.
    Accessing online modules that form part of the lecture series.
    Posting questions. Neither the course coordinators nor the tutors will respond to emails sent to their university email address containing questions of an academic nature (eg, about assignments), the answers to which would be of interest to other students. Such questions must be posted to the Discussion Board. Students are strongly encouraged to provide answers to each other’s questions on the Discussion Board. The course coordinators will check the Discussion Board to correct any inaccuracies in the information provided by fellow students. Only questions of a more personal nature such as requests for extension should go directly to the coordinator.
    Submitting written assignments. In Public Health 1A, the two written assignments are to be submitted online into a program called Turnitin. Further instructions about how to submit assignments to Turnitin will be provided closer to the assignment due dates and will be posted on MyUni.

    UniStep is a comprehensive program of events, activities and information to help you find your feet as a first year uni student. Find information on services and resources to help you gain academic and life skills, have fun and meet other students at:
  • Learning & Teaching Activities
    Learning & Teaching Modes
    There are a number of teaching and learning modes in this course. The course lectures provide basic factual information and concepts about public health. Many lectures provide opportunity for interaction, discussion and questions. Lectures are supported by interactive tutorials designed to develop and clarify topics covered in lectures. These are generally problem-solving sessions. Practical classes provide a problem-oriented investigation of some of the key course concepts and information. Quizzes throughout the semester aid students in monitoring their understanding of specific topics. Assignments provide an opportunity to undertake in depth analysis of some key concepts of the course. Finally, the exam will assess the extent to which students have developed their understanding through the course.

    Lectures – Introduce key concepts in public health, supported by material in the text book and readings. Some online modules will form part of the lecture series.

    Practicals – Apply lecture material, through discussion, problem-solving sessions, videos, debates, exercises etc.

    Tutorials – Clarify, discuss and apply public health concepts. Provide an opportunity to try out your ideas, develop your capacity for critical thinking, and clarify uncertainties, in a supportive environment.

    The information below is provided as a guide to assist students in engaging appropriately with the course requirements.

    The information below is provided as a guide to assist students in engaging appropriately with the course requirements. As a 3 unit course, PH1A will require approximately 12 hours of work per week including attendance at lectures (2 hours), attendance at tutorial (1 hour), attendance at practical (1 hour). Eight of the 12 hours per week is private study, which is study outside of your regular classes. This workload expectation falls within the University of Adelaide’s guidelines of an overall workload for full time students of 48 hours per week over a 13 week semester, or 156 hours per 3 unit course, regardless of the course duration.
    Eight non-contact hours per week should be private study including:
    Pre-reading (including lecture material and pre-class activities such as online modules) - 1 hour
    Tutorial tasks – 1 to 2 hours
    Completion of assignments and revision - 6 hours
    Learning Activities Summary
    Week Topic Lecture
    O'Week Introduction Introduction to Public Health 1A
    Week 1 Introduction What is public health?
    Public health - the big picture.
    Week 2 Introduction Why is public health controversial?
    Week 3 How do we define public health issues? Size, severity and stakeholders.
    Infectious diseases, chronic conditions and risk behaviours.
    Week 4 Where do we find information about public health issues?
    How do we measure publice health issues?
    Types of health information.
    Health indicators
    Week 5 How do we measure public health issues? Surveillance
    Counts, ratios, proportions
    Week 6 How do we measure public health issues? Rates
    Week 7 What causes public health issues? Determinants of health
    Week 8 What do we do about public health issues? Health care and political systems
    Public health in South Australia
    Week 9 Revision
    What do we do about public health issues?
    Where are we now?
    Infections disease control
    Week 10 What do we do about public health issues? HPV Panel.
    Population vs. high risk approach
    Week 11 What do we do about public health issues? What have values got to do with public health?
    Week  12 Revision Revision, exam tips
    Small Group Discovery Experience
    SGDE is being implemented in Public Health 1B, Semester 2.
  • Assessment

    The University's policy on Assessment for Coursework Programs is based on the following four principles:

    1. Assessment must encourage and reinforce learning.
    2. Assessment must enable robust and fair judgements about student performance.
    3. Assessment practices must be fair and equitable to students and give them the opportunity to demonstrate what they have learned.
    4. Assessment must maintain academic standards.

    Assessment Summary
    Assessment Task Task Type Weighting Learning Outcome
    Maths Diagnostic Test Formative 0%
    Assignment 1 Summative 10% 1, 8
    Assignment 2 Summative 20% 1-5, 8
    Quizzes Summative 15% 1-8
    Tutorial participation Summative 10% 1-9
    Exam Summative 45% 1-8
    Assessment Related Requirements
    Tutorial and practical participation and conduct
    Attendance and participation at all tutorials is required and an expectation; 10% of your overall mark is based on your tutorial participation. Tutorials will extend and apply the material presented in lectures and in the readings. The examination will test understanding of tutorial topics. Approximately 20% of the examination content will be based on material covered in the tutorials.

    All practical material is examinable and you are expected to participate actively. An attendance sheet will be completed every week. More importantly, the practicals provide an opportunity for you to process and assimilate the material from the lectures and readings, and apply your learning to specific situations. Active participation will not only lead to greater enjoyment and learning, but will definitely assist you in the exam. Approximately 20% of the examination content will be based on material covered in the practicals.

    In tutorials and practicals it is expected that all students contribute to discussion. Public health can be controversial, therefore opinions may be expressed that are counter to our own. You are expected to be respectful of others' points of view even though they may differ from your own. Each student has the right to hold and express views that are not conventional, provided that they are not personal attacks on individual students and they do not vilify other groups of people (i.e. people from different ethnic or religious groups, or those with different sexual preferences).
    Assessment Detail
    Maths Diagnostic Test (Formative).
    This test comprises approximately 17 questions, and is to be completed online via MyUni. This is a diagnostic tool to help students establish that they have the basic numerical and mathematical skills to continue in this course. Students are directed to supplementary materials for questions they do not answer correctly. If they do not achieve 50%, they should read this material and retake the test until they do achieve 50% or greater. The purpose of this test is also to initiate contact with the Maths Learning Centre for those students who require additional numeracy support. Staff at the MLC will contact students who achieve fewer than 50% correct answers to offer support, that aims to make the semester easier for students.

    Assignment 1 (10%), 700 words.
    This written assignment will assess students’ understanding of the different sources of public health information in the form of internet sources, media articles, published reports, and journal articles. Students will be asked to describe a public health issue using information from a range of these sources, and reference them appropriately.

    Assignment 2 (20%), 1600 words.
    This written assignment will assess students’ understanding of how public health issues are measured, how they identify, critique, synthesise, report and reference appropriate public health literature and interpret key epidemiologic measures of health and disease.

    Quizzes (15%).
    Quizzes will comprise mainly multiple choice questions and will be completed online. Some quizzes will be included in online modules that will form part of some lectures and practicals.

    Tutorial participation (10%).
    Attendance and participation at all tutorials is required and an expectation. Tutorials will extend and apply the material presented in lectures and in the readings. The examination will test understanding of tutorial topics. Approximately 20% of the examination content will be based on material covered in the tutorials. The criteria for attendance and participation marks, which will apply from Week 2, are as follows:
    1 mark is allocated for attending and actively participating in one tutorial.
    If a student is absent, he/she will receive 0 for that tutorial.
    Participation only, without preparation and participation may receive 0.5 marks for that tutorial.
    A tutorial which is not attended but for which the student submits a medical certificate will not be counted for marking.

    Exam (45%).
    Details will be provided in the final lecture. All aspects of the course are examinable: lectures, tutorials, practicals, and assignments, the textbook and other readings from the course. The course learning outcomes should be used as a guide for preparation for the examination. Students will be expected to integrate information and critically analyse public health issues.
    Lodgement of assignments 1 and 2
    Assignments 1 and 2 will be submitted via MyUni, using Turnitin. Instructions about how to lodge your assignment will be provided via MyUni closer to the due date.
    Hard copy submissions will not be accepted. If you encounter issues when submitting electronically, you should send your assignment to Dr Stephanie Champion as an email attachment and she will submit the assignment to MyUni for you. Be sure to leave sufficient time before the assignment deadline to accommodate for potential electronic issues. Inability to access a computer or internet access at the time of submission will not be considered grounds for an extension.
    Students will be required to acknowledge the declaration for submitting on-line assignments (you will be given instructions on how to do this).
    Assignments must be submitted online before 11:59pm on the due date. When an assignment is submitted electronically, MyUni generates a time and date which is recorded. Assignments submitted at/after 12:00am (midnight) will be considered late, so ensure you have left sufficient time to submit your assignments electronically before midnight.
    You should retain a printed and electronic copy of the assignment submitted. When you have submitted your assignment you will receive an email acknowledging receipt of submission via Turnitin. Please check that you have received this email. We may ask for evidence that you have received this if there is a problem with your submission.
    No assignment will be accepted by mail, email or fax without prior written agreement from the course coordinator.
    Marked assignments will be available on MyUni within 4 weeks of completion of the task so that students can take advantage of the feedback.
    Electronic feedback will be provided on the marked assignments and on the assessment rubric.
    Students will be notified via the announcements on MyUni when assignments will be released to view online.
    It is not possible to resubmit, redeem or substitute work once assignments have been submitted, with the exception of the Maths Diagnostic Test.

    All extensions for assignments must be requested, at the latest, by the last working day before the due date of submission.
    Extensions will generally be granted only on medical or genuine compassionate grounds. Supporting documentation must be provided at the time a student requests an extension, without documentation, extensions will not be granted.
    Late requests for extension will neither be accepted nor acknowledged.
    Only the course coordinators may grant extensions.
    Supporting documentation will be required when requesting an extension. Examples of documents that are acceptable include: a medical certificate that specifies dates of incapacity, a police report (in the case of lost computers, car & household theft etc), a letter from a Student Counsellor, Education and Welfare Officer (EWO) or Disability Liaison Officer, that provides an assessment of compassionate circumstances, or a letter from an independent external counsellor or appropriate professional able to verify the student’s situation. The length of any extension granted will take into account the period and severity of any incapacity or impact on the student. Extensions of more than 1 week will not be granted except in exceptional circumstances.

    Automatic extensions
    All students are granted an automatic extension to the Sunday night following the due dates for both written assignments and on-line quizzes. For example, the first written assignment is due on the Friday of Week 4 at 11:59pm. However, provided students submit before 11:59pm on Sunday, there will be no lateness penalty.
    Please note that this automatic extension does not change the Friday due dates of the assignments. If you fail to submit your assignment by 11:59pm Sunday, you will be penalised for lateness for every day after Sunday in which the assignment is not submitted. Any event that happens during the automatic extension period (the Saturday and Sunday) will not be considered grounds for an extension, irrespective of documentation.

    Marks will be deducted when assignments for which no extension has been granted are handed in late. The procedure is as follows:
    All assignments, including those handed in late, will be assessed on their merits. In the case of late assignments, marks will then be deducted from the mark awarded, at the rate of 5 percentage points of the total possible per day. eg. If an assignment which is 2 days late is awarded 65% on its merits, the mark will then be reduced by 10 (5 marks per day for 2 days) to 55%. If that same assignment is 4 days late its mark will be reduced by 20 (5 marks per day for 4 days) to 45% etc.
    The Discipline reserves the right to refuse to accept an assignment that is more than 7 days late.
    Assignments submitted after the due date may not be graded in time to be returned on the listed return dates.
    Students submitting examinable written work who request (and receive) an extension that takes them beyond the examination period are advised that there is no guarantee that their grades will be processed in time to meet usual University deadlines.
    Course Grading

    Grades for your performance in this course will be awarded in accordance with the following scheme:

    M10 (Coursework Mark Scheme)
    Grade Mark Description
    FNS   Fail No Submission
    F 1-49 Fail
    P 50-64 Pass
    C 65-74 Credit
    D 75-84 Distinction
    HD 85-100 High Distinction
    CN   Continuing
    NFE   No Formal Examination
    RP   Result Pending

    Further details of the grades/results can be obtained from Examinations.

    Grade Descriptors are available which provide a general guide to the standard of work that is expected at each grade level. More information at Assessment for Coursework Programs.

    Final results for this course will be made available through Access Adelaide.

  • Student Feedback

    The University places a high priority on approaches to learning and teaching that enhance the student experience. Feedback is sought from students in a variety of ways including on-going engagement with staff, the use of online discussion boards and the use of Student Experience of Learning and Teaching (SELT) surveys as well as GOS surveys and Program reviews.

    SELTs are an important source of information to inform individual teaching practice, decisions about teaching duties, and course and program curriculum design. They enable the University to assess how effectively its learning environments and teaching practices facilitate student engagement and learning outcomes. Under the current SELT Policy ( course SELTs are mandated and must be conducted at the conclusion of each term/semester/trimester for every course offering. Feedback on issues raised through course SELT surveys is made available to enrolled students through various resources (e.g. MyUni). In addition aggregated course SELT data is available.

  • Student Support
  • Policies & Guidelines
  • Fraud Awareness

    Students are reminded that in order to maintain the academic integrity of all programs and courses, the university has a zero-tolerance approach to students offering money or significant value goods or services to any staff member who is involved in their teaching or assessment. Students offering lecturers or tutors or professional staff anything more than a small token of appreciation is totally unacceptable, in any circumstances. Staff members are obliged to report all such incidents to their supervisor/manager, who will refer them for action under the university's student’s disciplinary procedures.

The University of Adelaide is committed to regular reviews of the courses and programs it offers to students. The University of Adelaide therefore reserves the right to discontinue or vary programs and courses without notice. Please read the important information contained in the disclaimer.