PUB HLTH 2200 - Social Foundations of Health II

North Terrace Campus - Semester 1 - 2023

This course seeks to develop understanding of the social foundations of health and the ways in which frameworks and theories can be used to guide thought and action to improve health. The course is divided into three modules, each with a different focus. The first module draws out the historical, cultural and structural dimensions of contemporary health problems (using the framework of the sociological imagination) and develops critical thinking about possibilities for change. The second module concerns the social determinants of Indigenous health. A third module considers social and behaviour change, from both theoretical and practical perspectives. This course is designed to include face-to-face attendance; however, options to participate online are available for students unable to attend in person, with permission of the course coordinator.

  • General Course Information
    Course Details
    Course Code PUB HLTH 2200
    Course Social Foundations of Health II
    Coordinating Unit Public Health
    Term Semester 1
    Level Undergraduate
    Location/s North Terrace Campus
    Units 3
    Contact Up to 3 hours per week: this course is designed to include face-to-face attendance, however, options to participate online are available for students unable to attend in person, with permission of the course coordinator.
    Available for Study Abroad and Exchange Y
    Assumed Knowledge PUB HLTH 1001
    Assessment Quizzes, assignments, group work & presentation, participation
    Course Staff

    Course Coordinator: Dr Shona Crabb

    Course Coordinator: Dr Shona Crabb
    Phone: +61 8313 1686
    Email: (email preferred)

    Course Timetable

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

    Timetable details are located on MyUni.
  • Learning Outcomes
    Course Learning Outcomes
    1 Describe the sociological imagination framework and explain how it is relevant to contemporary health problems
    2 Analyse health problems using the sociological imagination framework
    3 Critically appraise the strengths and limitations of the framework to guide initiatives to improve health
    4 Demonstrate a critical understanding of the WHO social determinants of health framework
    5 Demonstrate an understanding of the historical positioning of Indigenous people in Australian society
    6 Identify the key social determinants affecting the health of Indigenous people in Australia
    7 Reflect on the insights provided by the WHO framework as well as its possible limitations
    8 Describe the major approaches to social and behavioural change
    9 Apply social and behavioural change theories to contemporary health issues
    10 Critique theoretical and practical approaches to social and behavioural change
    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)

    Attribute 1: Deep discipline knowledge and intellectual breadth

    Graduates have comprehensive knowledge and understanding of their subject area, the ability to engage with different traditions of thought, and the ability to apply their knowledge in practice including in multi-disciplinary or multi-professional contexts.


    Attribute 2: Creative and critical thinking, and problem solving

    Graduates are effective problems-solvers, able to apply critical, creative and evidence-based thinking to conceive innovative responses to future challenges.


    Attribute 3: Teamwork and communication skills

    Graduates convey ideas and information effectively to a range of audiences for a variety of purposes and contribute in a positive and collaborative manner to achieving common goals.


    Attribute 4: Professionalism and leadership readiness

    Graduates engage in professional behaviour and have the potential to be entrepreneurial and take leadership roles in their chosen occupations or careers and communities.

    2-3, 6-7, 9-10

    Attribute 5: Intercultural and ethical competency

    Graduates are responsible and effective global citizens whose personal values and practices are consistent with their roles as responsible members of society.


    Attribute 6: Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultural competency

    Graduates have an understanding of, and respect for, Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander values, culture and knowledge.


    Attribute 7: Digital capabilities

    Graduates are well prepared for living, learning and working in a digital society.


    Attribute 8: Self-awareness and emotional intelligence

    Graduates are self-aware and reflective; they are flexible and resilient and have the capacity to accept and give constructive feedback; they act with integrity and take responsibility for their actions.

  • Learning Resources
    Required Resources
    Module 1: The sociological imagination framework in public health
    The set text for this part of the course is: Willis E. The sociological quest: an introduction to the study of social life. 5th edn. Sydney: Allen and Unwin; 2011. This will be supplemented by other readings.

    Module 2: The social determinants of Indigenous heath
    For Module 2, a set of readings will be available to students.

    Module 3: Social and behavioural change
    For Module 3, a set of readings will be made available to students.
    Recommended Resources
    Online Learning
    We assume that you have access to student e-mail and that your address is the University of Adelaide student e-mail address that was assigned to you on enrolment.

    We will communicate to you via your official University of Adelaide student e-mail address and via MyUni course announcements. It is your responsibility to read any messages or announcements.

    MyUni is the primary entry point to online learning at the University of Adelaide. MyUni will be used to provide students with access to course materials, announcements, and other features to assist your study.

    For enquiries about online education services, access and other problems, contact the Online Education Helpdesk. Phone: 8313 3000 E-mail:
  • Learning & Teaching Activities
    Learning & Teaching Modes
    Within each module, there are a number of teaching and learning modes.

    Lectures introduce concepts and illustrate their use, and seminars provide an interactive forum to apply concepts and clarify understanding.

    Quizzes are used to confirm understanding of fundamental concepts and allow for identification of areas requiring further study prior to completing the assessments.

    Assignments (1 per module) provide an opportunity for independent application and exploration of key concepts, for wider reading and for synthesis of concepts and literature.

    In Module 3, group work provides the opportunity for shared exploration of a number of concepts and the presentation provides an opportunity to communicate what has been learned and share the acquired knowledge and skills.


    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.

    Teaching in Social Foundations of Health II begins with the assumption that students are active participants in the learning
    process, rather than passive recipients of information. We assume that you are willing and able to prepare fully for classes, to participate in discussions and to carry your share of the workload.

    Students are expected to attend all sessions; attendance sheets will be kept.

    Group work will occur throughout the course but will be emphasized in Module 3, taught in the last four weeks of the course. Part of the assessment for that Module will be a group presentation.

    As a general rule, in any university course you will need to allow a minimum of three independent study hours for every hour undertaken in formal class work contact. This means that, for Social Foundations of Health II, you will have to set aside at least a further nine hours per week for reading around topics, preparation for class activities, and work on assignments.

    You are urged to bear this in mind when planning your university timetable, particularly if you are also engaged in paid employment. In our experience, students may not be able to demonstrate their full capacity if they are working full-time and studying full-time.

    Learning Activities Summary
    Module 1: The sociological imagination framework in public health
    An introduction to the sociological imagination framework of C Wright Mills
    Detailed consideration of the historical, cultural, and structural origins of contemporary health problems
    Application of the critical dimension of the framework to address health problems
    Reflection on the insights provided by the framework as well as its limitations

    Module 2 : The social determinants of Indigenous health
    A critical introduction to the World Health Organisation’s social determinants of health framework
    An introduction to the data on the social determinants of health in Australia for Indigenous and non-Indigenous people
    A detailed consideration of the history and the development of the social determinants of health for Indigenous people in Australia since the 1901 Commonwealth Constitution
    Detailed consideration of factors that contribute, or are barriers, to resolving the impact that the social determinants have on the health of Indigenous people today

    Module 3 : Social and behavioural change in public health
    An introduction to the key principles of social and behavioural change
    An overview of commonly utilised models of behaviour change in public health
    Consideration of contrasting modes of social change in public health, including both legislative/policy options and grassroots approaches
    The relevance and application of theories of social and behavioural change to  improving health
    Reflection on the strengths and weaknesses of different approaches to social and behavioural change

    Specific Course Requirements
  • 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 Assessment Type Weighting Learning Outcome(s) being addressed




    1, 2, 4-6, 8, 9

    Module 1 - written assignment




    Module 2 - written assignment




    Module 3 - group work, culminating in group presentation (10%) and brief written submission (5%)




    Module 3 - written assignment




    Assessment Related Requirements
    Students are expected to attend and participate in all classes; attendance sheets will be kept.
    Assessment Detail
    Quizzes - Quiz questions will cover core concepts addressed in the lectures, seminars, and reading material; the format of the quizzes will vary between modules.

    Written assignments - For Modules 1 and 2, students will be required to submit a 2,000 word assignment. The details of the assignment are determined by the lecturer leading the Module and will be available at the start of the Module. In general the assignment will include a literature review, application and integration of key concepts from the Module with literature, and drawing conclusions. For Module 3, the assignment will be around 1,000 words, in view of the group work task.

    Group work - In Module 3, group work will be based around the application of key theories of social and behavioural change, with groups required to give a 10 minute presentation in the last weeks of the course. Students will also make a brief individual written submission (300-400 words) on the topic of their group presentation, and their role in the group.
    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 or Module Co-ordinator 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 10 days will not be granted except in exceptional circumstances.

    Late submission
    Marks will be deducted when assignments for which no extension has been granted are handed in late.

    All assignments, including those handed in late, will be assessed on their merits. In the case of late assignments where no  extension has been granted, 5 percentage points of the total marks possible per day will be deducted. If an assignment that is 2  days late is awarded 65% on its merits, the mark will then be reduced by 10% (5% per day for 2 days) to 55%. If that same  assignment is 4 days late, the mark will be reduced by 20% (5% per day for 4 days) to 45%, and so on.

    The School of Public Health 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.

    If a student is dissatisfied with an assessment grade they should follow the Student Grievance Resolution Process 
    <>. Students who are not satisfied with a particular assessment result should raise their concerns with Course Co-ordinator in the first instance. This must be done within 10 business days of the  date of notification of the result. Resubmission of any assignment is subject to the agreement of the Course Co-ordinator and  will only be permitted for the most compelling of reasons.

    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.