PHARM 7516EX - Public Health Issues and Approaches to Addiction

External - Trimester 3 - 2021

This course/module provides an introduction to basic concepts and research methods in Public Health and Epidemiology as they relate to the study of addictions, as well as an in-depth consideration of the personal, social, economic, and cultural burdens/costs associated with drug and alcohol abuse and dependence. Individual and community-based risk and protective factors related to addictions and primary and secondary prevention efforts aimed at reducing the addictions-related public health burden are also a focus. An online lecture format featuring presentations by leading researchers and policymakers in the field of addictions will be used, along with readings, online discussions, and writing assignments to: (1) gain a greater understanding of the enormous costs of addictions at every level of society; and (2) introduce students to some of the current thinking and programs related to the primary and secondary prevention of addictions.

  • General Course Information
    Course Details
    Course Code PHARM 7516EX
    Course Public Health Issues and Approaches to Addiction
    Coordinating Unit Medical Sciences
    Term Trimester 3
    Level Postgraduate Coursework
    Location/s External
    Units 4
    Contact Online
    Available for Study Abroad and Exchange N
    Restrictions Available for non-Award study after consultation with Program Director (students need to enrol at VCU and meet GradCert in International Addiction Studies entry criteria)
    Course Description This course/module provides an introduction to basic concepts and research methods in Public Health and Epidemiology as they relate to the study of addictions, as well as an in-depth consideration of the personal, social, economic, and cultural burdens/costs associated with drug and alcohol abuse and dependence. Individual and community-based risk and protective factors related to addictions and primary and secondary prevention efforts aimed at reducing the addictions-related public health burden are also a focus. An online lecture format featuring presentations by leading researchers and policymakers in the field of addictions will be used, along with readings, online discussions, and writing assignments to: (1) gain a greater understanding of the enormous costs of addictions at every level of society; and (2) introduce students to some of the current thinking and programs related to the primary and secondary prevention of addictions.
    Course Staff

    Course Coordinator: Dr Andrea Gordon

    This course is taught by Associate Professor Mary Loos from Virginia Commonwealth University (USA).
    Course Timetable

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

    This course is a component of the International Program of Addiction Studies provided by the University of Adelaide in collaboration with Kings College London (UK) and Virginia Commonwealth University (USA). Courses are offered on a modified semester schedule. This course is scheduled to commence in mid-August, and run over 14 weeks with 4 one-week study breaks and concluding with an exam.
  • Learning Outcomes
    Course Learning Outcomes
    On successful completion of this course students will be able to:

    1 Understand basic concepts of public health and epidemiology.
    2 Demonstrate how to identify risk and protective factors related to addiction.
    3 Describe the personal, social, economic and cultural burdens associated with addiction.
    4 Evaluate different prevention efforts toward addiction.
    5 Critique research literature.
    6 Work in an interdisciplinary international group in an online environment
    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)
    Deep discipline knowledge
    • informed and infused by cutting edge research, scaffolded throughout their program of studies
    • acquired from personal interaction with research active educators, from year 1
    • accredited or validated against national or international standards (for relevant programs)
    1-3
    Critical thinking and problem solving
    • steeped in research methods and rigor
    • based on empirical evidence and the scientific approach to knowledge development
    • demonstrated through appropriate and relevant assessment
    4-5
    Teamwork and communication skills
    • developed from, with, and via the SGDE
    • honed through assessment and practice throughout the program of studies
    • encouraged and valued in all aspects of learning
    6
    Career and leadership readiness
    • technology savvy
    • professional and, where relevant, fully accredited
    • forward thinking and well informed
    • tested and validated by work based experiences
    4-6
    Intercultural and ethical competency
    • adept at operating in other cultures
    • comfortable with different nationalities and social contexts
    • able to determine and contribute to desirable social outcomes
    • demonstrated by study abroad or with an understanding of indigenous knowledges
    3,6
    Self-awareness and emotional intelligence
    • a capacity for self-reflection and a willingness to engage in self-appraisal
    • open to objective and constructive feedback from supervisors and peers
    • able to negotiate difficult social situations, defuse conflict and engage positively in purposeful debate
    6
  • Learning Resources
    Required Resources
    All required resources will be available online, usually through the libraries of the three universities involved in the program.
    Recommended Resources
    Information on recommended resources will be provided online, usually as links to online material.
    Online Learning
    This course is provided totally online. The International Program in Addiction Studies is currently hosted by Virginia Commonwealth University. Course materials are provided on the VCU equivalent of MyUni (MyVCU).
  • Learning & Teaching Activities
    Learning & Teaching Modes
    The online delivery offers flexibility, but students are encouraged to go through the work at the same pace so as to make best use of the online discussion.

    The course is provided as a series of topics. Each study topic comprises:
    • a topic outline describing the components and learning objectives;
    • a concept lecture (or lectures);
    • essential and additional readings;
    • a quiz to test your understanding (not graded); and
    • a discussion forum.

    The discussion forum is used to clarify any issues, practise writing and professional discussions (e.g. using references) and to share experiences. It is not a chat room, but more resembles an open panel discussion. In some courses, depending on interest of the students, wikis or other interactive tools may be used to increase collaboration further.
    Workload

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

    The expected work load for the course is 20 hours a week. This will be spent on reviewing the video and reading material, doing the revision quizzes, engaging in discussion and preparing for the assessments.
    Learning Activities Summary
    The following topics may be covered:

    Topic 1:  Introduction to Public Health and Epidemiology Terms
    Topic 2:  Research Designs
    Topic 3:  Human and Social Costs of Addiction
    Topic 4:  Global Patterns of Addiction
    Topic 5:  Harms Related to Addiction
    Topic 6:  Etiology, Risk and Protective Factors
    Topic 7:  Family Disorganization and Harms
    Topic 8:  Prevention of Addiction
    Topic 9:  Crime and Addiction
    Topic 10:  Workplace Issues - Impaired Health Care Professionals
    Specific Course Requirements
    Not applicable
    Small Group Discovery Experience
    Not applicable
  • 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 Due (approx).
    Weighting Learning Outcome
    Online Tests Formative

    Weeks 1-10

    Discussion Board participation Summative Week 11 20% Summative Week 11 20%
    Written Assignments x 4 Summative Weeks 1,3,6 & 8 40%
    Written Examination Summative Week 11 40%
    The Host University’s policies and procedures relating to assessment and examinations will apply as governed by an agreement with Kings' College London and Virginia Commonwealth University.
    Assessment Related Requirements
    Not applicable
    Assessment Detail
    Discussion Board
    Discussion Board participation will contribute 20% of the final grade for this course. There will be 10 discussion topics offered by the course instructor. Students are required to participate in at least 7 of the discussions. The goal is to develop a dialogue among students and instructors, so grading is based on responses, thoughts, and new information posted in response to other students.

    Written Assignments
    Four short written assignments are required as independent work (open book). Assignments are made available online in Weeks 1, 3, 6 and 8, with 4-5 days allowed for completion.

    Written Examination
    The examination will be an open-book take-home exam that will be provided at the end of the course and will be due 5 days later. The exam will consist of 5 to 7 essay and short answer questions focusing on the application and integration of concepts and information learned in the course.
    Submission
    Specific instructions on the preparation and submission of written assignments will be provided on the VCU equivalent of MyUni (known as MyVCU).
    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 (http://www.adelaide.edu.au/policies/101/) 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.