PUB HLTH 3506 - Public Health Theory and Practice III

North Terrace Campus - Semester 2 - 2017

This is a capstone course for all Population Health majors. The aim of the course is to enable students to integrate theoretical knowledge and professional workplace skills in the application of knowledge gained throughout their Public Health/Population Health major. The course seeks to bring together the skills and knowledge requirements of an entry level public health professional so that by the end of the course all students will be able to confidently identify, locate and appraise relevant evidence using different sources; construct an effective environmental scanning process to quantify the local epidemiology of a public health problem or issue; apply ethical and theoretical frameworks to help explain or understand public health problems and issues and make recommendations or provide advice about policy responses and/or appropriate interventions to manage them. Much of the learning in this course will be student led and through independent study. Students will participate in a series of public health issue-based seminars led by key research groups from the School of population Health and will lead tutorial group discussions about these issues. Each student will work with an academic mentor to prepare a public health portfolio demonstrating their learning throughout their major, as well a major report on a public health issue of importance. Students will present the findings of their report at the Public Health Majors Mini-Conference (either as a poster or oral presentation).

  • General Course Information
    Course Details
    Course Code PUB HLTH 3506
    Course Public Health Theory and Practice III
    Coordinating Unit Public Health
    Term Semester 2
    Level Undergraduate
    Location/s North Terrace Campus
    Units 6
    Contact Up to 3 hours per week
    Available for Study Abroad and Exchange N
    Prerequisites PUB HLTH 1001, PUB HLTH 1002 & PUB HLTH 2005, plus at least another 3 units of Level II and 6 units of Level III Public Health courses
    Incompatible PUB HLTH 3119 Public Health Internship (students must choose either the internship or the capstone)
    Assumed Knowledge This is a capstone course. Students are expected to have completed the other courses contributing to their majors in Epidemiology, Health Promotion or Indigenous Health
    Restrictions Only available to students completing a major in Epidemiology, Health Promotion or Indigenous Health
    Assessment Portfolio, major report, seminar participation, oral or poster presentation
    Course Staff

    Course Coordinator: Dr Shona Crabb

    Course Coordinator: Dr Shona Crabb
    Phone: +61 8313 1686
    Location: Level 9, Adelaide Health & Medical Sciences Building

    Student & Program Support Services Hub
    Phone: +61 8313 0273

    Program Advisor’s booking system

    Course Timetable

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

  • Learning Outcomes
    Course Learning Outcomes
    1. Identify, locate and appraise relevant evidence using different sources including the peer reviewed literature, policy & practice literature & grey literature.

    2. Construct an effective environmental scanning process to quantify the local epidemiology of a public health problem or issue.

    3. Apply ethical and theoretical frameworks to achieve a holistic understanding of public health problems and issues, and health determinants in a given population.

    4. Formulate appropriate public health intervention or policy objectives and strategies using theory, available evidence and cultural awareness.

    5. Specify evaluation frameworks for a range of public health interventions or policies

    6. Use appropriate professional communication skills (including information seeking & presentation skills) to engage stakeholders and others to explore public health problems and issues.

    7. Demonstrate ability to work in teams to solve problems.

    8. Identify personal strengths and development needs related to the professional skills expected of a beginning public health practitioner or researcher.

    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)
    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
    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, 7
    Career and leadership readiness
    • technology savvy
    • professional and, where relevant, fully accredited
    • forward thinking and well informed
    • tested and validated by work based experiences
    1, 2
    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
    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
  • Learning Resources
    Required Resources
    As this course is largely student and discovery driven there will be no specific resources required. Students will identify and source relevant information as they progress through this course.

    Recommended Resources
    Any recommended resources will be listed on MyUni.
    Online Learning
    Computer laboratories and other computing services

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

    Public Health Theory and Practice 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 Theory and Practice, you will 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 audio file format, if available.

    Accessing online resources.

  • Learning & Teaching Activities
    Learning & Teaching Modes
    a. Self-directed learning under the mentorship of an academic adviser

    The majority of learning in this course will be self-directed with you working towards your major report and seminar presentation. You will each meet with an academic adviser (the course coordinator or another member of academic staff) to plan your portfolio and major report.

    b. Public health issue-based learning seminars

    The course will be structured around a series of 5 fortnightly seminars/workshops supported  by online activities and resources. The fortnightly seminars/workshops will  give you practice in applying your skills in public health to real world public health problems that are currently being addressed by researchers and others in the School of Public Health and other areas of the University.

    Each fortnightly seminar will cover a different topic  and will be led by an experienced public health researcher or team. You will work in groups to characterise each issue by gathering information about the epidemiology of the issue and identifying the relevant uncertainties, ethical issues, politics and community values  and policy responses.

    c. Student-led group tutorials

    In the alternate week, groups will work independently of the course coordinator to gather relevant information and each group will lead an informal discussion (on one topic) presenting their findings and canvassing the relevant issues for the rest of the class. Other members of the class will be expected  to contribute to the discussion so that by the end of each fortnight the class as a whole has fully characterised the issue and identified remaining uncertainties or areas where further research or evidence is required.

    d. Online learning resources

    Online learning resources which support the your activities will be available for you to access as you identify the need. A full list of available resources will be posted on MyUni.


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

    This course includes up to 3 hours of contact time per week. As a 6 unit course the majority of your learning will occur outside of the scheduled class time and you will be responsible for ensuring that you plan your activities to ensure that you are able to meet the course requirements. 
    Learning Activities Summary
    Introduction to the Capstone course
    Integrating concepts in Public Health

    Public Health Issue-Based Seminar 1
    Students to organise meeting with academic mentor

    Independent group work
    Student led tutorial

    Public Health Issue-Based Seminar 2
    Students to plan semi-structured interview

    Independent group work
    Student led tutorial

    Public Health Issue-Based Seminar 3
    Students to organise meeting with academic mentor

    Independent group work
    Student led tutorial 

    Public Health Issue-Based Seminar  4
    Student to conduct semi-structured interview/s

    Independent group work
    Student led tutorial

    Public Health Issue-Based Seminar  5
    Students to organise meeting with academic mentor

    Independent group work
    Student led tutorial 

    Student presentations of work for Major Report
    Specific Course Requirements
    There are no specific course requirements for this course.
    Small Group Discovery Experience
  • 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

    Public Health Portfolio 20%  (Learning outcomes 1-8)

    Major Report 55% (Learning outcomes 1-6)

    Major Report Presentation 15% (Learning outcomes 1-6)

    Seminar Participation 10% (Learning outcomes 1-7)
    Assessment Related Requirements
    There are no special requirements for this course however you are strongly encouraged to attend all seminars and student led tutorials. You will be responsible for your own learning in this course and will need to manage your time effectively to complete all of the required tasks.

    Assessment Detail

    1. Public Health Portfolio (20%)
    You will gather together examples of the work you have done throughout your Population Health major in Level I, II and III. The portfolio must demonstrate:
    a. breadth of study
    b. depth of study
    c. development of relevant skills (i.e. progression over the three years)
    - generic (group work, communication, independence, judgement etc.)
    - specific (public health literacy and numeracy, understanding of social determinants of health and policy contexts, ethics etc.)
    d. ability to reflect on their own public health knowledge and practice

    Examples of work in the portfolio will not be re-marked. Instead you should select exemplars (pieces of work which reflect your best efforts or which show the greatest amount of growth).

    You will write a 1000 word report which outlines which examples have been chosen, why the examples have been chosen and how they demonstrate the learning journey that you have taken in your major. The reflection should identify your strengths in public
    health and also areas for development. The report provides an opportunity for you to identify yourself as a future public health practitioner or researcher.

    2. Major Report (55%)
    You will develop a major report of up to 4000 words on a public health topic or issue chosen from a list of relevant  topics determined by the course coordinator. You will negotiate with the course coordinator and academic mentor to determine the exact focus of your report. However, you will not be able to choose a topic substantively similar to one worked through in the public health issue-based learning seminars.

    The report will
    - outline the topic and provide a rationale for selection of it (i.e. why does it matter?)
    - describe the local epidemiology and context of the situation providing up to date and reliable information about the extent and nature of the problem/issue, the affected population(s) etc.
    - analyse stakeholder issues (identify all relevant stakeholder groups using a social determinants of health framework and provide a complex map of stakeholder relations) using data obtained from the literature and, for one stakeholder group, from contacting an
    individual or representative group to obtain their views, using semistructured interviews
    - contextualise the problem/issue within the local, national and global context, in particular highlighting existing policy responses to the problem/issue
    - provide recommendations about policy and/or intervention responses to the problem/issue based on the data collected
    - specify an evaluation framework
    - identify important research-practice/policy gaps
    - depending on the topic students may use ethical or social frameworks or discuss theoretical concerns identified during their research
    - where applicable include a consideration of regulatory issues

     3. Major Report Presentation (15%)
    Each student will present the findings of their major report. You will be assessed by a panel of academic experts and a panel of fellow students. An assessment rubric will ensure equity in assessment.

    4. Participation in Public Health Issues-Based Seminars (10%)
    You are expected to actively participate in each seminar by contributing to the discussion, working with team-mates to collect information and present your findings (on one topic) to the rest of the class, and for participating in online interactive activtiesas indicated.  

    More detail about each assessment, including marking rubrics and other guidelines will be posted to MyUni.

    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 Co-ordinator(s) 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(s) 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(s) 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

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