PUB HLTH 7094EX - Public Health Practicum

External - Summer - 2019

The MPH Practicum provides students with the opportunity to gain valuable workplace experience, at a professional practitioner level, with an industry partner working in the public health sector. Students undertake a population health project (or series of related activities) in a practice context. Through the practicum project students apply public health concepts, skills and knowledge obtained through their studies as well as participating in activities that further develop their skill set, add new tools to their professional toolkit, and assist them to understand organisational cultures and the everyday challenges of public health practice.

  • General Course Information
    Course Details
    Course Code PUB HLTH 7094EX
    Course Public Health Practicum
    Coordinating Unit Public Health
    Term Summer
    Level Postgraduate Coursework
    Location/s External
    Units 3
    Contact Placement equivalent to approximately one day per week over a full time semester.
    Available for Study Abroad and Exchange N
    Prerequisites Students must have completed all of their core MPH courses prior to undertaking their practicum, other than by written permission of the program coordinator.
    Incompatible PUB HLTH 7095EX and PUB HLTH 7079
    Restrictions Only available to students enrolled in the Master of Public Health.
    Course Description The MPH Practicum provides students with the opportunity to gain valuable workplace experience, at a professional practitioner level, with an industry partner working in the public health sector. Students undertake a population health project (or series of related activities) in a practice context. Through the practicum project students apply public health concepts, skills and knowledge obtained through their studies as well as participating in activities that further develop their skill set, add new tools to their professional toolkit, and assist them to understand organisational cultures and the everyday challenges of public health practice.
    Course Staff

    Course Coordinator: Associate Professor Paul Rothmore

    Course Coordinator: Dr Paul Rothmore

    Course Coordinator: Dr Paul Rothmore
    Phone: +61 8313 3568
    Location: Level 9, Adelaide Health and Medical Sciences Building

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

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

  • Learning Outcomes
    Course Learning Outcomes

    On successful completion of this course students will be able to:

    Describe and reflect on their experience in applying public health skills and evidence-based practice within the workplace setting

    Communicate in formats (written and spoken) appropriate to the workplace

    Work independently and cooperatively in a professional environment

    Apply public health concepts, skills and knowledge to a practical population health problem

    Demonstrate an understanding of the ethical and professional obligations of a public health practitioner

    Use technology as appropriate to the workplace and project

    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
    2, 3
    Career and leadership readiness
    • technology savvy
    • professional and, where relevant, fully accredited
    • forward thinking and well informed
    • tested and validated by work based experiences
    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
    1, 5
  • Learning Resources
    Required Resources
    There is no set textbook for this course. All resources, including links to journal articles and reading lists, will be disseminated via MyUni.
    Recommended Resources
    Online Learning
    The primary means of communication outside of formal contact hours will be via MyUni. Announcements and discussion boards will be the main method of communicating with the student cohort.
  • Learning & Teaching Activities
    Learning & Teaching Modes
    Students will be placed in an approved workplace to undertake a project (or series of activities) negotiated between the workplace, the course coordinator and the student. Students will work in the workplace for the equivalent of one day per week over a full time semester, although this may be undertaken as a block or intensive depending on the project or the industry partner requirements. Students may work individually or, depending on the project, may be placed as a project team but will be assessed individually.

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

    The practicum is a commitment of around 12 hours per week.

    Attendance at the work place for one day per week is expected, with additional research, reading and preparation of reports as required under the learning agreement and project proposal.

    The full-time practicum may be compressed to allow full time attendance at the workplace if this better suits the student and the workplace. 
    Learning Activities Summary
    Topic Description
    Orientation Orientation to the organisation
    Explanation of work policies, procedures and expectations
    Access to resources such as a computer
    Learning Agreement Time and attendance requirements to which the students will be held accountable
    Specific skills to be developed or knowledge to be gained
    Opportunities for involvement in a diverse range of organisational activities related to public health
    Proposed dates for meetings to discuss progress and ensure expectations of all parties are being met
    Project Proposal Selection of a project of value to the organisation, suitable to the skills and anticipated development of the student
    Methodology, timelines, resources required and available (including consultants)
    Project Implementation According to the specific requirements of the project, and in ongoing consultation with workplace
    supervisor and course coordinator
    Oral Presentation of Project results Select an appropriate audience that maximises the value of the project
    Make necessary arrangements
    Design and deliver the presentation
    Project report Select a format that maximises value of the project
    Ensure necessary resources are available
    Complete according to negotiated timelines
    Specific Course Requirements
    Students must have the University’s Insurance Form signed by the workplace supervisor and the Head of the School of Public
    Health prior to starting the placement and lodge their Learning Agreement within two weeks of starting the placement. Some workplaces may also have specific requirements to be met before the placement, for example a police check or OHS&W online 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





    Reflective journal




    Oral presentation




    Workplace supervisor report




    Project report




    Assessment Related Requirements
    Assessment Detail
    Reflective journal (15%)
    Documenting progress towards completion of the project, including documenting activities undertaken, problems encountered and skills developed and reflecting on role of public health practitioner in the specific context, professional development needs and organisational culture. (Approximately 1500 words)

    Oral presentation (15%)
    Results of the project should be presented in a 15 minute presentation to be organised by the student and undertaken either at the workplace or at the School of Public Health (by negotiation)

    Workplace supervisor report (20%)
    A report from the supervisor which assesses the student against professional performance expectations such as attendance, participation, completion of assigned duties, teamwork and communication, writing skills, initiative, ability to apply public health concepts, openness to suggestions, skills and knowledge acquired, student feedback to the workplace staff/team, overall
    satisfaction with the student’s performance and project output.

    Project report (50%)
    The project report in a format appropriate to the project and describes the methods and outcomes of the project and situates the project within the context of the organisation’s mission and goals. (A word limit of up to 2500 words dependent on the nature of the project).
    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 perday 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

    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.