Foundations of Public Health

Foundations of Public Health

Unit code: HMG7100

Credit points: 12 

This unit is designed to introduce students to the main theories, principles and values of public health, illustrated by selected major topics in nutrition and active living from a global perspective. It investigates policy, systematic and multi-discipline public health approaches as a global and local effort to address contemporary health challenges.

The origins and evolution of public health are explored as well as major global achievements and their impact on the health of populations. The role and interface of political, cultural, social, behavioural and environmental determinants of the health of populations inform critique and discussion throughout the unit.

Learning outcomes


On successful completion of this unit, students will be able to:

  1. Critically appraise local, national and global health disparities, identify their determinants and propose strategies to address them based on a contemporary evidence-base.
  2. Deconstruct the philosophy underpinning public health action and how it has evolved.
  3. Conceptually map and interrogate theories and frameworks used in developing and evaluating health policies in the global arena.
  4. Prescribe and apply multi-discipline public health approaches to review evidence and produce policy recommendations.
  5. Debate global threats to, and opportunities for, public health and well-being in various authentic and simulated contexts.




Contribution to a discussion board on concepts in public health (500 words) - 10%

Critical analysis on social determinants of health (2500 words) - 50%

Policy Brief on a cause of action (2000 words) - 40%


Related course/s


This unit is studied as part of the online Master of Public Health and Graduate Certificate in Public Health.