• Offered by Biology Teaching and Learning Centre
  • ANU College ANU Joint Colleges of Science
  • Classification Advanced
  • Course subject Biology
  • Areas of interest Health Medicine and the Body
  • Academic career PGRD
  • Course convener
    • Dr Isabelle Ferru
  • Mode of delivery Online
  • Offered in First Semester 2016
    See Future Offerings

The course situates health and disease within the context of changing human ecologies, such as those being shaped by globalisation processes. 

Topics covered include:

  • An exploration of the biological bases of human diseases and the impact they have on individuals and communities.
  • It covers biological, ecological and socioeconomic aspects of infectious, genetic and lifestyle-associated diseases, along with strategies used for their control.
  • Emphasis is placed on critical examination of the relative importance of modern medicine, public health strategies, and economic development.
  • The role of scientific enquiry in the improvement of human health is discussed. 

Themes include:

  • Globalisation and environmental change
  • Natural selection
  • Dynamics of host-pathogen interactions
  • Lifestyle transitions
  • The place of health on today's political agenda. 

Principles are illustrated with case studies which may include: 

  • Parasitic diseases such as malaria
  • Other infectious diseases including influenza, smallpox, tuberculosis and HIV/AIDS
  • Reproductive health
  • Immunological diseases such as asthma and diabetes
  • Chronic degenerative disease such as cardiovascular disease
  • Lifestyle associated disease such as obesity

Note: This course is delivered online.

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion, students will have the knowledge and skills to:

On satisfying the requirements of this course, students will have the knowledge and skills to:

1. Explain select human diseases in their biological, historical and social context
2. Independently research current topics in health and disease using published books, original papers, electronic resources and other materials
3. Develop own thinking, opinions and attitudes to global health issues
4. Develop the skills required for online learning (i.e. becoming familiar with discussion boards, non-face to face teaching and online assignments)

Other Information

The Biology Teaching and Learning Centre is located in Building 116. Alternatively you can email rsb.studentadmin@anu.edu.au to request a permission code to enrol in this course.

Indicative Assessment

Assessment will be based on:

    • Online quizzes 30% (LO 1&4)
    • Research Report on a current topic in health and disease total of 70% (LO 2, 3 & 4)
    The research report consist in four different assessment pieces (together adding up to 70%):. ideas for topic or the report (5%),
    topic of the report (3%)
    detailed outline for the report (15%) and
    final research report (3 000 word argumentative essay)(47%)

      The ANU uses Turnitin to enhance student citation and referencing techniques, and to assess assignment submissions as a component of the University's approach to managing Academic Integrity. While the use of Turnitin is not mandatory, the ANU highly recommends Turnitin is used by both teaching staff and students. For additional information regarding Turnitin please visit the ANU Online website.

      Requisite and Incompatibility

      You will need to contact the Biology Teaching and Learning Centre to request a permission code to enrol in this course.

      Prescribed Texts

      Note, the readings for this course are a compilation of journal articles and reviews and book chapters that will be available on the course WebCT site at the beginning of semester 1.



      Tuition fees are for the academic year indicated at the top of the page.  

      If you are a domestic graduate coursework or international student you will be required to pay tuition fees. Tuition fees are indexed annually. Further information for domestic and international students about tuition and other fees can be found at Fees.

      Student Contribution Band:
      Unit value:
      6 units

      If you are an undergraduate student and have been offered a Commonwealth supported place, your fees are set by the Australian Government for each course. At ANU 1 EFTSL is 48 units (normally 8 x 6-unit courses). You can find your student contribution amount for each course at Fees.  Where there is a unit range displayed for this course, not all unit options below may be available.

      Units EFTSL
      6.00 0.12500
      Domestic fee paying students
      Year Fee
      2016 $3480
      International fee paying students
      Year Fee
      2016 $4638
      Note: Please note that fee information is for current year only.

      Offerings, Dates and Class Summary Links

      ANU utilises MyTimetable to enable students to view the timetable for their enrolled courses, browse, then self-allocate to small teaching activities / tutorials so they can better plan their time. Find out more on the Timetable webpage.

      The list of offerings for future years is indicative only.
      Class summaries, if available, can be accessed by clicking on the View link for the relevant class number.

      First Semester

      Class number Class start date Last day to enrol Census date Class end date Mode Of Delivery Class Summary
      2841 15 Feb 2016 26 Feb 2016 31 Mar 2016 27 May 2016 Online N/A

      Responsible Officer: Registrar, Student Administration / Page Contact: Website Administrator / Frequently Asked Questions