• 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

This is an online course with no face-to-face lecture or activity.

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.

  • Biological, ecological and socioeconomic aspects of infectious, genetic and lifestyle-associated diseases, along with strategies used for their control.

  • Medicine, public health strategies, and economic development.

  • The role of scientific enquiry in the improvement of human health


Themes include:

  • Globalisation and environmental impacts on human health

  • 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, AIDS and Ebola

  • Immunological diseases such as asthma and diabetes

  • Chronic degenerative disease such as vascular diseases

  • Lifestyle associated disease such as obesity


Note: This course is an online course with no face to face lectures.  All the course content will be available 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. Understand select human diseases in their biological, historical and social context.
  2. Describe and contrast important current human infectious diseases and chronic degenerative diseases.
  3. Appraise the impacts of important human diseases (both infectious and degenerative diseases) on human’s societies.
  4. Develop own thinking, opinions and attitudes to global health issue.
  5. Independently research current topics in health and disease using published books, original papers, electronic resources and other materials.
  6. Further develop computer, library and internet research skills.
  7. Produce a substantial piece of individual research.

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.

You will need to provide a summary of the courses you have completed so far (i.e. transcript). Background in human biology, cell biology and microbiology is strongly recommended to undertake this Master course.

Indicative Assessment

Assessment will be based on:

    • Online quizzes 30% (LO 1, 2, 3, 6 & 7)
    • Research Report on a current topic in health and disease total of 70% (LO 3 to 7)
    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 Wattle 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
    2017 $4092
    International fee paying students
    Year Fee
    2017 $5454
    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
    2751 20 Feb 2017 27 Feb 2017 31 Mar 2017 26 May 2017 Online N/A

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