This course explores the biological bases for human diseases and how they have affected individuals and communities. It explores biological, ecological, socio-political, cultural and economic aspects of infectious and lifestyle-associated diseases, along with strategies used for their control. The impact of disease on human populations will be considered, with emphasis on critical examination of the relative importance of modern medicine, public health, economic development and other factors. The role of scientific inquiry in the improvement of human health will be discussed. Themes include the effects of urbanisation and ecological changes on health, natural selection, the dynamic of host-pathogen interactions and the setting of research priorities. Principles are illustrated with case studies which may include parasitic diseases such as malaria, other infectious diseases including influenza, tuberculosis and AIDS, reproductive health, degenerative, lifestyle and immunological diseases such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes and asthma. In addition, this unit will provide students with a sense of how ecological, economic, cultural, social and political factors influence the patterns of health and disease. This course also provides the opportunity to undertake a research project, on a relevant topic, as a member of a small group.
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:
- Understand select human diseases in their biological, historical and social context.
- Describe and contrast important current human infectious diseases and chronic degenerative diseases.
- Appraise the impacts of important human diseases (both infectious and degenerative diseases) on human’s societies.
- Independently, and in a small group, research current topics in health and disease using published books, original papers, electronic resources and other materials.
- Work in small cooperative groups on a research project on a current topic in health and disease.
- Prepare reports and an oral presentation on a current topic in health and disease.
- Develop and apply critical and argumentative thinking to broad issues in health and disease.
Other InformationIf you don't meet the mention prerequisite Approved qualifications in the biological or social sciences may be accepted.
Indicative AssessmentAssessment will be based on:
- Workshop project including a group introduction to a broad current topic in health and disease (15%; LO 4-7)
- Individual abstract (15%; LO 1, 2, 4, 5)
- oral presentation on individual essay (20%; LO 4-7)
- Final exam (50%; LO 1,5)
WorkloadTwo one-hour lectures plus workshop or seminar/tutorial sessions of up to three hours per week.
Requisite and Incompatibility
Tuition fees are for the academic year indicated at the top of the page.
- Student Contribution Band:
- Unit value:
- 6 units
Offerings, Dates and Class Summary Links
Class summaries, if available, can be accessed by clicking on the View link for the relevant class number.