• Offered by Research School of Population Health
  • ANU College ANU Joint Colleges of Science
  • Course subject Population Health
  • Areas of interest Population Studies, Public Health, Health
  • Academic career UGRD
  • Course convener
    • Dr Richard Burns
  • Mode of delivery Online or In Person
  • Offered in Second Semester 2018
    See Future Offerings

The course will help students gain a broad understanding of the overarching principles of population health, and the role of the discipline in improving health and reducing health inequities. This course will provoke interest in undergraduates around population health and will introduce the subject to students interested in pursuing a career path in public health at the graduate level. It will also lead to an appreciation of population health within the context of other health sciences, thus broadening the foundation for students in other cognate disciplines. This course therefore covers community assessment, health systems in Australia, point of care data collection, preventive strategies, and population level health interventions.

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 routinely-compiled data on the structure of a community and the key epidemiological indices reflecting its health, and be able to evaluate the basic epidemiological features (time, place, person) of the chief causes of mortality, morbidity and disability in the Australian population.
2. Understand the broad structure and systems within the Australian health system and evaluate, with examples, the systems for delivery and funding through Medicare, PBS and public hospitals
3. Understand the need and content underpinning data collected at point of care such as notifiable diseases and conditions and cause of death certification and be able to evaluate such data e.g. from notification and death certification.
4. Apply, with examples the concepts of: risk factor, case-finding versus screening and  understand the concepts of primary, secondary and tertiary prevention and continuing care.
5. Apply the basic concept of population level intervention in action to a problem/scenario that aims to prevent risk factors for chronic disease and demonstrate how this would lead to prevention of future disease / potential epidemics, health gains and/or reduced mortality.

Indicative Assessment

Wattle forum discussions (5 forums, regular) (30%) – LO 1-5
Mid-course online Quiz - 10%
Assignment - Report on an appraisal of a paper reporting public health in action (3000 words, inclusive of abstract, tables and references) (60%) - LO 1-5

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.


1-hour sessions of online accessible face-to-face delivered lectures as well as 2 hrs discussion forum involvement on Wattle per week for 12 weeks. Tutorial sessions will be an additional hour weekly. Students are expected to undertake a further 7-8 hours per week of independent study.

Preliminary Reading

1. Cibula DA, Novick LF, Morrow CB, Sutphen SM. Community health assessment. Am J
Prev Med. 2003 May;24(4 Suppl):118-23. PubMed PMID: 12744991.
2. Shmueli, Amir, and Elizabeth Savage. "Private and public patients in public hospitals in Australia." Health policy 115.2 (2014): 189-195.
3. Boxall, Anne-Marie. "The future of Medicare: what's in store?." Australian Health Review 38.2 (2014): 123-124.
4. Lofgren, Hans. "The Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme and the shifting paradigm of welfare policy." Australian Health Review 21.2 (1998): 111-123.
5. Miller, Megge, et al. "Evaluation of Australia's National Notifiable Disease Surveillance System." (2004): 311.
6. Aung, Eindra, Chalapati Rao, and Sue Walker. "Teaching cause-of-death certification: lessons from international experience." Postgraduate medical journal 86.1013 (2010): 143-152.
7. Patterson, C., and L. W. Chambers. Preventive health care. The Lancet 345.8965 (1995): 1611-1615.
8. Beaton, Angela. Prevention of cardiovascular disease, diabetes and chronic kidney disease. Chapter 3: Population-level prevention initiatives and interventions. aihw.gov.au 11 Dec 2009


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.

6.00 0.12500
Domestic fee paying students
Year Fee
2018 $4320
International fee paying students
Year Fee
2018 $5760
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.

Second Semester

Class number Class start date Last day to enrol Census date Class end date Mode Of Delivery Class Summary
9243 23 Jul 2018 30 Jul 2018 31 Aug 2018 26 Oct 2018 In Person N/A
10100 23 Jul 2018 30 Jul 2018 31 Aug 2018 26 Oct 2018 Online N/A

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