• Class Number 3695
  • Term Code 3030
  • Class Info
  • Unit Value 6 units
  • Mode of Delivery Online
    • Dr Isabelle Ferru
    • Dr Isabelle Ferru
  • Class Dates
  • Class Start Date 24/02/2020
  • Class End Date 05/06/2020
  • Census Date 08/05/2020
  • Last Date to Enrol 02/03/2020
SELT Survey Results

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.

Research-Led Teaching

As part of this course, students will undertake a literature research project.

Examination Material or equipment

No final examination with this course.

For each lecture topic, there are required readings that you are expected to do, some other optional readings that you may like to do. The readings complement the lectures, add to their content and most of the time should help you understand deeply the varied topics covered in this course. Reading the required references should enable you to obtain a broad view on each of the course’s subjects and should help building intellectual maturity by reflecting on the information presented in the different references (if you read interactively!). In addition, it will support the development of your own reflection. It is recommended that you keep up with these readings throughout the semester. Please note that views expressed in the readings do not necessarily reflect those of the course convener.


Readings are available from our course’s Wattle site and the list of articles in lectures’ order is also included in the course schedule document.


Under the “Readings” section on the course’s site, you will find additional references and pod-casts and new ones may be added throughout the semester so please keep an eye on this folder.

Staff Feedback

Students will be given feedback in the following forms in this course:

  • Written comments on assignments
  • Feedback to the whole class, to groups, to individuals, focus groups via the course's website

Student Feedback

ANU is committed to the demonstration of educational excellence and regularly seeks feedback from students. Students are encouraged to offer feedback directly to their Course Convener or through their College and Course representatives (if applicable). The feedback given in these surveys is anonymous and provides the Colleges, University Education Committee and Academic Board with opportunities to recognise excellent teaching, and opportunities for improvement. The Surveys and Evaluation website provides more information on student surveys at ANU and reports on the feedback provided on ANU courses.

Other Information

Adjustments to delivery in 2020

Course delivery and assessment in 2020 was adjusted due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Main changes to this course comprised adjustments to assignment due dates. For details see the course Wattle site.

Class Schedule

Week/Session Summary of Activities Assessment
1 Module 1 Context and Concepts source of background information for your research report
2 Module 2 Communicable Diseases Quiz 1 Ideas of topic for your research report Research report topic Quiz 2
3 Module 3 Chronic Degenerative Diseases Detailed research report outline Quiz 3 Research report (critical essay)

Assessment Summary

Assessment task Value Return of assessment Learning Outcomes
Quizzes 30 % * 1,2,3,6
Research report (Critical essay) 70 % 02/07/2020 3,4,5,6,7

* If the Due Date and Return of Assessment date are blank, see the Assessment Tab for specific Assessment Task details


ANU has educational policies, procedures and guidelines, which are designed to ensure that staff and students are aware of the University’s academic standards, and implement them. Students are expected to have read the Academic Misconduct Rule before the commencement of their course. Other key policies and guidelines include:

Assessment Requirements

The ANU is using 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. For additional information regarding Turnitin please visit the ANU Online website Students may choose not to submit assessment items through Turnitin. In this instance you will be required to submit, alongside the assessment item itself, hard copies of all references included in the assessment item.

Moderation of Assessment

Marks that are allocated during Semester are to be considered provisional until formalised by the College examiners meeting at the end of each Semester. If appropriate, some moderation of marks might be applied prior to final results being released.


No final examination for this online course

Assessment Task 1

Value: 30 %
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,3,6


Three quizzes, 10% each. One quiz on each module.

These assess your knowledge and understanding of the course lecture material and readings within each module. You will need to complete each (and receive a pass grade) before accessing the following module, or in the case of the quiz for module 3, before being eligible to pass the course.

Quiz 1:

Due: 2020-03-16

Returned: approximately 2 weeks

Quiz 2:

Due: 2020-04-27

Returned: approximately 2 weeks

Quiz 3:

Due: 2020-06-01

Returned: approximately 2 weeks

Assessment Task 2

Value: 70 %
Return of Assessment: 02/07/2020
Learning Outcomes: 3,4,5,6,7

Research report (Critical essay)

This assignment is made of five parts:

1 - Selecting sources of information (3%),

Due 2020-03-13

2 - Ideas for the topic of your report/essay (5%)

Due 2020-03-20

3 -Topic for the report/essay (2%),

Due 2020/04/09

4 - Detailed essay’s outline (15%)

Due 2020/05/01

5 - 2 000 word critical essay +/-10% (45%)

Due 2020/06/05

The first three parts of this assignment contribute to the writing of your main assignment: the critical essay. The essay constitutes an open topic within the framework of the course (therefore it must approach current issues within health and disease). It is you who must decide of the topic of your critical essay. 

Academic Integrity

Academic integrity is a core part of our culture as a community of scholars. At its heart, academic integrity is about behaving ethically. This means that all members of the community commit to honest and responsible scholarly practice and to upholding these values with respect and fairness. The Australian National University commits to embedding the values of academic integrity in our teaching and learning. We ensure that all members of our community understand how to engage in academic work in ways that are consistent with, and actively support academic integrity. The ANU expects staff and students to uphold high standards of academic integrity and act ethically and honestly, to ensure the quality and value of the qualification that you will graduate with. The University has policies and procedures in place to promote academic integrity and manage academic misconduct. Visit the following Academic honesty & plagiarism website for more information about academic integrity and what the ANU considers academic misconduct. The ANU offers a number of services to assist students with their assignments, examinations, and other learning activities. The Academic Skills and Learning Centre offers a number of workshops and seminars that you may find useful for your studies.

Online Submission

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.

Hardcopy Submission

For some forms of assessment (hand written assignments, art works, laboratory notes, etc.) hard copy submission is appropriate when approved by the Associate Dean (Education). Hard copy submissions must utilise the Assignment Cover Sheet. Please keep a copy of tasks completed for your records.

Late Submission

Late submission of assessment tasks without an extension are penalised at the rate of 5% of the possible marks available per working day or part thereof. Late submission of assessment tasks is not accepted after 10 working days after the due date, or on or after the date specified in the course outline for the return of the assessment item. Late submission is not accepted for take-home examinations.

Referencing Requirements

Accepted academic practice for referencing sources that you use in presentations can be found via the links on the Wattle site, under the file named “ANU and College Policies, Program Information, Student Support Services and Assessment”. Alternatively, you can seek help through the Students Learning Development website.

Returning Assignments

Assignments will be returned online.

Extensions and Penalties

Extensions and late submission of assessment pieces are covered by the Student Assessment (Coursework) Policy and Procedure The Course Convener may grant extensions for assessment pieces that are not examinations or take-home examinations. If you need an extension, you must request an extension in writing on or before the due date. If you have documented and appropriate medical evidence that demonstrates you were not able to request an extension on or before the due date, you may be able to request it after the due date.

Resubmission of Assignments

Not permitted

Privacy Notice

The ANU has made a number of third party, online, databases available for students to use. Use of each online database is conditional on student end users first agreeing to the database licensor’s terms of service and/or privacy policy. Students should read these carefully. In some cases student end users will be required to register an account with the database licensor and submit personal information, including their: first name; last name; ANU email address; and other information. In cases where student end users are asked to submit ‘content’ to a database, such as an assignment or short answers, the database licensor may only use the student’s ‘content’ in accordance with the terms of service — including any (copyright) licence the student grants to the database licensor. Any personal information or content a student submits may be stored by the licensor, potentially offshore, and will be used to process the database service in accordance with the licensors terms of service and/or privacy policy. If any student chooses not to agree to the database licensor’s terms of service or privacy policy, the student will not be able to access and use the database. In these circumstances students should contact their lecturer to enquire about alternative arrangements that are available.

Distribution of grades policy

Academic Quality Assurance Committee monitors the performance of students, including attrition, further study and employment rates and grade distribution, and College reports on quality assurance processes for assessment activities, including alignment with national and international disciplinary and interdisciplinary standards, as well as qualification type learning outcomes. Since first semester 1994, ANU uses a grading scale for all courses. This grading scale is used by all academic areas of the University.

Support for students

The University offers students support through several different services. You may contact the services listed below directly or seek advice from your Course Convener, Student Administrators, or your College and Course representatives (if applicable).
Dr Isabelle Ferru

Research Interests

Parasitology and medical and health sciences

Dr Isabelle Ferru

By Appointment
Dr Isabelle Ferru

Research Interests

Dr Isabelle Ferru

By Appointment

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