• Offered by Research School of Population Health
  • ANU College ANU Joint Colleges of Science
  • Course subject Population Health
  • Areas of interest Population Studies, Sociology, Epidemiology, Health
  • Academic career PGRD
  • Course convener
    • Dr Liana Leach
  • Mode of delivery Online or In Person
  • Offered in Second Semester 2020
    See Future Offerings

All activities that form part of this course will be delivered remotely in Sem 2 2020.

Understanding the social determinants of health is important for health promotion, health prevention and also for crafting an approach to treatment and health care that considers people’s uneven exposures to social and cultural risks or resources. The social determinants of health are important from a public health perspective because they point to the causes of health risks and hence the necessary interventions; explain chronic disease policy failure; explain differentials in health outcomes; address questions posed in philosophy regarding pathways to equity and equality. The social determinants of health framework has been adopted by the World Health organisation and governments, and this course aims to supply an in-depth understanding of the field and its importance.

Learning Outcomes

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

  1. Understand the history of social determinants of health in relation to other key theories and approaches in population health;
  2. Critically evaluate primary social determinants of health concepts and approaches;
  3. Develop skills in social determinants of health research methods and approaches;
  4. Apply key social determinants of health concepts to contemporary population health problems;
  5. Critically appraise and articulate policies and interventions that could address the SD of population health.

Indicative Assessment

  1. Peer-teaching presentation slides. Students will prepare presentation slides (~10 slides) and post them online via a Discussion Board, with the aim of either summarising or critiquing an assigned class reading. (20) [LO 1,2,3,4,5]
  2. Essay critically comparing key theoretical approaches to the Social Determinants of Health. (35) [LO 1,2,3]
  3. Short report outlining a specific social or economic policy, and the evidence that the policy has impacted health (either positively or negatively). Students will choose from two pre-set topics. (35) [LO 3,4,5]
  4. Participation in online discussion. Students will post at least 5 reflections (posts) on to the online discussion space throughout the course to promote reflection on the course material. (10) [LO 1,2,3,4,5]

In response to COVID-19: Please note that Semester 2 Class Summary information (available under the classes tab) is as up to date as possible. Changes to Class Summaries not captured by this publication will be available to enrolled students via Wattle. 

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.


The expected workload will consist of approximately 130 hours throughout the semester including:

  • Weekly 1.5 hour sessions of in-person or online, delivered lectures/session material.
  • Weekly 1.5 hour tutorials in-person or online via Q&A session.
  • Students are expected to undertake a further 7-8 hours per week of independent study.

Students are expected to actively participate and contribute towards discussions.

Inherent Requirements

To be determined

Prescribed Texts


Assumed Knowledge

A health care background is recommended but not essential. Basic knowledge of statistics would be an advantage


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
2020 $4200
International fee paying students
Year Fee
2020 $6000
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
8990 27 Jul 2020 03 Aug 2020 31 Aug 2020 30 Oct 2020 In Person View
8445 27 Jul 2020 03 Aug 2020 31 Aug 2020 30 Oct 2020 Online View

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