• Offered by Research School of Population Health
  • ANU College ANU Joint Colleges of Science
  • Course subject Population Health
  • Areas of interest Policy Studies, Public Health, Health
  • Academic career PGRD
  • Course convener
    • Dr Siobhan Bourke
  • Mode of delivery Online or In Person
  • Offered in First Semester 2021
    See Future Offerings

This course is available online and in person. On-campus activities for the 2021 in-person class may be available depending on COVID-19 restrictions.

This course provides an introduction to health services research, health care systems, policy formulation and analysis. The institutional structure of the Australian health system will be covered in broad outline with illustration of the major economic aspects of the system. Health policy formulation, important aspects and complexity in policy framing will be discussed. The course will offer a basic understanding of health care system, health policy and challenges in policy implementation. It also covers some important issues and questions relating to health care reform, pointing out forces that are likely to influence and shape health care systems. The semester long course will be taught over three hours contact time per week with associated readings, and include presentations from experts involved in the operation, reform and policy making of the health system.

Learning Outcomes

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

Upon successful completion of this course, students will have the knowledge and skills to:
  1. Describe the major components of the Australian health system and compare these with other countries.
  2. Describe Australia’s primary health care system and distinguish this from secondary and tertiary health care. Understand the structures that underpin the delivery of health care in Australia.
  3. Understand the principles underpinning the evaluation of health services structure, process and outcomes, including some approaches to health services research and health system reform
  4. Understand the concept of policy making, involvement of potential  stakeholders and their contributions to and influence on policy formulation;
  5. Understand policy making on complex problems and challenges in policy implementation in health sector;
  6. Systematically analyse health policy and develop alternative health policy reform proposals.

Indicative Assessment

    Assessment will be based on:
    • Analysis paper (2000 words): weight 35% (LO:1)
    • Policy analysis exercise (2500 words): weight 35% (LO 4,6)
    • Formative evaluation (ongoing): 30% (LO 1-6)

    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.


    It is expected that student will spend approximately 10h per week (inclusive of class time) on study related to this subject over the semester

    Prescribed Texts

    Required readings and resources will be identified for each session and listed (or uploaded) on Wattle throughout the course.

    Assumed Knowledge

    None required


    Tuition fees are for the academic year indicated at the top of the page.  

    Commonwealth Support (CSP) Students
    If you 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). More information about your student contribution amount for each course at Fees

    Student Contribution Band:
    Unit value:
    6 units

    If you are a domestic graduate coursework student with a Domestic Tuition Fee (DTF) place or international student you will be required to pay course tuition fees (see below). Course tuition fees are indexed annually. Further information for domestic and international students about tuition and other fees can be found 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
    2021 $4110
    International fee paying students
    Year Fee
    2021 $5880
    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
    3589 22 Feb 2021 01 Mar 2021 31 Mar 2021 28 May 2021 In Person View
    3120 22 Feb 2021 01 Mar 2021 31 Mar 2021 28 May 2021 Online View

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