• Class Number 6926
  • Term Code 3360
  • Class Info
  • Unit Value 6 units
  • Mode of Delivery Online
    • AsPr Anna Olsen
    • AsPr Anna Olsen
  • Class Dates
  • Class Start Date 24/07/2023
  • Class End Date 27/10/2023
  • Census Date 31/08/2023
  • Last Date to Enrol 31/07/2023
SELT Survey Results

Traditional approaches to health focus on the individual but have severe limitations in that they take no account of the broader social context. This course gives students a unique opportunity to examine the central individual and structural approaches to public health and will equip them with the skills to make a reflexive examination of their own presuppositions about approaches to  public health issues and the effective translation of health interventions. The course draws on a wide range of ethnographic data, particularly on data concerning the HIV/AIDS epidemic in Southeast Asia, to make a comprehensive examination of the central individual and structurally focused models directing health interventions.

Learning Outcomes

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

On completion of this subject students will be able to:

 • Demonstrate a critical understanding of at least two individually focused approaches towards public health interventions

• Articulate a  critical understanding of the major structural approaches to public health

• Evaluate the relative efficacy of individual and structural approaches to health interventions in relation to a wide range of health issues

• Reflectively evaluate taken-for-granted approaches to the understanding of public health issues

Research-Led Teaching

This course is designed to provide students with an introduction to different approaches to health interventions beyond better known behavioural models. With a focus on the benefits and limitations of anthropological approaches to understanding context and structure, students will develop a more holistic understanding of health interventions. Via readings, lectures and activities students will also be exposed to contemporary anthropological and interdisciplinary research in health. We will examine diverse case studies of various health issues, to better understand what works, for who, why, when, where, and in what ways. This course will equip students with the skills to critically examine their own presuppositions about approaches to public health issues and the effective translation of health interventions in the real world.

Recommended student system requirements 

ANU courses commonly use a number of online resources and activities including:

  • video material, similar to YouTube, for lectures and other instruction
  • two-way video conferencing for interactive learning
  • email and other messaging tools for communication
  • interactive web apps for formative and collaborative activities
  • print and photo/scan for handwritten work
  • home-based assessment.

To fully participate in ANU learning, students need:

  • A computer or laptop. Mobile devices may work well but in some situations a computer/laptop may be more appropriate.
  • Webcam
  • Speakers and a microphone (e.g. headset)
  • Reliable, stable internet connection. Broadband recommended. If using a mobile network or wi-fi then check performance is adequate.
  • Suitable location with minimal interruptions and adequate privacy for classes and assessments.
  • Printing, and photo/scanning equipment

For more information please see https://www.anu.edu.au/students/systems/recommended-student-system-requirements

Staff Feedback

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

  • written comments (assignments)
  • verbal feedback (presentation assignment and through interaction with the lecturer)

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). Feedback can also be provided to Course Conveners and teachers via the Student Experience of Learning & Teaching (SELT) feedback program. SELT surveys are confidential and also provide the Colleges and ANU Executive with opportunities to recognise excellent teaching, and opportunities for improvement.

Class Schedule

Week/Session Summary of Activities Assessment
1 More than biology Weekly reflection
2 Case study – HIV/AIDS Weekly reflection
3 The limits of behavioural health approaches Weekly reflection, Class debate, individual position statement
4 Case study - Vaccination  Weekly reflection
5 Cross-cultural care & medical pluralism Weekly reflection, Class debate, group position statement
6 Case study – pregnancy and childbirth  Weekly reflection
7 Decolonising health interventions Weekly reflection, Class debate, group rebuttal
8 Case study – diabetes Weekly reflection
9 Anthropological contributions to health interventions Weekly reflection, Class debate, open discussion
10 Case study - Ebola Weekly reflection
11 Anthropological contributions to health interventions Weekly reflection, Class debate, individual reflection paper
12 Case study - Malaria Weekly reflection, Research proposal essay (exam period)

Tutorial Registration

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.

Assessment Summary

Assessment task Value Learning Outcomes
Weekly reflections 15 % 1,2
Class debate 15 % 1,2
Research proposal essay 70 % 1,2,3

* 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 Integrity 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 Academic Skills website. In rare cases where online submission using Turnitin software is not technically possible; or where not using Turnitin software has been justified by the Course Convener and approved by the Associate Dean (Education) on the basis of the teaching model being employed; students shall submit assessment online via ‘Wattle’ outside of Turnitin, or failing that in hard copy, or through a combination of submission methods as approved by the Associate Dean (Education). The submission method is detailed below.

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.

Assessment Task 1

Value: 15 %
Learning Outcomes: 1,2

Weekly reflections

This weekly short writing assignment encourages you to summarize materials presented in class, reflect on your own understanding of the material, and to relate it to your individual life and learning journey. Students will write weekly reflections on the course readings which will constitute the final 15% of the course grade. Each weekly reflection should contain the following components:

  1. your thoughts on the main lessons learned from the weekly readings;
  2. your thoughts on the main lessons learned from the weekly activity;
  3. any questions or points of confusion;
  4. how this week's topic is contributing to the development of your final assignment;
  5. a reflection on a classmate's post.

The weekly reflection should be approximately 300-500 words. The reflections should demonstrate critical thinking within the course content rather than merely summarising class materials.

Completed each week and reviewed weekly by the lecturer. 

Assessment Task 2

Value: 15 %
Learning Outcomes: 1,2

Class debate

Engaging in discussion and debate encourages the development and understanding of topical issues, connecting them to your own experience. In this assignment you are encouraged to employ skills such as research, analysis, academic argument and group work. This assignment should help you to connect more deeply with the course material and gain broader insights through the shared ideas and different perspectives of others.

Debate Assignment Components

Assignment component: Individual position statement

Timeline: Week 3

Details: The first component of the assignment is an individual position statement. You will be randomly assigned to either the pro or the con side of the debate topic and required to research the topic and write a 1000-1500 word position statement representing your assigned perspective and citing some scholarly literature. This allows you to familiarize yourself with the topic and the literature before working with one another to create the group position statement.

Assignment component: Group position statement

Timeline: Week 5

Details: The group position statement is a collaborative effort. Make a 10 minute video presenting your argument. References used must be presented along with your presentation. The group position statement will be posted on the course website.

Assignment component: Rebuttal week

Timeline: Week 7

Details: Students then have to listen to the other side’s position statement and work together to post a group rebuttal statement and further make your own case. The purpose of this is to give you more time to examine the issue and the other side’s argument and then craft a thoughtful response. Your rebuttal should be succinct at 1000-1500 words.

Assignment component: Open discussion forum

Timeline: Week 9

Details: At the end of this process, an online discussion forum will be opened where individual students will be asked to post, from their assigned perspective, in an open debate. At least one post of 250 words is required.

Assignment component: Reflection paper

Timeline: Week 11

Details: Critically reflect upon your experience of this project. In your observations, comment upon:

Your experience of researching this debate

Your experience of arguing in this debate

What did you learn from the debate?  

What, if anything, would you change about your experience of this project?

Assessment Task 3

Value: 70 %
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,3

Research proposal essay

This essay brings together learning throughout the semester. Students will integrate learnings in critical social science analysis and anthropological approaches to health intervention.

Part 1. Students should first identify a health intervention of their choice and write a short summary. The summary (critical precis) of the piece of text should condense the entire content to a short explanation of the main ideas, arguments and ideas in order to provide insight into the original author's arguments. The purpose is to acquaint a reader with the main points of the original work preserving its structure and arguments. This section should be around 1000 words in length. Structure: Project/article title, research question, research approach, ethics, and findings.

Part 2. In the remainder of the assignment the student will describe how they would use an anthropological approach to design and inform a different or modified intervention to address the health issue. Your intervention design component should be targeted at the community/ communities, considering micro as well as social, political, and economic contexts. Drawing on the work covered in the course, students should identify where previous interventions in this space are limited and where anthropological approaches can offer a different perspective. Make an argument for what has been done well in response to your health issue and what your new project will contribute. Structure: New project title, research question, research context, research approach, ethics, bibliography. This section of the research proposal should be around 4,000 words.

Academic Integrity

Academic integrity is a core part of the ANU culture as a community of scholars. The University’s students are an integral part of that community. The academic integrity principle commits all students to engage in academic work in ways that are consistent with, and actively support, academic integrity, and to uphold this commitment by behaving honestly, responsibly and ethically, and with respect and fairness, in scholarly practice.

The University expects all staff and students to be familiar with the academic integrity principle, the Academic Integrity Rule 2021, the Policy: Student Academic Integrity and Procedure: Student Academic Integrity, and to uphold high standards of academic integrity to ensure the quality and value of our qualifications.

The Academic Integrity Rule 2021 is a legal document that the University uses to promote academic integrity, and manage breaches of the academic integrity principle. The Policy and Procedure support the Rule by outlining overarching principles, responsibilities and processes. The Academic Integrity Rule 2021 commences on 1 December 2021 and applies to courses commencing on or after that date, as well as to research conduct occurring on or after that date. Prior to this, the Academic Misconduct Rule 2015 applies.


The University commits to assisting all students to understand how to engage in academic work in ways that are consistent with, and actively support academic integrity. All coursework students must complete the online Academic Integrity Module (Epigeum), and Higher Degree Research (HDR) students are required to complete research integrity training. The Academic Integrity website provides information about services available to assist students with their assignments, examinations and other learning activities, as well as understanding and upholding academic integrity.

Online Submission

You will be required to electronically sign a declaration as part of the submission of your assignment. Please keep a copy of the assignment for your records. Unless an exemption has been approved by the Associate Dean (Education) submission must be through Turnitin.

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

Individual assessment tasks may or may not allow for late submission. Policy regarding late submission is detailed below:

  • Late submission permitted. 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

The Academic Skills website has information to assist you with your writing and assessments. The website includes information about Academic Integrity including referencing requirements for different disciplines. There is also information on Plagiarism and different ways to use source material.

Returning Assignments

Assignments will be returned via Wattle

Extensions and Penalties

Extensions and late submission of assessment pieces are covered by the Student Assessment (Coursework) Policy and Procedure. Extensions may be granted 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

Resubmission of assignments is 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).

AsPr Anna Olsen

Research Interests

AsPr Anna Olsen

By Appointment
AsPr Anna Olsen

Research Interests

AsPr Anna Olsen

By Appointment

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