Course Title: Contemporary Health in the Community

Part A: Course Overview

Course Title: Contemporary Health in the Community

Credit Points: 12.00

Course Code




Learning Mode

Teaching Period(s)


Bundoora Campus


150H Health Sciences


Sem 2 2006,
Sem 2 2007,
Sem 2 2008

Course Coordinator: Leigh Brown

Course Coordinator Phone: +61 3 99257454

Course Coordinator Email:

Course Coordinator Location: 203.03.33

Course Coordinator Availability: appointments via email required

Pre-requisite Courses and Assumed Knowledge and Capabilities


Course Description

Contemporary Health in the Community is a one-semester course that will focus on specific contemporary health issues that may affect children, adolescents and adults. Areas of exploration will include children within context of the family, and the school community. Also considered will be health and illness in the adult population with particular emphasis on epidemiological processes and links to health promotion. Models of causality and epidemiological theory will be applied to specific current health issues, and the relationship between selected social, environmental, behavioural and biological effects on health will be examined.

Objectives/Learning Outcomes/Capability Development

This course will require students to explore contemporary views about epidemiology. This will be done through ’snapshots’ of particular events that have recently occurred in Australia, and, to a lesser extent, in other countries. To this end, the disired capabilities are: 

Ability to use theoretical frameworks to increase knowledge base
Ability to identify actual and potential health problems within the framework of contemporary health
Ability to identify and discuss specific educational needs for individuals or groups within a school or community
Ability to provide reasoned arguments in support of judgements in relation to issues
Ability to facilitate individual / group decisions within a classroom setting
Ability to utilise educational resources applicable to school / community requirements for contemporary health education
Ability to contribute to teaching / learning conversations relating to health education in schools and the community
Ability to disseminate, in written and oral forms, the processes and results of scholarly enquiry
Ability to seek, locate and critically evaluate relevant literature / information resources effectively

(a) relate contemporary health issues to the physical, cognitive, moral and psycho-social
development of children and adolescents
(b) analyse socio-environmental factors affecting children and adolescents
(c) identify epidemiological concepts and purposes
(d) apply epidemiological principles to the study of health and disease in adults
(e) analyse the causation and prevention of selected health issues
(f) discuss major causes of morbidity, mortality and disability in selected disease processes
(g) propose links between epidemiological processes and health promotion

Overview of Learning Activities

Learning activities that will promote and consolidate the areas outlined in the objectives will include lectures, tutorials, on-line learning (where available), classroom seminars, open discussion, student prepared presentations, reflective practice and structured self-directed learning. Within this arrangement students will be expected to develop critical analysis skills that can be applied to the education field. Emphasis will be placed on the application of content to schools, teaching, and learning.
The conceptual framework underpinning this course reflects a constructivist approach, focusing on the student as a self-motivated learner. To achieve this end the learning objectives provides guidance for students to focus their studies on health-related literature as applied to teaching practice. Students will also be encouraged to participate in active dialogue by working together in small groups, especially for the production of presentation studies.
Specific Student Responsibilities
During the progress of this course, students will be expected to:
• read the subject guide and note requirements;
• be aware of and observe requirements related to plagiarism (see School of Health Sciences Student Regulations and Guide to Services and Assignment writing guide);
• effectively utilise teaching and learning resources at RMIT and other libraries;
• submit all work for assessment on time;
• complete all pre-reading prior to classroom sessions;
• complete set student focused learning activities prior to class;
• contribute to class discussions and be respectful to all class participants;
• share learning resources and contribute to peer learning;
• use technology based computer assisted learning packages where available

Overview of Learning Resources

Students will be expected to adopt an explorative approach to issues in health care. Non-contact hours are allocated for students to read or prepare material relevant to class content and to prepare presentation topics.
The course content is arranged to allow interaction between the student peer group and the teacher, thus encouraging creativity and critical application of basic knowledge.
Sessions will be a mix of discussion/tutorial/groupwork/presentations and lectures. Students will be asked to lead discussions where appropriate. Although some textbooks are recommended, students are encouraged to utilise internet sites & videorecordings used in class. Thus, resources of knowledge will come from within the group and, more formally, outside group activity.

Overview of Assessment

Examinations - Mid semester and end of semester

Written assignment

Group Presentation

These assessments will encourage students to use critical thinking skills to reach conclusions based on available information, or information from prescribed text, or web-based / on-line material. In addition, formalising presentations requires substantiation of judgements made in applying knowledge and theory learned in the course and to assess conclusions and make logical inferences.