Course Title: Dual Diagnosis Co-morbidity and Society

Part A: Course Overview

Course Title: Dual Diagnosis Co-morbidity and Society

Credit Points: 12.00

Important Information:

Please check your Canvas course shell closer to when the course starts to see if this course requires mandatory in-person attendance. The delivery method of the course might have to change quickly in response to changes in the local state/national directive regarding in-person course attendance.


Course Code




Learning Mode

Teaching Period(s)


Bundoora Campus


150H Health Sciences


Sem 2 2014,
Sem 2 2015,
Sem 2 2016


Bundoora Campus


173H School of Health and Biomed


Sem 2 2018,
Sem 2 2020,
Sem 2 2021,
Sem 2 2022


Bundoora Campus


173H School of Health and Biomed


Sem 2 2019

Course Coordinator: Dr Lin Zhao

Course Coordinator Phone: +61 3 9925 7079

Course Coordinator Email:

Course Coordinator Location: 201.07.010

Pre-requisite Courses and Assumed Knowledge and Capabilities


Course Description

This course will examine definitions of dual diagnosis and the co-occurrence of mental illness with problematic patterns of behaviour. It will consider how drugs, homelessness, poverty and illness have impacted on mental health in the past and present. You will learn about the history of mental illness, drug use in various cultures and the impact of colonisation and globalisation on human wellbeing internationally. A critique of the political structuring of policy and treatment responses will follow. A range of therapeutic strategies and interventions for working with consumers across a variety of different health services will be identified and elaborated. Models of change and motivation, assessment, interviewing and health promotion strategies with a variety of target populations will be explored.

Objectives/Learning Outcomes/Capability Development

This course contributes to the following Program Learning Outcomes for the Bachelor of Nursing Program BP032 in accordance with the Nursing and Midwifery Council of Australia, Registered Nurse Standards for Practice:

  • PLO 1: Thinks critically and analyses nursing practice
  • PLO 2: Engages in therapeutic and professional relationships
  • PLO 4: Comprehensively conducts assessments
  • PLO 6: Provides safe, appropriate and responsive quality nursing practice
  • PLO 7: Evaluates outcomes to inform nursing practice

Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia. (2016) Registered nurse standards for practice. Melbourne, Australia.

On successful completion of this course you should be able to:

  1. Identify various presentations of dual diagnosis
  2. Discuss historical and cultural variations in dual diagnosis
  3. Describe and analyze patterns and prevalence of harm
  4. Review policy and legislation concerning dual diagnosis interventions
  5. Critically appraise literature and policy documents that report contemporary practice.
  6. Compare the advantages and disadvantages of several intervention approaches to dual diagnosis
  7. Evaluate the outcomes of health promotion strategies with various dual diagnosis populations

Overview of Learning Activities

This course will use a range of learning activities including lectures, discussions and self-directed learning. Throughout the course you will be able to work both independently and in groups to aid development of your theoretical knowledge and its application to mental health practice.

Learning activities throughout this course may include modalities such as lectures, podcasts and Lectopia, Wiki’s Blogs and discussion board.

Lectures: Lectures and lecture notes are the principal mode of content delivery and will present you with the key concepts and information relevant to the understanding of mental health nursing practice. You will be expected to participate in classroom discussions and to contribute to the learning experiences of your student colleagues.

Self-Directed Learning: You are expected to undertake self-directed learning activities to develop and consolidate knowledge throughout this learning experience. The activities associated with this course are designed to enable you to better develop independent learning skills to support your commitment to lifelong learning as a nursing professional and a university graduate. The self-directed learning activities will also support your knowledge of the material covered in the formal learning program and enhance the consolidation and application of that knowledge.

Overview of Learning Resources

The learning resources associated with this course will include targeted readings taken from a range of both primary and secondary sources. Where possible all selected material will be digitally available to you, including Lecture material which will be recorded. RMIT will provide you with additional resources and tools for learning in this course through our online systems accessed via your myRMIT site.

A library subject guide is available at

Overview of Assessment

This course has no hurdle requirements.

Assessment Tasks

Early Assessment Task: Film review assignment

Weighting 30%

This assessment task supports CLOs 1, 3, 5 & 6

Assessment Task 2: Individual written assignment

Weighting 50%

This assessment task supports CLOs 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 & 7

Assessment Task 3: Bi-weekly reflection

Weighting 20%

This assessment task supports CLOs 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 & 7