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Major: Public Health: Policy and Promotion

Public Health: Policy and Promotion


Department of Psychology
Faculty of Human Sciences

This major must be completed as part of an award. The general requirements for the award must be satisfied in order to graduate.

Requirements for the Major:

Completion of a minimum of 24 credit points including the following prescribed units:

Credit points

100 level

Geographies of Global Change (3)

200 level

Contemporary Health Issues (3)
Methods of Social Research (3)
3cp from
Urban Dynamics: Population, Housing and Economy (3)
Psychology, Health and Wellbeing (3)
Developmental Psychology (3)
Introduction to Social Policy (3)

300 level

Health Placement (6)
Health Promotion (3)
3cp from
Geographies of Health (3)
Social Marketing and Sustainability (3)
Human Services in the 21st Century: Care, Gender and Institutions (3)
Profit, Protest, Policy: Changes in Market Society (3)


Units marked with a C are Capstone units.
Units marked with a P are PACE units.
Overview and Aims of the Program Modern public health is key to understanding how we shape and influence the factors for good health in our society. Human health is determined by environmental and social factors and many of these are closely related. In this major you learn about how health policy is developed and how health promotion is conducted in local and global settings.
Graduate Capabilities

The Graduate Capabilities Framework articulates the fundamentals that underpin all of Macquarie’s academic programs. It expresses these as follows:

Cognitive capabilities
(K) discipline specific knowledge and skills
(T) critical, analytical and integrative thinking
(P) problem solving and research capability
(I) creative and innovative

Interpersonal or social capabilities
(C) effective communication
(E) engaged and ethical local and global citizens
(A) socially and environmentally active and responsible

Personal capabilities
(J) capable of professional and personal judgement and initiative
(L) commitment to continuous learning

Program Learning Outcomes By the end of this program it is anticipated you should be able to:

1. Describe, explain and appraise the key determinants, distribution and consequences of health and ill-health in Australia and other societies (K)
2. Demonstrate a developing understanding of some of the concepts, definitions, measures and tools used in the analysis of health (K)
3. Demonstrate a sound foundational knowledge about community and health care settings and models of service delivery (K)
4. Examine and evaluate concepts and arguments that underpin policy, promotion and practice in the allied health and education fields (T, P)
5. Evaluate current issues in health (locally and globally) and assess the implications of health and other initiatives (K, T, P)
6. Identify contestable issues and evaluate alternative theories, arguments and options in the health policy area (T, P, I)
7. Analyse information to create solutions to human health and well-being needs that are evidence-based and practical (I, T, P, J)
8. Communicate effectively to a variety of audiences and stakeholders (e.g. co-workers, clients, communities, co-workers) using a variety of modalities and technologies (C)
9. Work effectively in teams, demonstrating the interpersonal skills that allow you to develop partnerships within and between organisations (C, E, J)
10. Employ a sound ethical framework with a demonstrated capacity to work with a variety of groups in socially, ethically and environmentally responsible ways (A, C, E, L).
Learning and Teaching Methods Students will be encouraged to engage with and acquire knowledge of the multi-faceted determinants of public health and the development of policies for health promoting environments and initiatives. In the required study units graduates will use a mixture of lecture, tutorial, practical and self-guided learning to develop understanding of public health and health promotion. Graduates will be guided through a program that contributes to a developing understanding of the individual, family, group, national and international aspects of public health and health promotion.

The program brings diverse disciplines together to match the complexities inherent in public health. This includes the political, economic, socio-cultural and environmental aspects of health. Students explore, analyse and apply knowledge to new and complex problems in a gradual process of more in-depth learning through the stages of the program.

In the early stages of the program students will be introduced to concepts, theories and methods that are foundational to understanding the complex nature of public health. Formal lectures, tutorials, practical projects and private study will help students acquire this foundational knowledge.

The program allows students to develop skills to analyse and critique academic and other contributions to the disciplines that make up the public health field. For this, the student will engage in seminar style learning and reflective pieces as well as more traditional essay work.

The later part of the program has a focus on in-depth group work where students are able to learn about team work, stakeholder motivation and engagement, program design, implementation and evaluation. Toward the end of their studies, students are expected to apply and articulate analytical thinking to complex public health and health promotion problems. These learning methods are supported through interaction with peers, research based work, discussion forums and practical tasks.

Students will have opportunities to bring together learning and skills from almost three years of study in the combined capstone and PACE (Professional Community and Engagement) unit. In this students undertake a project in a health related workplace under the guidance of a workplace supervisor. Supervisors outside the university environment are afforded an opportunity to comment on the quality of the student's work and on his/her engagement with the workplace.

Program learning outcomes are applied and demonstrated through the design and completion of assessment tasks that allow students to monitor and to demonstrate their intellectual and program specific learning in increasingly complex tasks.
Assessment The assessment tasks are designed to reflect the complexity of modern public health and health promotion and to help prepare the students to make a valuable contribution in a range of health and community career options after graduation. Much of the work graduates undertake after completion of their degree relies on a sophisticated understanding of inter-related determinants of health and a strong understanding of stakeholder engagement and organisational development. The assessment tasks are designed to support this learning.

Assessment criteria provide detailed descriptions of what is required at each band of achievement. Detailed guides to the study units provide information about each assessment task, suggested readings or other materials and the specific learning outcomes to which each assessment task relate. Assistance with study, writing and presentation tasks are available to the students either in the program or through campus wide initiatives.

Assessment tasks are designed to provide students with early opportunities to monitor their intellectual and discipline specific progress in the study units. Staff and sometimes peer feedback (either written or verbal) allow students to diagnose and remedy areas for improvement. Later assessment tasks allow the students to research, analyse and critique discipline specific writings and initiatives and asks them also to apply this learning to specific issues or challenges in the fields of public health and health promotion. As such, the assessment of learning and for learning take place across the program.

Students may be asked to complete quizzes and short answer tasks to monitor stages of learning. Essay topics permit the students a deeper intellectual engagement with the material as do reflective pieces where students may analyse their discipline specific and personal learning curve. Group work is used to support student learning about stakeholder input, team approach to complex problems and to develop project management skills that support future work in the sector. The mix of assessments enable students to receive both formative and summative feedback. Some assessment tasks specifically guide students through a gradual process of gathering their data, analysing it and presenting it in writing or verbally in front of peers.

Toward the end of the program groups of students have the opportunity to research, design, present and evaluate a major initiative in health promotion. They also research and report on the legal, ethical and policy elements of a current health issue and present it to their peers.
Recognition of Prior Learning

Macquarie University may recognise prior formal, informal and non-formal learning for the purpose of granting credit towards, or admission into, a program. The recognition of these forms of learning is enabled by the University’s Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) Policy (see and its associated Procedures and Guidelines. The RPL pages contain information on how to apply, links to registers, and the approval processes for recognising prior learning for entry or credit.

Information can be found at:

Support for Learning

Macquarie University aspires to be an inclusive and supportive community of learners where all students are given the opportunity to meet their academic and personal goals. The University offers a comprehensive range of free and accessible student support services which include academic advice, counselling and psychological services, advocacy services and welfare advice, careers and employment, disability services and academic skills workshops amongst others. There is also a bulk billing medical service located on campus.

Further information can be found at

Campus Wellbeing contact details:
Phone: +61 2 9850 7497

Program Standards and Quality

The program is subject to an ongoing comprehensive process of quality review in accordance with a pre-determined schedule that complies with the Higher Education Standards Framework. The review is overseen by Macquarie University's peak academic governance body, the Academic Senate and takes into account feedback received from students, staff and external stakeholders.

Graduate Destinations and Employability This major is designed to provide students with a multi-disciplinary view of population health and health policy. Students will develop a flexible range of skills and knowledge relevant to a number of occupations in the public health, health promotion and community health fields. Graduates may find work in areas such as:
• health policy and advocacy
• health-care service planning and administration
• health promotion and health education
• health program development, implementation and evaluation
• community development and health research.

Students will have completed a work placement in a health related organisation to assist them become work-ready.
Assessment Regulations

This program is subject to Macquarie University regulations, including but not limited to those specified in the Assessment Policy, Academic Honesty Policy, the Final Examination Policy and relevant University Rules. For all approved University policies, procedures, guidelines and schedules visit

Inherent requirements are the essential components of a course or program necessary for a student to successfully achieve the core learning outcomes of a course or program. Students must meet the inherent requirements to complete their Macquarie University course or program.

Inherent requirements for Macquarie University programs fall under the following categories:

Physical: The physical inherent requirement is to have the physical capabilities to safely and effectively perform the activities necessary to undertake the learning activities and achieve the learning outcomes of an award.

Cognition: The inherent requirement for cognition is possessing the intellectual, conceptual, integrative and quantitative capabilities to undertake the learning activities and achieve the learning outcomes of an award.

Communication: The inherent requirement for communication is the capacity to communicate information, thoughts and ideas through a variety of mediums and with a range of audiences.

Behavioural: The behavioural inherent requirement is the capacity to sustain appropriate behaviour over the duration of units of study to engage in activities necessary to undertake the learning activities and achieve the learning outcomes of an award.

For more information see

2019 Unit Information

When offered:
S1 Day
Permission of Executive Dean of Faculty
HSC Chinese, CHN113, CHN148