Master of Public Health (Social Health Specialisation)

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  • Objectives
    The Social Health specialisation in the MPH uses the social sciences as its base; it uses a multidisciplinary approach that integrates a variety of humanities and social sciences perspectives on health and health care. It incorporates subjects from health ethics, sociology of health and illness, medical anthropology and the history of health care. The Social Health specialisation draws on national and international developments in health care knowledge and practice that urge us to address health in new ways. The Social Health specialisation provides higher order skills in social health with an emphasis on critical analysis, and written and verbal communication. The social and political dimensions of illness and suffering and the cultural differences in the understanding of health care delivery present important challenges, not only to practitioners, but also to administrators and planners. For example, a social health approach provides the opportunity to address such areas as: social determinants of health, complex ethical health issues arising out of the use of stem cell research, and the development of culturally sensitive population health programs.
  • Academic title
    Master of Public Health (Social Health Specialisation)
  • Course description
    Core Subjects
    The following are the core requirements for this specialisation. Students must enrol in:

    The following are the core requirements for this specialisation. Students must enrol in:

    505-501 and 505-102 (Consortium subjects)
    505-919 (Research project)
    505-921 Principles of Qualitative Research Design (pre-req for the Research Project)
    505-922 Research Methods in Social Health (pre-req for the Research Project)

    And choose a minimum of two other appropriate Consortium subjects.

    Subject     Semester     Credit Points
    505-101  Statistics
    This unit aims to introduce students to basic statistical concepts and methods.     Semester 1     12.50

    505-102  Epidemiology
    The aim of this unit is to provide students with basic quantitative skills necessary for the practice of general public health and to enable students to critically evaluate the published epidemiological literature. The unit provides an introduction t...     Semester 1     12.50

    505-919  Research Project in Social Health
    The research project must be in the area of social health and the topic must be approved by the nominated supervisor. Under normal circumstances, the project will involve: a) a conceptual or theoretical analysis of a given topic in social health; or ...     Semester 1, Semester 2     25

    505-921  Principles of Qualitative Research Desgn
    This subject will give students an understanding of the principles underlying good qualitative research. The topics covered will be relevant for students interested in qualitative research specifically, and for health research students who want to le...     Semester 1     12.50

    505-922  Research Methods in Social Health
    This subject provides training in research methods for qualitative and literature-based social and ethical research. A core component of this subject is training in analytic thinking and in the development of a research proposal. Students will also h...     Semester 1     12.50

    Recommended Group 1 Electives

    Students must enrol in a minimum of four subjects from the following list:

    Subject     Semester     Credit Points

    505-535  Aboriginal Health: Past to Present
    Through the use of case studies located along a historical timeline, this subject provides students with a foundational understanding of Aboriginal health from pre-invasion to the present. Along this continuum, Aboriginal health issues are examined ...     Semester 1     12.50

    505-502  Culture, Health and Illness
    This subject provides an introduction to critical medical anthropology, a rapidly growing and dynamic endeavour, which provides a link between social anthropology and biological anthropology. While the subject discusses various perspectives in medica...     Semester 1     12.50

    505-500  Health, Ethics and Society
    This subject introduces and critically examines standard conceptual approaches to health ethics and provides an introduction to conceptual approaches within other relevant disciplines. Through the employment of these different conceptual approaches, ...     Semester 1     12.50

    505-539  Living Longer: Global Perspectives
    The course will study the history of health transitions from a global perspective, focussing on the factors historians have identified in bringing about the modern rise in life expectancy. The course is structured around the book by James C. Riley, R...     Semester 1     12.50

    505-536  Policy Processes in Aboriginal Health
    This subject reviews the historical, social, economic and cultural factors influencing structures and practices central to the policy process in Aboriginal health. Students explore the context of the policy process at macro, meso and micro levels in ...     Semester 1     12.50

    505-548  Australian Health Systems
    This subject will provide students with the knowledge and analytical frameworks about the social dynamics of those institutions and structures that constitute Australian health systems. The subject will enhance students’ ability to undert...     Semester 2     12.50

    505-505  Bioethics: The Fundamental Debates
    This subject introduces students to the classic debates in bioethics about reproduction, life and death. Specific topics may include: active and passive euthanasia, abortion, organ transplantation, reproductive and genetic technologies (e.g. cloning,...     Semester 2     12.50

    505-540  Community: Theory and Practice
    This subject will provide students with theoretical frameworks which they may apply to consider the range of differing perspectives on community development. Perspectives addressed will include, but may not be exclusive to: Indigenous Community Devel...     Semester 2     12.50

    505-507  Current Issues in Health Ethics
    The subject will involve the identification and exploration of theoretical and philosophical frameworks of participants in debates, resolutions/outcomes, and investigation of alternative positions. Possible topics include allocation of resources, acc...     Semester 2     12.50

    505-550  Garma: Fieldwork, Research and Culture     
    This subject will not be available in 2009     25

    505-508  Key Concepts in Social Health
    This subject explores key ways that bodies and the people that inhabit them are understood in the social and medical sciences. How knowledge about bodies is constructed within medical and social sciences is investigated through theoretical understand...     Semester 2     12.50

    505-503  Key Perspectives in Medical Anthropology
    This subject examines a range of classic and current theoretical debates within the discipline of anthropology: on rationality and cultural difference; objectivity and reflexivity; modes of anthropological representation and the politics of applied ...     Semester 2     12.50

    505-538  Critical Debates in Aboriginal Health
    This subject immerses students in the critical contemporary debates within Aboriginal health. Specific topics may include: equity and Aboriginal health funding; family trauma: incidence, origins and effects; stolen wages, the “welfare eco...     Semester 2     12.50

    505-506  Public Health History and Politics     
    This subject will not be available in 2009     12.50

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