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Unit outline_

PUBH5036: Public Health: Critical Challenges

Semester 1, 2024 [Online] - Camperdown/Darlington, Sydney

This unit introduces you to the theoretical and practical underpinnings of public health via a diverse range of case studies. Together we will critically analyse what public health is and what it seeks to achieve. We will explore key concepts that will be taken up in more detail in other core and elective units, challenge current orthodoxies, and seek to develop a reflective and analytical approach to public health practice and research. We will have a particular focus on exploring the health and well-being challenges experienced by indigenous peoples, migrants and other disadvantaged groups, in Australia and globally. We will do this through considering the meaning of evidence and the historical and contemporary public health context, with the aim of working together to identify ethical, innovative and effective solutions. Throughout this unit you will be encouraged to interact with your unit coordinators, tutors and fellow students, ask questions, and respectfully debate answers to questions such as: What is public health? What does it mean to think beyond the social determinants? What is equity and why does it matter? Integration of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander knowledges and perspectives: This unit pays particular attention to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander public health challenges and solutions. The Sydney School of Public Health is committed to graduating public health professionals who have the competence and confidence to work effectively and respectfully with Australia's First Peoples. This unit will help prepare you for this work and provide important foundational knowledge that will be further advanced in concurrent and subsequent Master of Public Health units of study.

Unit details and rules

Academic unit Public Health
Credit points 6
Prerequisites
? 
None
Corequisites
? 
None
Prohibitions
? 
None
Assumed knowledge
? 

None

Available to study abroad and exchange students

No

Teaching staff

Coordinator Heidi Gilchrist, heidi.gilchrist@sydney.edu.au
Lecturer(s) Heidi Gilchrist, heidi.gilchrist@sydney.edu.au
Edward Jegasothy, edward.jegasothy@sydney.edu.au
Claire Hooker, claire.hooker@sydney.edu.au
Tutor(s) Olivia Mac, olivia.mac@sydney.edu.au
The census date for this unit availability is 2 April 2024
Type Description Weight Due Length
Online task Synthesis grid
complete synthesis grid using three selected readings
10% Week 06
Due date: 28 Mar 2024 at 23:59
3 readings, create synthesis grid
Outcomes assessed: LO1 LO5 LO4 LO2
Assignment Draft Essay
written draft essay
20% Week 07
Due date: 08 Apr 2024 at 23:59
1000 words
Outcomes assessed: LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4 LO5
Assignment Essay
Final written essay
45% Week 13
Due date: 20 May 2024 at 23:59
3000 words
Outcomes assessed: LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4 LO5
Tutorial quiz Readings and quizzes
online quiz based on weekly readings due Sunday
5% Weekly 10 minutes
Outcomes assessed: LO1 LO5 LO4 LO2
Participation tutorial participation activities
Participation activity to be completed after the tutorial
5% Weekly 10 minutes
Outcomes assessed: LO1 LO5 LO4 LO2
Presentation Reading presentation and discussion
Present critical analysis of reading in tutorial, facilitate discussion
15% Weekly 15 minute presentation/discussion
Outcomes assessed: LO1 LO5 LO4 LO3 LO2

Assessment summary

  • Readings and quizzes: Quizzes will assess your ability to critically engage with the content of the required readings.
  • Weekly attendance/engagement: Students are required to attend the tutorials live online and then complete tutorial activities in Canvas.
  • Synthesis grid: choose three of the provided readings, identify their main ideas and synthesise their key concepts in a grid. 
  • Presentation/discussion task:  Present critical analysis of one reading in an allocated tutorial and generate robust and respectful discussion in all tutorials by asking questions, answering other students’ questions, and contributing to the discussion by adding additional thoughts.
  • Essay (draft and final): Choose one of the provided topics and answer the essay question, first in draft form (as per instructions), then incorporating feedback into final submitted essay.

Detailed information for each assessment can be found on Canvas, including acceptable use of generative AI.

Assessment criteria

The University awards common result grades, set out in the Coursework Policy 2014 (Schedule 1).

As a general guide, a high distinction indicates work of an exceptional standard, a distinction a very high standard, a credit a good standard, and a pass an acceptable standard.

Result name

Mark range

Description

High distinction

85 - 100

Work of an exceptional standard.

Distinction

75 - 84

Work of a very high standard.

Credit

65 - 74

Work of a good standard.

Pass

50 - 64

Work of an acceptable standard.

Fail

0 - 49

When you don’t meet the learning outcomes of the unit to a satisfactory standard.

For more information see guide to grades.

Late submission

In accordance with University policy, these penalties apply when written work is submitted after 11:59pm on the due date:

  • Deduction of 5% of the maximum mark for each calendar day after the due date.
  • After ten calendar days late, a mark of zero will be awarded.

This unit has an exception to the standard University policy or supplementary information has been provided by the unit coordinator. This information is displayed below:

The university uses Simple Extensions and Special Consideration because unexpected things happen to *everyone* and we want to support people to do their best work. For assessment tasks 1-4, which are defined as “in-class, small and continuous assessments”, apply directly to your unit coordinator. If you have faced illness, injury or misadventure and require more than 5 days, please apply for Special Consideration through the Special Consideration Portal: https://www.sydney.edu.au/students/special-consideration For assessments 5 and 6, which are considered “submitted work”, if you think you will miss a deadline, please use the Simple Extension provisions to seek an extension of 5 calendar days without penalty. You can apply here for a Simple Extension via the Special Consideration Unit: https://www.sydney.edu.au/students/simple-extensions.html

Academic integrity

The Current Student website  provides information on academic integrity and the resources available to all students. The University expects students and staff to act ethically and honestly and will treat all allegations of academic integrity breaches seriously.  

We use similarity detection software to detect potential instances of plagiarism or other forms of academic integrity breach. If such matches indicate evidence of plagiarism or other forms of academic integrity breaches, your teacher is required to report your work for further investigation.

You may only use artificial intelligence and writing assistance tools in assessment tasks if you are permitted to by your unit coordinator, and if you do use them, you must also acknowledge this in your work, either in a footnote or an acknowledgement section.

Studiosity is permitted for postgraduate units unless otherwise indicated by the unit coordinator. The use of this service must be acknowledged in your submission.

Simple extensions

If you encounter a problem submitting your work on time, you may be able to apply for an extension of five calendar days through a simple extension.  The application process will be different depending on the type of assessment and extensions cannot be granted for some assessment types like exams.

Special consideration

If exceptional circumstances mean you can’t complete an assessment, you need consideration for a longer period of time, or if you have essential commitments which impact your performance in an assessment, you may be eligible for special consideration or special arrangements.

Special consideration applications will not be affected by a simple extension application.

Using AI responsibly

Co-created with students, AI in Education includes lots of helpful examples of how students use generative AI tools to support their learning. It explains how generative AI works, the different tools available and how to use them responsibly and productively.

Support for students

The Support for Students Policy 2023 reflects the University’s commitment to supporting students in their academic journey and making the University safe for students. It is important that you read and understand this policy so that you are familiar with the range of support services available to you and understand how to engage with them.

The University uses email as its primary source of communication with students who need support under the Support for Students Policy 2023. Make sure you check your University email regularly and respond to any communications received from the University.

Learning resources and detailed information about weekly assessment and learning activities can be accessed via Canvas. It is essential that you visit your unit of study Canvas site to ensure you are up to date with all of your tasks.

If you are having difficulties completing your studies, or are feeling unsure about your progress, we are here to help. You can access the support services offered by the University at any time:

Support and Services (including health and wellbeing services, financial support and learning support)
Course planning and administration
Meet with an Academic Adviser

WK Topic Learning activity Learning outcomes
Week 01 live online lecture Lecture (2 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4 LO5
Weekly tutorial - Week 1 introduction to unit Tutorial (1.5 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4 LO5
Week 02 pre-recorded lectures Online class (2 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4 LO5
Weekly tutorial with activities, student presentation and discussion Tutorial (1.5 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4 LO5
Week 03 pre-recorded lectures Online class (2 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4 LO5
Weekly tutorial with activities, student presentation and discussion Tutorial (1.5 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4 LO5
Week 04 pre-recorded lectures Online class (2 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4 LO5
Weekly tutorial with activities, student presentation and discussion Tutorial (1.5 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4 LO5
Week 05 live online lecture Lecture (2 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4 LO5
Weekly tutorial with activities, student presentation and discussion Tutorial (1.5 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4 LO5
Week 06 pre-recorded lectures Online class (2 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4 LO5
Weekly tutorial with activities, student presentation and discussion Tutorial (1.5 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4 LO5
Week 07 live online lecture Lecture (2 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4 LO5
Weekly tutorial with activities, student presentation and discussion Tutorial (1.5 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4 LO5
Week 08 pre-recorded lectures Online class (2 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4 LO5
Weekly tutorial with activities, student presentation and discussion Tutorial (1.5 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4 LO5
Week 09 pre-recorded lectures Online class (2 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4 LO5
Weekly tutorial with activities, student presentation and discussion Tutorial (1.5 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4 LO5
Week 10 pre-recorded lectures Online class (2 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4 LO5
Weekly tutorial with activities, student presentation and discussion Tutorial (1.5 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4 LO5
Week 11 pre-recorded lectures Online class (2 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4 LO5
Weekly tutorial with activities, student presentation and discussion Tutorial (1.5 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4 LO5
Week 12 live online lecture Lecture (2 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4 LO5
Weekly tutorial with activities, student presentation and discussion Tutorial (1.5 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4 LO5

Attendance and class requirements

Each enrolment mode has a different way to engage over the 12 weeks of semester:

ND-CC Campus students:

  • Enrol in appropriate face to face tutorial group
  • Watch pre-recorded lectures/ attend live lectures
  • Complete required readings
  • Attend an in-person tutorial every week to undertake individual and group learning activities under the guidance of a tutor, complete one ASSESSED presentation and engage in ASSESSED weekly discussions of other student presentations, discuss questions arising from lectures and readings, and prepare assessments
  • Complete a brief ASSESSED participation activity at the end of the tutorial
  • Complete a brief ASSESSED quiz after completing lecture and readings

OL-CC online students:

  • Enrol in appropriate online tutorial group
  • Watch pre-recorded lectures/attend live online lectures
  • Complete required readings
  • Attend a Zoom tutorial every week to undertake individual and group learning activities under the guidance of a tutor, complete one ASSESSED presentation and engage in ASSESSED weekly discussions of other student presentations, discuss questions arising from lectures and readings, and prepare assessments
  • Complete a brief ASSESSED participation activity at the end of the the tutorial
  • Complete a brief ASSESSED quiz after completing lecture and readings.

 

There is no asynchronous option for students who are unable to commit to regular live or live online attendance. We will attempt to record the four live/live online lectures, but this is not guaranteed. If you are not able to make your tutorial, please let your tutor know and they may be able to arrange an alternative for you, but again we cannot guarantee this. The tutorials are where most of the deeper thinking and learning will occur, and attendance is expected. For online tutorials you are expected to have your cameras on and participate in all activities unless you have a valid reason which you have relayed to your tutor.

Study commitment

Typically, there is a minimum expectation of 1.5-2 hours of student effort per week per credit point for units of study offered over a full semester. For a 6 credit point unit, this equates to roughly 120-150 hours of student effort in total.

Required readings

Readings will be provided in Canvas.

Learning outcomes are what students know, understand and are able to do on completion of a unit of study. They are aligned with the University's graduate qualities and are assessed as part of the curriculum.

At the completion of this unit, you should be able to:

  • LO1. understand key historical and theoretical foundations for public health
  • LO2. demonstrate an understanding of relevant concepts in public health ethics
  • LO3. make considered arguments about the ethical dimensions of public health
  • LO4. critically appraise methods and evidence used in public health
  • LO5. demonstrate an understanding of the primordial determinants of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health

Graduate qualities

The graduate qualities are the qualities and skills that all University of Sydney graduates must demonstrate on successful completion of an award course. As a future Sydney graduate, the set of qualities have been designed to equip you for the contemporary world.

GQ1 Depth of disciplinary expertise

Deep disciplinary expertise is the ability to integrate and rigorously apply knowledge, understanding and skills of a recognised discipline defined by scholarly activity, as well as familiarity with evolving practice of the discipline.

GQ2 Critical thinking and problem solving

Critical thinking and problem solving are the questioning of ideas, evidence and assumptions in order to propose and evaluate hypotheses or alternative arguments before formulating a conclusion or a solution to an identified problem.

GQ3 Oral and written communication

Effective communication, in both oral and written form, is the clear exchange of meaning in a manner that is appropriate to audience and context.

GQ4 Information and digital literacy

Information and digital literacy is the ability to locate, interpret, evaluate, manage, adapt, integrate, create and convey information using appropriate resources, tools and strategies.

GQ5 Inventiveness

Generating novel ideas and solutions.

GQ6 Cultural competence

Cultural Competence is the ability to actively, ethically, respectfully, and successfully engage across and between cultures. In the Australian context, this includes and celebrates Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures, knowledge systems, and a mature understanding of contemporary issues.

GQ7 Interdisciplinary effectiveness

Interdisciplinary effectiveness is the integration and synthesis of multiple viewpoints and practices, working effectively across disciplinary boundaries.

GQ8 Integrated professional, ethical, and personal identity

An integrated professional, ethical and personal identity is understanding the interaction between one’s personal and professional selves in an ethical context.

GQ9 Influence

Engaging others in a process, idea or vision.

Outcome map

Learning outcomes Graduate qualities
GQ1 GQ2 GQ3 GQ4 GQ5 GQ6 GQ7 GQ8 GQ9

This section outlines changes made to this unit following staff and student reviews.

Positive feedback for interactive classes and the demands of the 5 day intensive workshop format, have, in part, informed our decision to change from block mode to weekly format. Starting Semester 1,2024 there will be weekly lectures ( 8 weeks pre-recorded, 4 live) followed by face-to-face tutorials to provide more regular interaction and create a sense of being part of a learning community. The content will remain largely unchanged, although there is a reduction in the number of weekly readings.

Additional costs

NA

Site visit guidelines

NA

Work, health and safety

NA

Disclaimer

The University reserves the right to amend units of study or no longer offer certain units, including where there are low enrolment numbers.

To help you understand common terms that we use at the University, we offer an online glossary.