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Unit of study_

PUBH5225: Population Mental Health

Semester 1, 2022 [Online] - Camperdown/Darlington, Sydney

The course will provide an evidence-based introduction to public health approaches designed to promote mental health and well-being and prevent mental illness. The aim is to assist students to develop an evidence-based understanding of population mental health including epidemiology, determinants of mental health, the effectiveness of prevention and early intervention programs, mental health services and policies and mental health human rights. The emphasis is on primary prevention strategies rather than the management of those already with mental illness. Evidence-based case studies will be presented including a focus on mental health challenges for the future in specific modules such as: suicide prevention, comorbidity, mental health in developing countrues, minority groups and in the workplace. By the end of this unit, students will understand the relationship between the determinants of mental health and public health strategies to prevent mental illness and enhance wellbeing.

Unit details and rules

Unit code PUBH5225
Academic unit Public Health
Credit points 6
Available to study abroad and exchange students


Teaching staff

Coordinator Kirsten Morley,
Lecturer(s) Michael Robertson,
Kirsten Morley,
Tutor(s) Eva Louie,
Type Description Weight Due Length
Assignment Report
Written assessment
25% Mid-semester break
Due date: 11 Apr 2021 at 14:31
1850 words
Outcomes assessed: LO1 LO2
Participation Tutorial marked participation
Short answers: marked (see tutorial guidelines) 0-4
25% Ongoing approximately 1 hour per week
Outcomes assessed: LO1 LO10 LO9 LO8 LO7 LO6 LO5 LO4 LO3
Assignment Essay
Written assessment
Due date: 13 Jun 2021 at 14:26
3500 words
Outcomes assessed: LO3 LO10 LO9 LO8 LO6 LO5 LO4
Assignment Quizzes
Multiple choice
5% Week 12
Due date: 23 May 2021 at 14:39
2 x short quizzes
Outcomes assessed: LO1 LO8

Assessment summary

Detailed information for each assessment can be found on Canvas.

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


High distinction

85 - 100



75 - 84



65 - 74



50 - 64



0 - 49

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

For more information see

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.

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.

WK Topic Learning activity Learning outcomes
Week 01 1. Introduction; 2. Mental health and well-being Online class (1 hr) LO1 LO2
Week 02 Social determinants of mental health Online class (1 hr) LO3
Week 03 Mental health human rights Online class (1 hr) LO7
Week 04 Mental health promotion, prevention, and early intervention (PPEI) Online class (1 hr) LO4
Week 05 Mental health promotion, prevention, and early intervention (PPEI) Online class (1 hr) LO5
Week 06 Mental health policy, services, and systems Online class (1 hr) LO6
Week 07 Comorbid mental illness and substance use Online class (1 hr) LO8
Week 08 Suicide and suicide prevention Online class (1 hr) LO8
Week 09 Mental health in minority groups Online class (1 hr) LO9
Week 10 Mental health in developing countries Online class (1 hr) LO10
Week 11 Mental health in the workplace I & II Online class (1 hr) LO8
Week 12 Mental Health and Childhood Trauma Online class (1 hr) LO8

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.

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. demonstrate an understanding of prevalence of mental disorders and burden
  • LO2. critically examine global mental health estimates and access online mental health data tools
  • LO3. discuss and demonstrate an understanding of the social determinants of mental health
  • LO4. describe key features and conceptual models underpinning mental health promotion and prevention
  • LO5. describe and critically evaluate mental health promotion, prevention, and early intervention programs
  • LO6. describe mental health systems, services, and policies, and critically discuss relevance in addressing mental health burden
  • LO7. understand the concept of ableism and describe how it might be applied to the healthcare system
  • LO8. outline a specific mental health problem or challenge and discuss evidence-based prevention strategies
  • LO9. demonstrate an understanding of mental health challenges in minority groups
  • LO10. describe social determinants of mental health in low and middle income countries and best practice intervention strategies.

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

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

No changes have been made since this unit was last offered.


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.