CQUniversity Unit Profile
PBHL13001 Public Health and Environmental Sustainability
Public Health and Environmental Sustainability
All details in this unit profile for PBHL13001 have been officially approved by CQUniversity and represent a learning partnership between the University and you (our student).
The information will not be changed unless absolutely necessary and any change will be clearly indicated by an approved correction included in the profile.
General Information


The World Health Organisation has identified the link between anthropogenic environmental change and public health as an issue of significant concern and has engaged in a workplan with priorities to advocate and raise awareness, strengthen partnerships, enhance scientific evidence and strengthen health systems. This unit aims to develop your understanding of factors within the anthropogenic and natural environments that impact upon health outcomes, including environmentally transmitted diseases, climate change and sustainable development. Content will include an exploration of zoonotic diseases, vector borne conditions, emerging epidemiologic trends, community resilience and capacity building. You will discover the value of participation through an exploration of community resilience and capacity building. Prevention will be emphasised as you learn about the aetiologies, risk factors, epidemiological trends and underlying environmental factors relating to a range of diseases of public health importance. The theme of partnership will be developed as you examine the issue of environmental sustainability and emerging environmental health issues while learning the importance of working with traditional and contemporary custodians of natural environments, collaborating with government and non-government agencies in creating healthy environmental policy.


Career Level: Undergraduate
Unit Level: Level 3
Credit Points: 6
Student Contribution Band: 8
Fraction of Full-Time Student Load: 0.125

Pre-requisites or Co-requisites

96 credit points

Important note: Students enrolled in a subsequent unit who failed their pre-requisite unit, should drop the subsequent unit before the census date or within 10 working days of Fail grade notification. Students who do not drop the unit in this timeframe cannot later drop the unit without academic and financial liability. See details in the Assessment Policy and Procedure (Higher Education Coursework).

Offerings For Term 1 - 2023


Attendance Requirements

All on-campus students are expected to attend scheduled classes – in some units, these classes are identified as a mandatory (pass/fail) component and attendance is compulsory. International students, on a student visa, must maintain a full time study load and meet both attendance and academic progress requirements in each study period (satisfactory attendance for International students is defined as maintaining at least an 80% attendance record).

Class and Assessment Overview

Recommended Student Time Commitment

Each 6-credit Undergraduate unit at CQUniversity requires an overall time commitment of an average of 12.5 hours of study per week, making a total of 150 hours for the unit.

Class Timetable

Bundaberg, Cairns, Emerald, Gladstone, Mackay, Rockhampton, Townsville
Adelaide, Brisbane, Melbourne, Perth, Sydney

Assessment Overview

1. Online Test
Weighting: 15%
2. Online Test
Weighting: 15%
3. Group Discussion
Weighting: 30%
4. Written Assessment
Weighting: 40%

Assessment Grading

This is a graded unit: your overall grade will be calculated from the marks or grades for each assessment task, based on the relative weightings shown in the table above. You must obtain an overall mark for the unit of at least 50%, or an overall grade of ‘pass’ in order to pass the unit. If any ‘pass/fail’ tasks are shown in the table above they must also be completed successfully (‘pass’ grade). You must also meet any minimum mark requirements specified for a particular assessment task, as detailed in the ‘assessment task’ section (note that in some instances, the minimum mark for a task may be greater than 50%). Consult the University’s Grades and Results Policy for more details of interim results and final grades.

Previous Student Feedback

Feedback, Recommendations and Responses

Every unit is reviewed for enhancement each year. At the most recent review, the following staff and student feedback items were identified and recommendations were made.

Feedback from SUTE


One student provided criticism relating to the age of the videos and complained that the lectures did not contain all of the material assessed in the quizzes, particularly relating to the topic of waste.


Lectures do not contain all of the material covered in the unit. Waste was covered extensively in the prescribed textbook readings and other material is supported by prescribed journal articles. New lectures were recorded for this offering and were released in stages throughout the term. In future, the need to complete all learning materials and activities should be made clear.

Feedback from SUTE


One student was unhappy with the flexible structure of the unit and the requirement for independent learning.


This is a third year unit, designed to develop skills in independent learning; as a result there is significantly less scaffolding than units designed for first and second years. This should be made clearer to students in future offerings.

Unit Learning Outcomes
On successful completion of this unit, you will be able to:
  1. Explain primary drivers of environmental change and how they interact to result in public health consequences
  2. Examine the aetiology and risk factors of environmentally transmitted diseases and conditions
  3. Evaluate the social-ecological framework as a means to build and maintain partnerships to address environmental health issues
  4. Predict and debate potential scenarios to respond to environmental health challenges based on current and emerging evidence
  5. Communicate information relating to emerging environmental health issues to a wide variety of audiences
  6. Describe the use of Health Impact Assessment, Environmental Impact Assessment and social innovation in the development of sustainable public policy to support health.

Content in this unit aligns with the enHealth Skills and Knowledge Matrix as follows:

Part 1- all generic skills

Part 2- underpinning skills and knowledge in the areas of:

  • microbiology
  • foundation and applied principles of natural and built environmental science
  • science
  • public and environmental health concepts
  • research methods
  • political, legislative and policy context
  • risk assessment and management
  • communication, cultural awareness and interpersonal skills

Part 3- applied skills and knowledge under the headings of

  • Prevention and control of notifiable and communicable diseases
  • Indigenous environmental health
  • Sustainability and climate change

Alignment of Learning Outcomes, Assessment and Graduate Attributes
N/A Level
Introductory Level
Intermediate Level
Graduate Level
Professional Level
Advanced Level

Alignment of Assessment Tasks to Learning Outcomes

Assessment Tasks Learning Outcomes
1 2 3 4 5 6
1 - Online Test - 15%
2 - Online Test - 15%
3 - Group Discussion - 30%
4 - Written Assessment - 40%

Alignment of Graduate Attributes to Learning Outcomes

Graduate Attributes Learning Outcomes
1 2 3 4 5 6
1 - Communication
2 - Problem Solving
3 - Critical Thinking
4 - Information Literacy
5 - Team Work
6 - Information Technology Competence
7 - Cross Cultural Competence
8 - Ethical practice
9 - Social Innovation
10 - Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Cultures

Alignment of Assessment Tasks to Graduate Attributes

Assessment Tasks Graduate Attributes
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
1 - Online Test - 15%
2 - Online Test - 15%
3 - Group Discussion - 30%
4 - Written Assessment - 40%
Textbooks and Resources



Environment, Health and Sustainable Development

Edition: 2nd edn (2017)
Authors: Emma Hutchinson, Sari Kovats
Open University Press, McGraw Hill Education
Maidenhead Maidenhead , Berkshire , United Kingdom
ISBN: 9780335245376
Binding: Paperback

Additional Textbook Information

Both paper and eBook versions at the CQUni Bookshop here: http://bookshop.cqu.edu.au (search on the Unit code)

IT Resources

You will need access to the following IT resources:
  • CQUniversity Student Email
  • Internet
  • Unit Website (Moodle)
  • Zoom Conferencing (Webcam and Microphone)
Academic Integrity Statement

As a CQUniversity student you are expected to act honestly in all aspects of your academic work.

Any assessable work undertaken or submitted for review or assessment must be your own work. Assessable work is any type of work you do to meet the assessment requirements in the unit, including draft work submitted for review and feedback and final work to be assessed.

When you use the ideas, words or data of others in your assessment, you must thoroughly and clearly acknowledge the source of this information by using the correct referencing style for your unit. Using others’ work without proper acknowledgement may be considered a form of intellectual dishonesty.

Participating honestly, respectfully, responsibly, and fairly in your university study ensures the CQUniversity qualification you earn will be valued as a true indication of your individual academic achievement and will continue to receive the respect and recognition it deserves.

As a student, you are responsible for reading and following CQUniversity’s policies, including the Student Academic Integrity Policy and Procedure. This policy sets out CQUniversity’s expectations of you to act with integrity, examples of academic integrity breaches to avoid, the processes used to address alleged breaches of academic integrity, and potential penalties.

What is a breach of academic integrity?

A breach of academic integrity includes but is not limited to plagiarism, self-plagiarism, collusion, cheating, contract cheating, and academic misconduct. The Student Academic Integrity Policy and Procedure defines what these terms mean and gives examples.

Why is academic integrity important?

A breach of academic integrity may result in one or more penalties, including suspension or even expulsion from the University. It can also have negative implications for student visas and future enrolment at CQUniversity or elsewhere. Students who engage in contract cheating also risk being blackmailed by contract cheating services.

Where can I get assistance?

For academic advice and guidance, the Academic Learning Centre (ALC) can support you in becoming confident in completing assessments with integrity and of high standard.

What can you do to act with integrity?