PBHL12002 - Public Health Initiatives

General Information

Unit Synopsis

Public health programs require a coordinated effort and are typically based on a systematic planning model. This unit builds on your understanding of public health by providing a planning framework and the necessary tools to tackle complex public health issues at population, community and individual levels. Effective public health programs incorporate a combination of initiatives to promote and protect health, hence you will explore and critique a range of individually focused initiatives (aimed at changing individual behaviour) and structural initiatives (aimed at changing social, economic, political, and environmental factors). Public health advocacy will be explored as a key strategy for facilitating 'upstream' changes such as regulation, policy or procedural changes. You will have the opportunity to develop a planning model to address a specific public health issue; this model can be used to prioritise health issues, select appropriate public health initiatives and develop indicators to assess health impacts and outcomes over time.


Level Undergraduate
Unit Level 2
Credit Points 6
Student Contribution Band SCA Band 2
Fraction of Full-Time Student Load 0.125
Pre-requisites or Co-requisites 48 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).

Class Timetable View Unit Timetable
Residential School No Residential School

Unit Availabilities from Term 2 - 2023

Term 2 - 2023 Profile
Term 2 - 2024 Profile

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).

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.

Assessment Tasks

Assessment Task Weighting
1. Written Assessment 20%
2. Written Assessment 40%
3. Written Assessment 40%

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

Past Exams

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Previous Feedback

Term 2 - 2022 : The overall satisfaction for students in the last offering of this course was 100.00% (`Agree` and `Strongly Agree` responses), based on a 22.22% response rate.

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.

Source: Student evaluation, Teaching Reflection.
Learning materials, particularly lectures, need to be updated.
Update lectures and learning materials to reflect contemporary Public Health theory and practice, including guest lecturers and/or podcast style 'interviews' with practitioners.
Action Taken
The unit material including lectures, readings and audio visual materials was completely refreshed to reflect contemporary Public Health theory and practice.
Source: Student evaluation, Teaching reflection.
Students appreciated the timely and detailed feedback on assessments.
Continue to provide detailed feedback on assessments.
Action Taken
Timely and detailed feedback was given in text on assessments and on rubrics as well and general feedback on the discussion board and on Zoom tutorials.
Source: Student evaluation, Teaching reflection, Student assessment.
Students valued the real work application of assessments 2 and 3.
Retain assessment format, however for Assessment 3 (Program Plan), increase focus and weighting on evaluation and partnership building.
Action Taken
In Assessment 3: Program Plan, focus and weighting on evaluation and partnership building was increased.
Source: SUTE
One student commented that having two reports to write for one unit was stressful.
Ensure that students understand the differences between the assessments (Assessment 2 is a Report; Assessment 3 is a Program Plan). Consider changing Assessment 3 to a oral presentation in future years.
Action Taken
Source: Student feedback, Unit Coordinator reflection
Although in the introductory zoom and assessment tutorials it was emphasised that program planning and evaluation are key skills for all public health professional, an Environmental Health student commented that they did not feel that the unit was useful for their future work.
In consultation with Environmental Health colleagues and industry representatives add more unit materials that focus on Environmental Health topics. Ensure that one of the program examples for Assessment 2 is an Environmental Health initiative. Ensure that one Community Needs Assessment for Assessment 3 includes topics of interest for Environmental Health students.
Action Taken
Source: Unit Coordinator reflection, Community consultation
The term 'intervention' in the context of public health means an act that improves, maintains or promotes the health of a population. However, the word 'intervention' for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and communities has a negative association with a sociopolitical act of government enacted on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. This raises conflicting understanding and emotions for many (personal communication Dr Lynore Geia). Furthermore, this term does not reflect contemporary public health practice with our focus on collaboration and partnerships with communities and other sectors.
Consult with colleagues and course advisory committee on changing the name of the unit to 'Public Health Initiatives' or 'Program planning and Evaluation in Public Health' in future years.
Action Taken
Unit learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this unit, you will be able to:

  1. Articulate the importance of a planning model to guide program planning within public health
  2. Distinguish between 'individually focused' and 'structural' public health initiatives
  3. Determine the most appropriate combination of initiatives for addressing a key public health issue
  4. Articulate the importance of public health advocacy as a key strategy for improving the health of the community
  5. Develop a planning model to address a specific public health issue
  6. Solve ethical concerns relating to initiative development.

Alignment of Assessment Tasks to Learning Outcomes
Assessment Tasks Learning Outcomes
1 2 3 4 5 6
1 - Written Assessment
2 - Written Assessment
3 - Written Assessment
Alignment of Graduate Attributes to Learning Outcomes
Introductory Level
Intermediate Level
Graduate Level
Graduate Attributes Learning Outcomes
1 2 3 4 5 6
1 - Communication
2 - Problem Solving
3 - Critical Thinking
4 - Information Literacy
7 - Cross Cultural Competence
8 - Ethical practice
Alignment of Assessment Tasks to Graduate Attributes
Introductory Level
Intermediate Level
Graduate Level
Assessment Tasks Graduate Attributes
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10