PBHL13001 - Public Health and Environmental Sustainability

General Information

Unit Synopsis

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.


Level Undergraduate
Unit Level 3
Credit Points 6
Student Contribution Band SCA Band 2
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).

Class Timetable View Unit Timetable
Residential School No Residential School

Unit Availabilities from Term 2 - 2023

Term 1 - 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. Online Test 15%
2. Online Test 15%
3. Group Discussion 30%
4. 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

To view Past Exams,
please login
Previous Feedback

Term 1 - 2023 : The overall satisfaction for students in the last offering of this course was 100.00% (`Agree` and `Strongly Agree` responses), based on a 55.56% 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: 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.
Action Taken
The need to complete all learning materials was reinforced at the start of term and at intervals throughout Term 1.
Source: 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.
Action Taken
The need for independent learning was emphasised. Additional tutorials were provided for some students to provide some guidance in their independent reading.
Source: SUTE Evaluation
Some video resources could be improved.
Record new lectures for Module 3.
Action Taken
Source: SUTE feedback. Personal reflection.
Some students do not believe they are likely to use the skills and knowledge gained in this unit.
Provide clearer examples of how students planning to work in Health Promotion and Public Health Nutrition will use the skills and knowledge gained in this unit in their careers.
Action Taken
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 Assessment Tasks to Learning Outcomes
Assessment Tasks Learning Outcomes
1 2 3 4 5 6
1 - Online Test
2 - Online Test
3 - Group Discussion
4 - 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
6 - Information Technology Competence
7 - Cross Cultural Competence
8 - Ethical practice
9 - Social Innovation
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
1 - Online Test
2 - Online Test
3 - Group Discussion
4 - Written Assessment