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  • Semester 2Multi-mode
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Unit rationale, description and aim

Public health professionals need a sound understanding of the theory and application of health promotion, as well as the improvement of population health and wellbeing, as an integral part of their work. In this unit, students will be introduced to evidence-based health promotion frameworks, models and methods (including data collection techniques), along with theories of behaviour change and health behaviour models. Measurement of impact and effectiveness of health promotion programs, critical appraisal of current health promotion policies/initiatives, and debates within health promotion practice will also be considered. The unit will also emphasise the importance of contextual issues in health promotion, along with partnership, participation, change and capacity. Emergent issues and approaches in health promotion, such as use of social marketing and digital media will also be considered. This unit aims to provide students with the opportunity to develop critical understanding of health promotion theory and related data in order to apply in the development a health promotion initiative.

Learning outcomes

To successfully complete this unit you will be able to demonstrate you have achieved the learning outcomes (LO) detailed in the below table.

Each outcome is informed by a number of graduate capabilities (GC) to ensure your work in this, and every unit, is part of a larger goal of graduating from ACU with the attributes of insight, empathy, imagination and impact.

Explore the graduate capabilities.

Learning Outcome NumberLearning Outcome DescriptionRelevant Graduate Capabilities
LO1Demonstrate advanced knowledge of health promotion theory and practice, and the role of health promotion in public health practiceGC1, GC2, GC7, GC9, GC11
LO2Distinguish between major health promotion frameworks, models and methods in terms of their features, application and limitationsGC1, GC2, GC7, GC9
LO3Explain how contextual factors, such as different population groups or settings, shape health promotion practice and influence outcomesGC1, GC2, GC5, GC7
LO4Integrate theoretical and practical issues to effectively evaluate health promotion initiatives in terms of supporting evidence, approach or applicabilityGC1, GC2, GC7
LO5Design and develop aspect/s of a health promotion initiative addressing a particular health need, using an approach appropriate to the circumstancesGC1, GC2, GC7


Topics include: 

Health promotion frameworks, models and methods 

  • Models of health, and theories of health behaviour change  
  • Health education, health promotion and debates about health promotion. 
  • Health promotion foci: individuals, communities, services/organisations and systems  
  • Contextualised health promotion: application to different health issues, settings, population groups, communities, regions and nations 
  • Evidence-based health promotion and critical appraisal of health promotion research  
  • Data collection

Health promotion practice 

  • Communication techniques in health promotion: conventional and emerging (e.g. digital media and networked approaches) 
  • Community engagement in practice: development of health promotion programs and initiatives, stakeholder engagement, contextual issues, key informants 
  • Indigenous led health promotion  
  • Implementing health promotion – management, partnerships, evaluation  
  • Contemporary issues in health promotion  

Learning and teaching strategy and rationale

PUBH611 is offered in both multi-mode and online mode.

Learning and teaching rationale

This unit's learning and teaching strategies are designed to allow students to meet the unit's learning outcomes and the Graduate Attributes of the University. Students will be expected to take responsibility for their learning and engage actively with unit content and learning activities.

Learning and teaching strategy


In multi-mode, this unit is delivered primarily via face-to-face sessions on campus. It comprises lectures and tutorials during the semester, using student-centred teaching and an active learning approach, to support students in the exploration of determinants of health. Lectures are used to teach essential theory and concepts. This learning is then reinforced through facilitated tutorial activities involving reading, writing, discussion, and problem solving, which support students to synthesize and apply knowledge and develop deep understanding of health promotion. Online content via Canvas also supports this acquisition.


Online mode

In online mode, students acquire essential theoretical and practical knowledge of health promotion in a flexible online learning environment, which involves a series of specifically designed learning activities. This learning is extended and reinforced through readings, online discussion forums and other interactive activities to develop understanding of health promotion and its contribution to creating a healthy society.

Assessment strategy and rationale

A range of assessment procedures will be used to meet the unit learning outcomes and develop graduate attributes consistent with University assessment requirements. In PUBH611, completion of the pre-MPH academic skills and integrity module is a hurdle requirement for students in their first semester of study. 

In order to successfully complete this unit, students need to complete and submit three graded assessment tasks and obtain an aggregate mark of greater than or equal to 50%.The assessment strategy allows students to progressively develop their knowledge and skills to the level of sophistication where they are able to critique an existing health promotion campaign and develop their own health promotion campaign. In order to develop the knowledge and skills required to achieve the learning outcomes and Graduate Attributes, students first demonstrate knowledge through a short answer assignment, further develop their understanding through synthesizing this knowledge in the development of a critique of an existing health promotion campaign, and apply their understanding in a authentic way through the development of their own health promotion proposal. 

Overview of assessments

Brief Description of Kind and Purpose of Assessment TasksWeightingLearning Outcomes

Assessment 1:  

Written task requiring students to demonstrate knowledge of fundamental aspects of the key concepts of health promotion  


LO1, LO2, LO3, LO5

Assessment 2:

Multi-Media Task requiring students to demonstrate their ability to assimilate knowledge by writing a critique of an existing health promotion campaign. 


LO1, LO2, LO3, LO4

Assessment 3: 

Multi-Media Task requiring students to demonstrate their ability to apply their knowledge by developing a new health promotion proposal 


LO2, LO3, LO4, LO5

Representative texts and references

Gottwald, M. & Goodman-Brown, J. (2012). A guide to practical health promotion. Maidenhead: McGraw-Hill Education [ACU ebook] 


Korda, H.& Itani, Z. (2013). Harnessing social media for health promotion and behavior change. Health Promotion Practice, 14(1), 15-23.


Marmot, M. & Allen, J.J. (2014). Social Determinants of Health Equity. American Journal of Public Health, 104(S4),


Health Promotion Journal of Australia (2015) Special issue: Ethics and Health Promotion, Volume 26(3) 


World Health Organisation (WHO) (2023). Health Promotion

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