Credit points


Campus offering

No unit offerings are currently available for this unit



Unit rationale, description and aim

Disease prevention and management strategies constitute major areas of public health action and are key to reducing mortality and the population-level burden. COVID 19 has demonstrated that communicable diseases can very quickly become global pandemics, requiring public health emergency responses. Non-communicable diseases are also a cause of death and disability globally, including in low and middle income countries. Injuries, such as falls in older people and road traffic accidents in young people, also contribute substantially to the global burden of disease. This unit will equip students with the theoretical and practical knowledge needed to effectively prevent and manage communicable and non-communicable disease or injury in various settings, including public health emergencies. Students will learn about communicable disease using a case study (e.g. COVID 19). Areas covered will include public health surveillance and emergency responses including the treatment strategies, and preventive strategies (e.g. case containment through quarantine/physical distancing, contact tracing, vaccination). Students will also examine integrated models for non-communicable disease management. This unit aims to introduce students to disease prevention and management strategies with a focus on communicable diseases, non-communicable diseases and injuries.

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.

On successful completion of this unit, students should be able to:

LO1 - Demonstrate specialised knowledge of disease prevention and management strategies, and emergency/disaster responses, in the context of public health practice (GA1, GA2, GA5)   

LO2 - Critique specific policies, interventions and service models in relation to disease prevention and management strategies and emergency/disaster responses (GA4, GA6, GA8)

LO3 - Apply a disease prevention or management strategy that appropriately responds to an assessed need and integrates knowledge of program management approaches (GA3, GA5, GA6)

LO4 - Evaluate the long-term impact of disease prevention and management strategies at a population level (GA4, GA8)

Graduate attributes

GA1 - demonstrate respect for the dignity of each individual and for human diversity

GA2 - recognise their responsibility to the common good, the environment and society 

GA3 - apply ethical perspectives in informed decision making

GA4 - think critically and reflectively 

GA5 - demonstrate values, knowledge, skills and attitudes appropriate to the discipline and/or profession 

GA6 - solve problems in a variety of settings taking local and international perspectives into account

GA8 - locate, organise, analyse, synthesise and evaluate information 


Communicable diseases 

  • Communicable diseases: aetiology, classifications (e.g. acute, chronic), models/means of transmission, global communicable disease burden, available treatments
  • Case study – e.g. COVID 19: public health surveillance and emergency responses including the treatment strategies, and preventive strategies (e.g. case containment/transmission reduction through quarantine/physical distancing personal protective measures, contact tracing, vaccination)
  • Communicable disease in indigenous Australians

Non-communicable diseases  

  • Non-communicable diseases: aetiology of common NCDs, classifications (e.g. acute, chronic), development and distribution throughout lifespan/population, global burden of disease 
  • Prevention: primary, secondary, tertiary prevention targets, approaches 
  • Management: integrated chronic disease management, management of specific conditions, contextual and other issues (e.g. multimorbidity, population ageing) 
  •  Non-Communicable disease in indigenous Australians


  • Common types of injury, burden of disease 
  • Particular injury-population pairs: older people and falls, young people and road traffic accidents 
  • Models of injury prevention and management, application to particular circumstances (e.g. workplace safety, return-to-work programs for injured workers)

Program planning, implementation and evaluation  

  • Fundamental concepts of program/project management  
  • Disease prevention/management programs as knowledge translation 
  • Needs assessment: methods, data collection, analysis and interpretation 
  • Planning and implementation: approaches, impact of contextual factors,(e.g. in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities) integration into practice 
  • Evaluation: methods, internal/external validity, analysis and reporting 

Public health and emergency management 

  • Emergency response: general principles and planning 
  • Specific public health issues associated with disaster and emergency management 
  • Response phases: short-term (e.g. triage, injury, sanitation issues) vs long-term (e.g. management of PTSD) responses and public health 
  • Case studies: disaster responses in Australia and internationally with short-/long-term consequences to public health 

Learning and teaching strategy and rationale

PUBH631 is offered in both multi-mode and online mode. 



In multi-mode, this unit is delivered primarily via face-to-face sessions on campus (e.g. lectures, tutorials, seminars). The unit uses lectures to teach essential theory and concepts. This learning is then reinforced through tutorial and seminar activities that support students to synthesize knowledge and develop deep understanding of how to identify health risks and plan disease/injury prevention and management initiatives. Online content (e.g. readings) via the ACU Learning Environment Online (LEO) also supports this acquisition.  


Online mode  

In online mode, students acquire essential theoretical and practical knowledge of disease prevention and management via a series of asynchronous online lessons which includes: recorded on-campus lecture content; online readings, online discussion forums and self-directed learning modules. Students are given the opportunity to attend facilitated synchronous online tutorial classes (virtual classroom via adobe connect) to participate in the construction and synthesis of this knowledge with other students so as to develop a level of understanding of how to identify health risks and plan disease/injury prevention and management initiatives.  

The learning and teaching strategies of this unit are designed to allow students to meet the aims, learning outcomes of the unit, and graduate attributes of the University. Students will be expected to take responsibility for their learning and to engage actively with unit content and learning activities.

Assessment strategy and rationale

Please note assessment is the same for students undertaking either multi-mode or online mode. 

A range of assessment procedures will be used to meet the unit learning outcomes and develop graduate attributes consistent with University assessment requirements.  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 50%.  

The PUBH631 assessment strategy allows students to progressively develop their knowledge and skills to the level of sophistication where they are able to identify health risks and needs, and develop disease prevention and management strategies. In order to develop the knowledge and skills required to achieve the learning outcomes and Graduate Attributes, students first demonstrate knowledge through a written task, then assessing health risks in a specialised  occupational setting . They will extend and synthesise their understanding through development and evaluation of a disease prevention and management plan. 

Overview of assessments

Brief Description of Kind and Purpose of Assessment TasksWeightingLearning OutcomesGraduate Attributes

Assessment 1: 

Written task

‘Letter to the editor’ 

This will enable students to demonstrate advanced knowledge of disease prevention and management.


LO1, LO2, LO3, LO4

GA1,GA2, GA3,GA4, GA5,GA6, GA8 

Assessment 2: 

Written task

Prevention and management in a specialised occupational setting.

This will enable students to apply knowledge of disease prevention in a specialised setting.


LO1,LO2, LO3,

GA1,GA2,GA3, GA4, GA5, GA6, GA8 

Assessment 3:  

Written task

 Planning, implementation and evaluation of a disease prevention initiative.

This will enable students to apply knowledge of disease prevention in planning a new disease prevention initiative.



GA3, GA4, GA5, GA6,GA8 

Representative texts and references

Baum, F. (2016) The New Public Health (4th ed.). Oxford University Press: Sydney [ACU ebook] 

Beaglehole, R., Bonita, R., Horton, R., Adams, C., Alleyne, G., & Asaria, P., et al (2011). Priority actions for the non-communicable disease crisis. Lancet, 377 (9775), 1438-1447 doi: 10.1016/S0140-6736(11)60393-0 

Bisen, P.S. & Raghuvanshi, R. (2013). Emerging Epidemics: Management and Control. Hoboken: Wiley [ACU ebook] 

Department of Health (2014). National framework for communicable disease control. Commonwaleath of Australia: Canberra Retrieved from$File/National-framework.pdf 

Mordini, E. & Green, M. (2013). Internet-Based Intelligence in Public Health Emergencies: Early Detection and Response in Disease Outbreak Crises. Washington, D.C: IOS Press 

Nelson, K.E. & Williams, C. (2014) Infectious Disease Epidemiology: Theory and Practice (3rd ed.). Burlington, MA: Jones and Bartlett 

World Health Organization (WHO). (2012). Handbook for Integrated Vector Management. Geneva: World Health Organization [ACU ebook] 

World Health Organisation (WHO) (2014). Global Action Plan for the Prevention and Control of NCDs 2013-2020. Geneva: World Health Organization. Retrieved from  

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