Credit points


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PUBH302 Applied Public Health 1

Teaching organisation

150 hours of focused learning

Unit rationale, description and aim

Applied Public Health 2 is the second unit in a full-year professional (2 semester) placement where students gain first-hand knowledge and experience in public health practice. Students are placed in one of a range of organisations with established and successful public health activities. Students thus gain insight into professional public health practice, which relies on effective community engagement. The placement sites generally have a focus on marginalised and otherwise disadvantaged communities, either within Australia or internationally. Through this experience, students gain substantial insight into the cultural, social, moral, ethical, economic and environmental aspects that underpin the health and well-being of communities and individuals. As the placement unfolds, students will apply their own core curriculum learnings within the context of well-established community based organisations, thus facilitating their development as competent and caring public health professionals.

The aim of this unit is to provide students with the opportunity to critically analysis their work integrated learning experiences in terms of both workplace dynamics and the broader aims and approaches of the Public Health sector.

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 - Analyse, evaluate and link public health and health promotion theory to practice (GA2, GA4, GA5) 

LO2 - Reflect critically upon the values underpinning the relationships, roles and functions of staff and clients within a community organisation/s (GA2) 

LO3 - Demonstrate progress towards meeting industry expectations of professional competency relevant to public health and health promotion (GA5, GA7) 

LO4 - Articulate a strategic, defined plan of career goals. (GA3, GA4, GA5) 

Graduate attributes

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

GA7 - Work both autonomously and collaboratively 


Fieldwork will be organised in government and non-government health and/or community development organisations. Within the workplace, students will be allocated a series of tasks related to a specific project of relevance to public health or health promotion. The actual content and nature of the project will be determined by negotiation between the host organisation, the student and the ACU public health Professional Experience Coordinator. It is anticipated that each student will make a positive contribution to the public health work of the host organisation and develop a greater knowledge and appreciation of the potential this work may have for community well-being. Over the course of the placement duration, students will be introduced to progressively advanced tasks and responsibilities, correspondent to their development as public health professionals.  

Learning and teaching strategy and rationale

This unit is delivered primarily through a work-integrated learning framework, supplemented by face-to-face workshop sessions on campus. The unit uses an active learning approach where activities support students to acquire essential theoretical knowledge in public health practice relevant to the specific workplace of their placement. Online content (e.g. readings) via the ACU Learning Environment Online (LEO) also support this acquisition. Workshops provide students the opportunity to apply workplace experiences to broader public health contexts/scenarios, and progressively develop higher level skills of analysis and application of theory in public health practice. 


Students will undertake placements in host organisations approved by the ACU Public Health National Professional Practice Coordinator and the campus LIC. Learning and performance will be determined by the University and the appointed fieldwork supervisor through a predefined and monitored set of criteria including skills and outcomes expected to be achieved. The fieldwork will comprise a minimum of 200 hours (combined over PUBH302 and PUBH305). 

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 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%. 

PUBH305 assessment tasks are designed to document and contextualise the work within a specific public health setting. This assessment strategy allows students to progressively develop their knowledge and skills to the level consistent with the competencies outlined in the 2016 revised CAPHIA competencies for public health graduates. 

The first task enables students to critically analyse their placement organisation’s culture, structure and environment drawing on relevant frameworks. This process will also act as a formative assessment as the feedback given will inform their final presentation on their practicum experience.

The second assessment provides a structure for students to follow to enable the production of a high quality piece of work. In this assessment, students build on their essay in PUBH302, to identify, analyse and describe critical public health issues and processes relevant to the context of their field placement.

In the assessment task 3, students will summarise their own fieldwork placement experience in the form of an oral presentation. This will help students to develop an understanding of the role of public health work their daily activities, and professional approaches relevant to public health and health promotion.

This assessment task emphasises the importance of effective communication through high quality visual aids. 

Overview of assessments

Brief Description of Kind and Purpose of Assessment TasksWeightingLearning OutcomesGraduate Attributes

Hurdle requirement: Host organisation supervisor authorised timesheet.

To demonstrate compliance with the 200hr minimum attendance requirements 

Pass or Fail 


GA3, GA5, GA7 

Assessment 1:Written Organisational Analysis

To enable students to apply frameworks to critically analyse their placement experience


LO2, LO3 

GA4, GA7 

Assessment 2: Essay Part 2 (see PUBH302 for Part 1)

To enable and assess ability to identify, analyse and explain critical public health issues and processes relevant to a public health work setting.


LO1, LO3

GA2, GA4, GA5 

Assessment 3: Presentation

To enable and assess students’ ability to analyse and describe their own role within a public health work setting.



GA2, GA4, GA5

Representative texts and references

Baum, Fran. 2016. The new public health. 4th ed. Melbourne, Australia: Oxford University Press.

Lin, V., Smith J., & Fawkes, S. (2007). Public health practice in Australia: the organised effort. Crows Nest: Allen & Unwin. 


Prilleltensky, I. & Prilleltensky, O. (2006). Promoting wellbeing: Linking personal, organization, and community change. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley. 

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