Credit points


Campus offering

No unit offerings are currently available for this unit


PUBH100 Foundations of Public Health OR PUBH102 Foundations of Health Promotion

Teaching organisation

150 hours of focused learning

Unit rationale, description and aim

Globalisation and associated environmental challenges pose significant threats to human health. It is necessary for public health professionals to understand and critique the impact of these issues, so they can work to maximise the benefits of globalisation and environmental services, while minimising health harms. This unit examines the breadth of environmental health and international dimensions of public health including the impact of globalisation on international health inequities. Students also examine global threats to public health in Australia. Students will be introduced to the interactions between globalisation and natural environments, and their positive and negative impacts on human health. Students will also learn about the role of multinational organisations, companies, policies and agreements in shaping environmental determinants of population health. The impact of colonisation on the health of Indigenous Australians and a recognition of their connection to country will be explored. The aim of this unit is to enable students to critically evaluate and develop health-promoting strategies in the context of past and present globalisation. 

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 - Explain the interplay of globalisation, natural environments and human health (GA4)

LO2 - Demonstrate an understanding of both the positive and negative impacts of globalisation and environment on public health issues (GA4, GA5)

LO3 - Critically appraise the role of multinational organisations, policies and agreements on environment and public health (GA4, GA5, GA6, GA8)

LO4 - Apply key concepts in globalisation, environment and public health to critically evaluate global efforts to improve public health (GA4, GA6, GA8)

Graduate attributes

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 


Topics will include: 

  • Drivers and public health consequences of globalisation  
  • Natural environmental systems as determinants of public health 
  • Key global environmental challenges to population health 
  • climate change 
  • water availability and quality 
  • waste  
  • energy 
  • biodiversity 
  • salinity and land degradation 
  • biotechnology  
  • built environments 
  • Incidence and distribution of global health problems 
  • Role of public health action in addressing globalisation and environmental challenges 
  • Role of international policies, agreements (e.g. Sustainable Development Goals) and organisations in addressing global health issues. 

Learning and teaching strategy and rationale

PUBH200 is delivered in attendance mode; the primary learning activities are face-to-face sessions on campus (e.g. lectures, workshops, seminars). The unit uses an active learning approach where activities support students to acquire fundamental knowledge to support their future studies of public health or other health-related disciplines. Online content (e.g. readings) via LEO also supports this acquisition. Lectures will provide students with an overview of each topic area, illustrated by case studies or examples that are relatable to first-year students’ experience. Tutorials are designed to allow students the opportunity to apply lecture content to particular public health contexts/scenarios, and progressively develop a coherent understanding of the role, function and importance of public health practice. 

Assessment strategy and rationale

This unit is designed based on a constructivism approach, which supports active learning that encourages students to engage in a range of learning activities to facilitate the construction of new knowledge. This unit used constructive alignment in the design process, meaning that learning activities and assessment tasks are designed to address the intended learning outcomes directly. The first assessment task draws on the fundamental principles and concepts addressed in the first part of the unit, with students describing the impact of globalisation and environment on public health issues. The third assessment task requires students to analyse their own health-related behaviours in relation to the physical and social environments within which they live. Their written interpretations will be based on the concepts and knowledge presented in the lectures and tutorials. 

Overview of assessments

Brief Description of Kind and Purpose of Assessment TasksWeightingLearning OutcomesGraduate Attributes

Essay One (1500 words) 

To enable and assess students’ ability to describe the impact of globalisation and environment on public health 


LO1, LO2

GA4, GA5

Essay Two (1500 words) 

To enable and test students’ ability to critically evaluate global efforts to improve public health by applying key concepts of globalisation and environmental determinants of public health


LO3, LO4

GA4, GA5, GA6, GA8

Representative texts and references

Guest G. (2005). Globalization, Health, and the Environment: An Integrated Perspective (Globalization and the Environment). Rowman & Littlefield. 

Rydin, Y., Bleahu, A., Davies, M., Dávila, J. D., Friel, S., De Grandis, G., . . . Wilson, J. (2012). Shaping cities for health: Complexity and the planning of urban environments in the 21st century. Lancet, 379(9831), 2079-2108. 

Watts, N., Adger, W. N., Agnolucci, P., Blackstock, J., Byass, P., Cai, W., . . . Costello, A. (2015). Health and climate change: policy responses to protect public health. Lancet, 386(10006), 1861-1914. 

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