Credit points


Campus offering

No unit offerings are currently available for this unit


(PUBH620 Biostatistics OR HLSC642 Biostatistics for Health Sciences ) AND PUBH611 Health Promotion


PUBH651 Public Health Research Thesis A , PUBH652 Public Health Research Thesis B

Unit rationale, description and aim

PUBH649 Preparation for Practice is one of two units (PUBH649 Preparation for Practice and PUBH655 Practice Placement) which will apply and consolidate learning acquired in the Master of Public Health program to prepare students to practise as public health professionals. PUBH649 Preparation for Practice comprises a range of educational activities which will prepare students for PUBH655 Practice Placement. In PUBH649 Preparation for Practice, students will undertake coursework including modules on sourcing placement, skills strengthening and practice reflections. In consultation with the lecturer-in-charge, students are to seek an appropriate public health project that they will undertake when enrolled in PUBH655. PUBH649 Preparation for Practice is linked to the Australian Qualifications Framework and supported by educational theory on the importance of experiential learning for preparing students for professional practice.

In the subsequent unit, PUBH655 Practice Placement, students will build on knowledge acquired in PUBH649 Preparation for Practice and complete a project consisting of a practice-based public health activity or fieldwork that involves the integration of knowledge and skills across multiple public health areas. In PUBH655 Practice Placement, students are to demonstrate core public health competencies as appropriate, including community engagement and ethical practice. Overall, PUBH649 Preparation for Practice and PUBH655 Practice Placement aim to enable students to apply and integrate their public health skills and knowledge within a summative public health practice experience.

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 contextual knowledge of the mission, aims, objectives and functions of various public health practice organisations (GA2, GA5)

LO2 - Critically analyse the application of public health practice principles of community engagement, the value of partnership, cultural competency and/or ethical practice (GA1, GA2, GA3, GA4, GA5, GA8)

LO3 - Demonstrate independent learning and critical thinking in planning a well-constructed project proposal in a particular area of public health practice (GA1, GA2, GA3, GA4, GA5, GA6, GA7, GA8, GA9, GA10)

LO4 - Critically reflect on personal learning objectives and application of specialised knowledge and skills to address public health problems within a practice-based project (GA2, GA4, GA5, GA7, 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

GA7 - Work both autonomously and collaboratively 

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

GA9 - Demonstrate effective communication in oral and written English language and visual media 

GA10 - Utilise information and communication and other relevant technologies effectively.


Topics include:

Placements: what, why, where, how?

  • What is placement?
  • Placement search strategy
  • Applications and placement proposals

Skills strengthening

  • Literature reviews
  • Data collection & data analysis
  • Oral presentations
  • Report writing

Public health practice

  • Community engagement
  • From theory to practice

Students are required to meet mandatory or other requirements as indicated by ACU or placement sites (e.g., vaccinations, Working with Children checks, CPR training, hand hygiene and others) by the end of PUBH649 Preparation for Practice, prior to the commencement of their placement in PUBH655 Practice Placement.

Learning and teaching strategy and rationale

PUBH649 Preparation for Practice uses a student-centred and active learning approach to support students in their exploration of theoretical and practical knowledge to apply within a public health practice environment.

PUBH649 is offered in both multi-mode and online mode. All students will work through asynchronous online learning material (self-directed learning activities and readings) comprising practical approaches for applying public health principles, concepts and learnings. Learning is reinforced through facilitated tutorial classes and online discussion forums which provide students the opportunity to participate in the construction and synthesis of this knowledge with other students, to progressively develop higher level skills of analysis and application of public health practice, and so further develop a readiness for conducting a placement project in PUBH655. In multi-mode, students will attend face-to-face tutorials on campus. In online mode, students are given the opportunity to attend facilitated synchronous online tutorial classes.

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. Assessment tasks will be the same for multimode and online mode.

The first assessment task is designed to prepare students for project placement by reflecting on public health principles.

In the second assessment task, students will have the opportunity to strengthen and develop their critical appraisal and writing skills prior to preparing their project proposal in the subsequent unit, PUBH655, by investigating a relevant health topic.

The third assessment task enables students to reflect on practice readiness before their project/practice placement in the subsequent unit, PUBH655. This will provide the opportunity for students to reflect on their competency levels and workplace readiness, to refine their knowledge, understanding and skills in public health in a practice environment, and to develop independent learning. As an oral presentation, this will enable students to develop effective presentation skills for a professional audience.

 A hurdle requirement for PUBH655 Practice Placement is the completion of any mandatory requirements by the first week of the semester that the unit is taken (In Place workplace compliance). This must be approved prior to commencement of the project.

 All assessments will be submitted electronically.

Overview of assessments

Brief Description of Kind and Purpose of Assessment TasksWeightingLearning OutcomesGraduate Attributes

Assessment 1:

Written task to enable students to prepare for project placement by reflecting on public health principles.


LO1, LO2

GA1, GA2, GA3, GA4, GA5, GA8

Assessment 2:

Written task to strengthen students' critical appraisal and writing skills prior to placement, by investigating a relevant public health issue.


LO1, LO2, LO3

GA1, GA2, GA3, GA4, GA5, GA6, GA7, GA8, GA9, GA10

Assessment 3:

Oral presentation: This task will enable students to present their practice readiness and prepare for professional practice.



GA2, GA4, GA5, GA7, GA8

Representative texts and references

Brophy, S., Snooks, H., & Griffiths, L. (2008). Small-Scale Evaluation in Health. London, UK: Sage [ACU ebook]

Kawachi, I., Lang, I., & Ricciardi, W. (2020). Oxford handbook of public health practice (4th ed.). Oxford University Press.

Manley, K., Titchen, A., & Hardy, S. (2009). Work-based learning in the context of contemporary health care education and practice: A concept analysis, Practice Development in Health Care, 8(2), pp. 87–127.

Midwinter, D., & Whatmore, T. (2011). Positive placements: making the most of your educational placement. Continuum.

Wilt, J, Bleidorn, W, & Revelle, W. (2016). Finding a Life Worth Living: Meaning in Life and Graduation from College. European Journal of Personality, 30(2), 158-167.

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