Master of Social Health (Aboriginal Health)

Course 582-AH (2009)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2009. Search for this in the current handbook

Year and Campus: 2009
Fees Information: Subject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date
Level: Graduate/Postgraduate


Assoc Prof Marilys Guillemin
Centre for Health and Society
School of Population Health
Tel: +61 3 8344 0827
Fax: +61 3 8344 0824


Academic Programs Office
School of Population Health
Tel: +61 3 8344 9339
Fax: +61 3 8344 0824
Course Overview: The social and political dimensions of health and illness present important challenges to practitioners, administrators and policy makers. The Master of Social Health allows students to investigate current issues and questions in health ethics, health care history, medical anthropology and sociology in a multidisciplinary environment which offers opportunities to study health and illness drawing upon a variety of humanities and social sciences.
Objectives: On completion of this course, students should:
  • have a sophisticated understanding of the conceptual approaches within the social study of health, illness and health care;
  • have knowledge of relevant theories and be able to apply it to social health problems;
  • have the ability to critically evaluate and synthesise the relevant literature;
  • have developed analytical skills in identifying the basis to problems in clinical and social contexts;
  • apply the conceptual, theoretical and practical dimensions of the course in students' own professional practice;
  • be able to articulate knowledge and understanding of the area in oral and written form;
  • understand the principles and processes of research design;
  • identify research issues and formulate research questions;
  • have the capacity to design and conduct research at a postgraduate level;
  • have a respect for intellectual integrity, and for the ethics of research and scholarship.
Course Structure & Available Subjects:
  • Master of Social Health (100 points): 5 coursework subjects (4 core subjects, 1 elective subject, and the minor thesis).
  • Master of Social Health (150 points): 9 coursework subjects (6 core subjects, 3 elective subjects, and the minor thesis).

Articulation to Master of Social Health from Graduate Diploma of Social Health:

After completion of 4 postgraduate subjects of the Graduate Diploma of Social Health at a level of at least H2B, students may apply for admission to the 150 points Master of Social Health and apply for transfer of completed subjects.

Please note that students who have completed split level subjects at the 400 level cannot enrol in the equivalent 500 level subject.

Subject Options:


Students must complete the following CORE subjects for both the 100 and 150 point program:

  • 505-921, 505-535, 505-536, 505-922 (Coursework Subjects)
  • 505-920 (Research Project)

Study Period Commencement:
Credit Points:
Semester 1, Semester 2


Students enrolled in the 150 point program must also complete TWO of the following THREE CORE subjects:

Study Period Commencement:
Credit Points:


Student enrolled in the 100 point program must complete ONE of the following elective subjects:

Note: Students may elect to undertake another approved subject.

Study Period Commencement:
Credit Points:


Students enrolled in the 150 point program must complete THREE of the following elective subjects:


  • Students may elect to undertake another approved subject.
  • 175-501 is recommended only for overseas born students of non-English speaking backgrounds.

Study Period Commencement:
Credit Points:
Semester 1, Semester 2
Semester 2
Entry Requirements:

The Master of Social Health is offered as both 100 points and 150 points to accommodate students entering the course with different levels of academic and professional expertise and experience.

Admission for the 100 point Master of Social Health (Aboriginal Health):
Either of the following:

  • Completion of an Honours degree with a major relevant to social health or equivalent, OR
  • Completion of at least a three year cognate degree or equivalent and at least two years of documented relevant work experience.

Admission for the 150 point Master of Social Health (Aboriginal Health):
Either of the following:

  • Completion of a three year degree in a health related discipline or equivalent and at least two years of documented relevant work experience, OR
  • Applicants who have satisfactorily met the requirements for registration or temporary registration as a nurse by the Nurses Board of Victoria in Division 1, 3 or 4 of the Register and at least one additional professional certificate, or equivalent professional qualification and at least 2 years documented relevant work or professional experience, OR
  • Completion of the Graduate Diploma in Social Health

Note: The Selection Committee may conduct interviews, tests, call for referee reports and/or employer references.

All applicants eligible for registration with the Nurses Board of Victoria or with equivalent professional qualification, but without a degree in a health related discipline, must submit either of the following:

  • Evidence of publication in a refereed journal, conference proceedings or chapter in a book; OR
  • An essay of up to 1500 words on a topic prescribed by the selection committee. Authenticity of the essay is to be declared on a covering sheet attached to the essay. Applicants will attend an interview. The purpose of the essay and interview is to determine those applicants who, in the opinion of the selection committee, are able to develop a critical analysis of the prescribed topic.

Core Participation Requirements:

For the purposes of considering request for Reasonable Adjustments under the Disability Standards for Education (Cwth 2005), and Student Support and Engagement Policy, academic requirements for this subject are articulated in the Subject Overview, Learning Outcomes, Assessment and Generic Skills sections of this entry.

It is University policy to take all reasonable steps to minimise the impact of disability upon academic study, and reasonable adjustments will be made to enhance a student's participation in the University's programs. Students who feel their disability may impact on meeting the requirements of this subject are encouraged to discuss this matter with a Faculty Student Adviser and Student Equity and Disability Support:

Graduate Attributes: The Melbourne Experience enables our graduates to become:

Academically excellent:

  • have a strong sense of intellectual integrity and the ethics of scholarship
  • have in-depth knowledge of their specialist discipline(s)
  • reach a high level of achievement in writing, generic research activities, problem-solving and communication
  • be critical and creative thinkers, with an aptitude for continued self-directed learning
  • be adept at learning in a range of ways, including through information and communication technologies

Knowledgeable across disciplines:

  • examine critically, synthesise and evaluate knowledge across a broad range of disciplines
  • expand their analytical and cognitive skills through learning experiences in diverse subjects
  • have the capacity to participate fully in collaborative learning and to confront unfamiliar problems
  • have a set of flexible and transferable skills for different types of employment

Leaders in communities:

  • initiate and implement constructive change in their communities, including professions and workplaces
  • have excellent interpersonal and decision-making skills, including an awareness of personal strengths and limitations
  • mentor future generations of learners
  • engage in meaningful public discourse, with a profound awareness of community needs

Attuned to cultural diversity:

  • value different cultures
  • be well-informed citizens able to contribute to their communities wherever they choose to live and work
  • have an understanding of the social and cultural diversity in our community
  • respect indigenous knowledge, cultures and values

Active global citizens:

  • accept social and civic responsibilities
  • be advocates for improving the sustainability of the environment
  • have a broad global understanding, with a high regard for human rights, equity and ethics

Generic Skills: Please refer to Course Objectives.
Links to further information:

Mid-Year Entry is available.

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