Behaviour Society and Health

Subject POPH90210 (2010)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2010.

Credit Points: 12.50
Level: 9 (Graduate/Postgraduate)
Dates & Locations:

This subject has the following teaching availabilities in 2010:

Semester 2, Parkville - Taught on campus.
Pre-teaching Period Start not applicable
Teaching Period not applicable
Assessment Period End not applicable
Last date to Self-Enrol not applicable
Census Date not applicable
Last date to Withdraw without fail not applicable

Timetable can be viewed here. For information about these dates, click here.
Time Commitment: Contact Hours: 24 hrs: One 2 hour seminar per week
Total Time Commitment: 120 hours
Prerequisites: None
Corequisites: None
Recommended Background Knowledge: -
Non Allowed Subjects: -
Core Participation Requirements: -


Prof Jane R.W. Fisher


Key Centre for Women's Health in Society
Telephone: +61 3 8344 0717
Email: enquiries-kcwhs@


Academic Programs Office
Melbourne School of Population Health
Tel: +61 3 8344 9339
Fax: +61 3 8344 0824

Subject Overview: Health and illness are multifactorially determined by interactions between biological, social and psychological factors. In this subject students will be introduced to psychological factors that are relevant to the physical and mental health of populations including health beliefs and behaviours, health locus of control, mood, personality and interpersonal skills. Models of health promotion, health education, disease prevention, illness causation, recovery from serious illness and treatment compliance involve psychological factors and will be examined using specific examples. The first aim of this course is to increase the skills of critical evaluation of conceptualizations of psychological determinants of physical and mental health. The second aim is to increase knowledge of the inclusion of psychological factors in population health research, through appropriate conceptualisation and use of psychometric measures.
Objectives: On completion of this subject students will be able to:
  • Understand psychological factors relevant to physical and mental health;
  • Appraise the evidence for psychological factors in health promotion and health education strategies critically;
  • Appraise the evidence for psychological causation of illness critically;
  • Understand the range of psychological responses to adverse experiences, including medical conditions and their treatment;
  • Conceptualise and describe psychological factors relevant to population health research;
  • Understand the various methods of quantifying psychological factors in research

  • An 20 mins oral presentation (equivalent of 1000 words) due mid-semester (15% of total marks)
  • A class paper based on the oral presentation due mid-semester; 1000 words (20% of total marks)
  • An essay of 3000 words due at the end of semester (65% of total marks).

Prescribed Texts: Readings will be provided electronically for each class.
Recommended Texts: -
Breadth Options:

This subject is not available as a breadth subject.

Fees Information: Subject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date
Generic Skills: Upon completion of this subject a student should have:
  • Advanced written and oral communication skills;
  • Comprehensive skills in cross-disciplinary critical analysis;
  • Advanced skills in reading critically within and across a range of academic disciplines
  • Advanced skills in critical analysis of relevant literature.

Related Course(s): Master of Health Social Sciences
Postgraduate Diploma in Health Social Sciences
Related Majors/Minors/Specialisations: Social Health
Women's Health

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