Health Policy

Subject POPH90206 (2011)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2011.

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

This subject has the following teaching availabilities in 2011:

March, 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 hours: A 6 hour block held over a day in weeks 2, 3, 6 and 7
Total Time Commitment: 120 hours
Prerequisites: None
Corequisites: None
Recommended Background Knowledge: None
Non Allowed Subjects: Health Policy was formerly know as Health and Public Policy. Students who have completed Health and Public Policy are not to enrol in this subject.
Core Participation Requirements: For the purposes of considering request for Reasonable Adjustments under the Disability Standards for Education (Cwth 2005), and Students Experiencing Academic Disadvantage Policy, academic requirements for this subject are articulated in the Subject Description, Subject Objectives, Generic Skills and Assessment Requirements of this entry.
The University is dedicated to provide support to those with special requirements. Further details on the disability support scheme can be found at the Disability Liaison Unit website.


Dr Helen Jordan, Prof David Dunt


Centre for Health Policy, Programs and Economics
Melbourne School of Population Health
Telephone: +61 3 8344 9111
Email: chppe-enquiries@


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

Subject Overview: The subject focuses on the decisions, usually made by governments, which determine the present and future objectives underlying a country’s health services and programs. The following topics will be covered:
  • policy definitions and instruments;
  • ideas, ideologies and interests that influence priorities in policy decision making;
  • the significance of effectiveness, efficiency and equity as objectives of health policy;
  • legal, political, management, sociological and economic perspectives in understanding policy formation; and
  • the emerging role of scientific evidence in policy formation.

Processes relating to the development and implementation of health policy including health policy analysis and monitoring and evaluation. Both Australia and developing country contexts will be studied.
Objectives: Upon completion of this subject, students should be able to:
  • Describe and critically appraise theoretical perspectives on policy making from political science, economics, law, , sociology and management
  • Debate the role of different understandings of equity alongside other objectives in informing health policy and policy change
  • Critically analyse the origins and evidence base of health policy and funding decisions both in Australia and developing countries
  • Describe and critically analyse the policy cycle and the drivers of policy change
  • Describe the methods in health policy analysis including evaluation, monitoring, and policy selection
Assessment: One essay due mid-semester, 2000 words (40%); one presentation of 10 mins (20%) in the final weeks of semester. One essay due during the examination period, 2000 words (40%)
Prescribed Texts:

Students will also have access to electronic copies of relevant readings.

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, students will have developed skills in:

  • Critical thinking and analysis,
  • Initiative, autonomy and organization,
  • Oral communication,
  • Written communication,
  • Persuasion and argumentation,
  • Working with others and in teams.
Related Course(s): Master of Health Social Sciences
Master of Public Health
Postgraduate Diploma in Health Social Sciences
Related Majors/Minors/Specialisations: Health Economics && Economic Evaluation
Health Program Evaluation
Social Health

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