Health Policy

Subject POPH90206 (2013)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2013.

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

This subject is not offered in 2013.

Time Commitment: Contact Hours: 24 hours
Total Time Commitment:

120 hours





Recommended Background Knowledge:


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.


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.


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 policy development processes and the drivers of policy change
  • Choose and justify a policy analysis methodology for a particular policy issue

One essay due mid-semester, 2000 words (40%); one presentation of 10 mins (20%) due mid-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: 100 Point Master of Journalism
150 Point Master of Journalism
200 Point Master of Journalism
Health Economics and Economic Evaluation
Health Program Evaluation
Public Health

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