Health Policy

Subject POPH90206 (2016)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2016.

Credit Points: 12.5
Level: 9 (Graduate/Postgraduate)
Dates & Locations:

This subject has the following teaching availabilities in 2016:

March, Parkville - Taught on campus.
Pre-teaching Period Start not applicable
Teaching Period 11-Mar-2016 to 22-Apr-2016
Assessment Period End 07-Jun-2016
Last date to Self-Enrol 18-Mar-2016
Census Date 01-Apr-2016
Last date to Withdraw without fail 06-May-2016

Timetable can be viewed here. For information about these dates, click here.
Time Commitment: Contact Hours: 24 hours
Total Time Commitment:

170 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.


Dr Helen Jordan


Melbourne School of Population and Global Health


Currently enrolled students:

Future Students:

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, managerial, 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.

Learning Outcomes:

Upon completion of this subject, students should be able to:

  • Describe and critically appraise theoretical perspectives on policy making from a political science, epidemiological, economics, law, , sociological and managerial perspective.
  • 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.
Links to further information:
Related Course(s): Master of Public Health
Related Majors/Minors/Specialisations: 100 Point Master of Journalism
100 Point Master of Social Policy
150 Point Master of Journalism
200 Point Master of Journalism
200 Point Master of Social Policy
Electives in the Master of Veterinary Public Health (Emergency Animal Disease)
Environment and Public Health
Health Economics and Economic Evaluation
Health Program Evaluation
Public Health
Tailored Specialisation
Tailored Specialisation

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