Non Communicable Disease & Global Health

Subject POPH90247 (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:

June, Parkville - Taught on campus.
Pre-teaching Period Start not applicable
Teaching Period 16-Jun-2016 to 22-Jun-2016
Assessment Period End 03-Aug-2016
Last date to Self-Enrol 17-Jun-2016
Census Date 01-Jul-2016
Last date to Withdraw without fail 15-Jul-2016

Timetable can be viewed here. For information about these dates, click here.
Time Commitment: Contact Hours: 30 hours
Total Time Commitment:

170 hours

Prerequisites: None
Corequisites: None
Recommended Background Knowledge: None
Non Allowed Subjects: None
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:


Mr Sam Byfield


Melbourne School of Population and Global Health


Currently enrolled students:

Future Students:

Subject Overview:

Globally, non communicable disease (NCD) accounts for 65.5 percent of all deaths, and 54 precent of disability adjusted life years (DALYs) . While NCD has sometimes been assumed to impact only wealthy countries, globally it is a major health and development challenge. Around 80 percent of NCD-related deaths occur in low and middle incomes countries. Nations with the highest NCD burden include some of Australia’s closest neighbours, particularly island states in the Pacific where over 70 percent of mortality is now due to NCD resulting in falls in life expectancy in some countries. The growing NCD burden is of critical importance to global health and development because it impacts economic growth and levels of poverty, leads to premature death, and has major social and fiscal implications for governments and communities.

Participants of this subject will gain practical understanding of the epidemiology, determinants, consequences and global health responses to the NCD epidemic. The subject will promote participants’ exploration of the nexuses between NCD and disability, NCD and infectious diseases, and NCD and the broader public health and international development agenda. The subject will contribute to enabling a new generation of public health professionals to address NCD through policy and programmatic responses in Australia and globally.

Learning Outcomes:

By the end of this subject students will be able to:

  • Consider and appraise the major social, political, environmental, cultural and economic factors driving NCD globally, particularly in low and middle-income countries;
  • Describe the historical evolution of the NCDs epidemic, including major political and social changes and how these compare with communicable diseases;
  • Explore and apply global, regional and national strategies to address NCD;
  • Compare and evaluate key methods for NCD surveillance, monitoring and evaluation;
  • Consider and compare the current and forecasted burden of NCD globally and among development groups, regions and subregions;
  • Distinguish between the major global and regional NCD ‘players’ and their roles, including government, NGO and intergovernmental bodies.
  1. One 20 minute group presentation, due on the last teaching day (20%)
  2. One 1,000 word NCD article, due two weeks after the final teaching day (20%)
  3. One 3,000 word essay on an NCD-related issue, due six weeks after the final teaching day (60%)

Hurdle Requirement: Attendance at a minimum of 80% is required to pass this subject.

Prescribed Texts:

McQueen, David. V (ed) Global Handbook on Noncommunicable Diseases and Health Promotion, 2013, Springer.

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 be able to:

  • Describe and appraise public health systems, structures and policies in Australia and other countries, as they apply to NCDs, and be able to distinguish a population-based approach from individual based approaches;
  • Articulate the ways in which age, gender, ethnicity and Indigenous status, society, culture, geography, the environment and socio-economic status influence NCDs and public health practice.


Upon completion of this subject students will be able to:

  • Describe how the concept of equity applies to public health practice;
  • Identify and access public health evidence, and appraise and synthesise this evidence to inform public health decision making with regard to NCDs;
  • Explain and/or plan strategies to prevent disease (and injury) and to protect and improve health (i.e. health promotion, screening, legislation and policy).

Application of knowledge and skills

Upon completion of this subject students will be able to:

  • Apply a comprehensive knowledge of a public health, with reference to NCDs, to develop solutions to complex public health problems;
  • Design and manage a detailed investigation of a NCD-related issue, with a high level personal autonomy.
Related Course(s): Master of Public Health

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