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Bioethics and Public Health (POPH90270)

Graduate courseworkPoints: 12.5On Campus (Parkville)

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Year of offer2019
Subject levelGraduate coursework
Subject codePOPH90270
Semester 1
FeesSubject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date

This subject introduces students to the study of bioethics, with a focus on key issues in public health. It explores theoretical frameworks and major debates in public health ethics, in both the Australian and global contexts.

Topics include: ethical theory, the nature of public health ethics, vaccination, population screening, selective reproduction, and resource allocation.

Students will be introduced to concepts and frameworks for thinking about ethical issues, and learn skills for identifying and analysing ethical problems.

Intended learning outcomes

  • Understand the process of ethical analysis in practice
  • Reflectively identify and challenge moral intuitions
  • Engage with academic literature in an informed and critical way
  • Understand key concepts and approaches in bioethics, particularly public health ethics
  • Be able to use these concepts and approaches to perform an ethical analysis

Generic skills

Students undertaking this subject should acquire:

  • Skills in ethical reasoning and analysis
  • Knowledge of the fundamental debates in health care and public health
  • Attitudes comfortable with moral ambiguity and complexity

Eligibility and requirements





Non-allowed subjects


Core participation requirements

The University of Melbourne is committed to providing students with reasonable adjustments to assessment and participation under the Disability Standards for Education (2005), and the Assessment and Results Policy (MPF1326). Students are expected to meet the core participation requirements for their course. These can be viewed under Entry and Participation Requirements for the course outlines in the Handbook.

Further details on how to seek academic adjustments can be found on the Student Equity and Disability Support website: http://services.unimelb.edu.au/student-equity/home



Five reflective journals (300 words each)

  • 1500 words
From Week 3 to Week 830%

Critical analysis of literature

  • 2000 words
Week 640%


  • 1500 words
During the examination period30%

Hurdle requirement

Hurdle requirement: Attendance at a minimum of 80% is required to pass this subject
Throughout the semesterN/A

Dates & times

  • Semester 1
    Principal coordinatorRos McDougall
    Mode of deliveryOn Campus — Parkville
    Contact hours30
    Total time commitment170 hours
    Teaching period 4 March 2019 to 2 June 2019
    Last self-enrol date15 March 2019
    Census date31 March 2019
    Last date to withdraw without fail10 May 2019
    Assessment period ends28 June 2019

    Semester 1 contact information


    Currently enrolled students:

    Future Students:

Time commitment details

170 hours

Further information

  • Texts

    Prescribed texts

    There are no specifically prescribed or recommended texts for this subject.

  • Available through the Community Access Program

    About the Community Access Program (CAP)

    This subject is available through the Community Access Program (also called Single Subject Studies) which allows you to enrol in single subjects offered by the University of Melbourne, without the commitment required to complete a whole degree.

    Entry requirements including prerequisites may apply. Please refer to the CAP applications page for further information.

  • Available to Study Abroad and/or Study Exchange Students

    This subject is available to students studying at the University from eligible overseas institutions on exchange and study abroad. Students are required to satisfy any listed requirements, such as pre- and co-requisites, for enrolment in the subject.

Last updated: 21 September 2019