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Utilising Knowledge in Aboriginal Health (RURA90008)

Graduate courseworkPoints: 12.5On Campus (Shepparton)

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Year of offer2019
Subject levelGraduate coursework
Subject codeRURA90008
Semester 1
FeesSubject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date

Our knowledge of health comes from many different experiences, information sources and through different mediums. Our culture informs how we understand health and our expectations of health and health care. Western scientific knowledge also contributes to how we understand health. Furthermore, our experiences of health, illness, caring and wellbeing also contribute to our understandings of health.This unit explores various ideas about health and the integration, overlap and disjuncture of Aboriginal knowledges and Western knowledges of health.

This unit explores how the field of health is influenced by different, sometimes competing ideas about what constitutes knowledge and what effects this has for the health and wellbeing of populations. Focusing particularly on the perspectives of Aboriginal Australians, it examines the nature, intersection and implications of various forms of health knowledges.

Intended learning outcomes

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

  • Describe ways Aboriginal Australian knowledges can be applied in the field of health including to the development of community‐based projects
  • Describe ways Western, biomedical knowledges can be applied and critiqued in the field of health including in the formation of community‐based projects
  • Explain and discuss key perspectives of health and how they overlap, intersect and contradict each other
  • Demonstrate an ability to confidently source and use scholarly literature in the construction of a critical argument

Generic skills

  • Critical thinking and analysis
  • Applying complex theories to social/health issues
  • Project planning skills
  • Advanced oral communication skills
  • High level written communication skills for academic contexts
  • Sourcing and evaluating research and health-related literature
  • Integrating knowledge from diverse sources
  • Using basic Word programs and related software

Eligibility and requirements


Subjects for the Specialist Certificate in Empowering Health in Aboriginal Communities may not be taken concurrently (in the same study period).



Non-allowed subjects


Recommended background knowledge

It is recommended that students have some background in:

  • working in a health-related field
  • working in and/or for an Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander community
  • community service or a desire to serve community
  • understanding of the social model of health

Core participation requirements

For the purposes of considering requests 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: http://services.unimelb.edu.au/disability

As Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australian students will be part of the student cohort, cultural issues will be accounted for where reasonably practical. In addition, requirements to travel to attend the course will be considered and travel scholarships may be available to eligible students.



Project plan topic and rationale

  • 500 words
Week 210%

Knowledge supporting project topic (literature review and sources of Aboriginal knowledge)

  • 1500 words
Week 730%

Project plan presentation

  • 10 minutes
Week 1220%

Written project plan

  • 2000 words
Week 1230%

Participation in the subject throughout the semester. (Each student will receive a weekly mark for participating in the subject e.g. contributing to group discussions, demonstrating that they have read the assigned readings and questioning these readings. An average score (weighted for the time interval) will provide a participation mark worth 10% of the course assessment)

Hurdle requirement: Student attendance at the intensive sessions is required for 100% of the time unless written agreement from the course coordinator is attained. Failure to attend 100% of the intensive sessions will result in failure of the subject. Each student will receive a participation mark for this subject. An average score will provide a participation mark worth 20% of the subject's assessment.
From Week 1 to Week 1210%

Dates & times

  • Semester 1
    Mode of deliveryOn Campus — Shepparton
    Contact hours
    Total time commitment170 hours
    Pre teaching requirementsStudents will not be expected to begin immersion in the subject's content during the pre‐teaching period. However, students will be expected to be on the Department of Rural Health's Shepparton campus by the first day of semester 1 for a short teaching intensive before returning to their communities by the beginning of week 2 of semester, making travel to the campus a requirement during the pre‐teaching period.
    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

Time commitment details

170 hours

Further information

  • Texts

    Prescribed texts

    A subject reader will be made available to students for purchase at low cost and additional readings and/or materials will be provided to students by the unit coordinator and/or in tutorials during semester time.

  • 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.

Last updated: 21 September 2019