Health and community units

Single-unit study

You can study individual units for personal or professional development without having to apply for a full QUT course.

If you successfully complete a unit, you may be eligible for credit if you decide to apply for a degree course in the future.

Units anyone can study

These units don’t have any requirements for previous study or background knowledge.

But if your previous studies were not in English, or were completed in a country where English is not the first language, you will need to demonstrate that you meet our English proficiency requirements when you apply.

Health and community

Biomedical sciences

LSB111 Understanding Disease Concepts

This unit reinforces fundamental assumed knowledge of anatomy and physiology and introduces the study of human disease processes or pathophysiology. General concepts underlying human diseases as well as disorders relating to organ systems will be studied and the major diseases affecting Australians, in particular those identified as National Health Priority Areas, will be addressed. The ability to understand and interpret the pathophysiology underpinning clinical contexts and to communicate this information using appropriate medical terminology are essential requirements for all students undertaking allied health courses and prepares them for professional practice.

Chemistry & physics

PCN211 Physics of Medical Imaging

Support for clinical imaging systems is an integral part of the Medical Physics profession. This requires an understanding of not only electronics and software, but also the fundamental physics underpinning the process of imaging. The aim of this unit is to provide you with a solid understanding of the physics behind three common medical imaging modalities: Computed Tomography, Magnetic Resonance Imaging and ultrasound imaging. These techniques complement each other both in terms of the type of radiation used (ionising radiation, radio waves and acoustic waves) and in terms of the imaging utility; therefore, this combination of techniques provides a good introduction into the diverse and rapidly developing field of medical imaging. You will learn about the interaction of these types of radiation with matter, the basic mathematical principles of image formation, the factors determining image contrast and ways to modulate contrast, and the imaging common hardware.

Exercise & nutrition sciences

XNB151 Food and Nutrition

Nutrition forms the focus of many health initiatives. Reducing the burden of poor nutrition has the potential to produce major change in the health status of Australians. This introductory unit provides you with foundation skills and knowledge of food and nutrition systems, food constituents, energy balance, changing nutritional requirements throughout the life course, and the application of dietary assessment methodologies and food selection guides to maintain and improve health at the individual and population level. In this unit you will develop your skills to critique common food fads and myths in nutrition, as well as introductory skills in reflection and foundations for inter-professional practice. The skills in searching and appraising scientific literature, which are introduced in this unit, are critical to establishing your academic writing and research literacy skills to the expected tertiary level.

XNB390 Teaching Primary HPE

Primary specialist teachers need knowledge and understanding of how to integrate Health and physical education within the other key learning areas. This unit provides you with the opportunity to experience and learn the connection between physical activity and health and its role in meeting the developmental needs of children. Additionally, you will participate in a range of learning experiences appropriate to the developmental needs of children and acquire the skills necessary to safely deliver student learning in an open environment. Topics include principles of the health and physical education years 1-10 syllabus; motor skill development and ability related expectations for teaching HPE; planning for quality instruction and linking physical activity with health; planning and teaching HPE; classroom management and safety issues.

XNB396 Child and Adolescent Health

The dynamic health status of children and adolescents is influenced by a range of health determinants. Knowledge of health issues and the underlying factors involved may be beneficial for any person required to work with children and adolescents, including teachers and health professionals. Understanding factors that impact on the health and wellbeing of children and adolescents is necessary for facilitating the holistic development of children and adolescents. You will be encouraged to explore health issues from a contextualised position, for the purpose of developing greater awareness of measures that can be undertaken to promote the health and wellbeing of children and adolescents.


HLN004 Chronic Conditions Prevention and Management

The prevalence of chronic conditions and the range of factors contributing to their development are increasing and placing demands on communities and health care systems worldwide. Major chronic conditions will be considered within a continuum of care with a particular emphasis on primary health care and the prevention, rehabilitation and management of chronic conditions in the Australian and International contexts.   You will examine and critique a range of current policies, frameworks, strategies and approaches to the prevention and management of chronic conditions and then contextualise and apply these findings to your particular area of practice or interest.


JSB174 Forensic Psychology and the Law

Forensic Psychology is readily acknowledged as one of the fastest growing areas of psychology in the world. Psychologists are now involved significantly in policing, judicial procedures and correctional processes. The term 'forensic' literally means 'of or used in law courts' (Australian Oxford Paperback Dictionary). The phrase 'psychology and the law', however, is now used more generally to describe the different ways in which psychology and law intersect - namely the psychology of the law, psychology in the law, and psychology by the law. By its very nature the study of psychology and law draws from a wide multidisciplinary base for the application of specialised knowledge. As a student of this discipline area, you will need a broad introductory appreciation of (and a critical perspective on) what the study of psychology and the law involves.


NSB102 Professional Practice and Cultural Safety

As healthcare providers, nurses need knowledge, skills, and attributes to implement person-centred care to people from all backgrounds. To fulfil regulatory requirements and ethical and professional standards of nursing, this foundational unit introduces cultural safety a model underpinning students' development and practice.Nursing practice requires a sound understanding of the expectations of consumers, employers, the profession, and the wider community. An understanding of the impact of our own cultures and those of professions and systems is essential to provide nursing care that is free of racism, stigma and other forms of discrimination across all practice settings. This unit introduces the social determinants of health which underpin cultural safety and its focus on societal responses to diversity and the impacts of these responses on health. The unit provides a basis for developing respect and compassion as well as professional standards.

NSB202 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples' Well-being

This unit is positioned in the developing stage of the course and within the professional practice stream. An understanding of the social determinants of health and the impact of historical and contemporary policy and practice influencing the health and wellness of Aboriginal peoples and Torres Strait Islanders is essential to providing health care with these populations. A multitude of terms and concepts are used in this context. This unit emphasises cultural safety as the preferred model to contemporary health care delivery in Australia. It promotes the position of the contemporary health practitioner as a fundamental member of the partnership, and necessary to enhancing Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health and well-being. Importantly, it values the pivotal role of Aboriginal peoples and Torres Strait Islander peoples' self-determination in leading this partnership.

Psychology & counselling

PYB007 Communication for Health Professionals

PYB007 is a multidisciplinary unit that introduces you to the clinical communication skills that are the foundation of many allied health work roles. This introductory unit gives you the opportunity to build your knowledge of the factors that contribute towards effective communication and will help you develop core communication skills. These foundation skills will aid with client communication, multidisciplinary team communication, clinical interviews, mediation, and leadership, many of which you will be required to demonstrate later in your course.

PYB100 Foundation Psychology

Psychology is a broad-ranging and multifaceted discipline which encompasses the scientific study of human behaviour, and the systematic application of knowledge gained from psychological research to a broad range of applied issues. The goal of this foundational unit is to introduce you to major subfields and perspectives in psychology, to develop your understanding of the research methods used in psychological research and to develop your critical thinking skills. This unit provides a strong basis for future learning in the discipline. Topics covered in PYB100 will include child and adult development, social psychology, and an overview of the diagnosis and treatment of mental health problems.

Public health & social work

HLB001 Health Needs of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians

This unit takes a holistic perspective to engageyou in exploring the historical, socio-cultural, political and cultural beliefs that influence Indigenous health and well-being in Australia today.  You will be supported to develop your skills, knowledge and understanding of Indigenous health and well-being utilising a population health approach to addressing health disparities and applying evidence based care within the framework of the social determinants of health.

PUB100 Medical Terminology, Anatomy and Physiology

A well-developed knowledge of medical terminology is required by all health professionals to facilitate effective communication between clinical groups. To be able to accurately interpret health records, reports and other health related information and to communicate with clinical staff, a Health Information Manager requires a high level of competence in medical terminology. This competency will then be applied to the development of a detailed knowledge of the clinical science of anatomy and physiology. This consolidated knowledge is essential for the development of future skills in the classification of diseases and procedures using ICD-10-AM/ACHI/ACS, the uses of clinical data for funding, management and research and its use for health care evaluation.

PUB102 Foundations of Health Information Management

This unit gives an introductory overview to health information management students of the field of health information and their role in the health information management profession. The unit provides a context for the study of contemporary health information and data management practice. The use of information as a strategic, organisational and management resource is discussed, and a broad appreciation of health information and data management procedures and philosophy is provided. Technology infrastructure is impacting on the business of delivering health care services. An understanding of information concepts and frameworks for assessing computer and information systems will assist health information management students to realise the potential for using technology to more effectively understand health information as a valuable resource in the health industry. Demands on the users of health information occasioned by advances in information technology are highlighted.

PUB104 Australian Health Care Systems

This unit is relevant for students in various professional roles including public health, clinical care and health service management. The unit is designed to give a broad overview of the system of health care in Australia and its operation. This knowledge is essential for anyone who is seeking to achieve the best outcomes for patients and the broader community.

PUB204 Resourcing and Managing Health Budgets

This unit introduces you to the concepts and methods that underpin decisions about the allocation and management of scarce health care resources at the system, organisation and departmental levels in health care. An understanding of the cost drivers in health care, how resource allocation priorities are determined and decisions made, together with knowledge about the principles of sound financial management will provide you with the knowledge and skills required to effectively manage the resources under your responsibility and to contribute to discussion and debate about health care funding decision making. By the end of the semester, you will be expected to have developed sufficient knowledge and skills to be able to describe and critically evaluate health care financing priorities and systems and make recommendations for their implementation.

PUB208 Understanding Health Information

This unit gives an introductory overview to public health professionals of the uses and applications of health information in the health industry. Understanding information the diversity of health information resources available will assist public health professionals to recognise the potential of health information as a valuable resource. The unit provides context to the quality by providing an understanding of the data quality frameworks, data organisation, standardisation and management principles relevant to systems within the health industry.

PUB209 Health, Culture and Society

In this unit we study social and cultural dimensions of the human body, mind, and health.  The unit focuses on public health from sociological and anthropological perspectives, with a core emphasis on the ways in which social, cultural, political, and economic systems shape human health behaviours and outcomes. We examine the practical relevance of key social theories in relation to understanding complex phenomena, such as cultural safety, risk-taking behaviours, life-expectancies, and death. We examine links between ethnicity, class, gender, sexuality, geography, and health.  The fundamental message is that identifying and addressing social and cultural factors that shape people's experiences of health, illness and health systems is integral to reducing health inequalities, delivering appropriate services and ultimately improving population health outcomes. This is a multidisciplinary and interprofessional unit and welcomes students from a wide range of range of courses.

PUB215 Public Health Practice

This introductory unit provides you with foundation knowledge and skills about Public Health principles, scope and practice. You will gain an insight into a range of multidisciplinary approaches which are necessary in addressing the health needs of communities and populations. The unit also provides you with an overview of the conceptual framework that underpins the Bachelor of Public Health (PU52) and its associated double degrees. You will get an understanding of how the core public health skills and principles are linked throughout the course. The other core units you do as part of the Bachelor of Public Health will build on the knowledge and skills gained in this introductory unit.

PUB332 Sustainable Environments for Health

There is increasing evidence that the integrity of the environments in which we live are under substantial pressure, particularly from the way we live. The end result of such pressure is that the basic and fundamental pre-requisites for human health are threatened. The practice of Environmental Health has always been concerned with the study of the human - environment interface and in particular the quest for developing sustainable environments for health. In recognition of the multi-disciplinary effort required to maintain and sustain such environments, this Unit is relevant to many discipline areas (e.g. public health, environmental science, education, social science, engineering and planning) and provides a valuable insight into the contributions that each discipline can make to establishing sustainable environments for health.

PUB358 eHealth Concepts

Knowledge of digital health information systems (or eHealth) is essential for those working in healthcare. It is important that healthcare professionals appreciate contemporary technological trends, especially those relating to the transition from paper based to electronic health records, while understanding the possibilities and challenges that technology brings to the healthcare. This includes familiarity with contemporary health technologies, an understanding of core concepts of information standards and interoperability and appreciation of issues around information integrity and security. Understanding these principal concepts involves recognising the organisational dynamics associated with technology implementation. This unit emphasises both technical and social aspects of technology implementation and its use in healthcare organisations. This unit aims to bridge the communication gap which often appears between the health care professional and computer specialists.

PUB380 Casemix and Activity Based Funding

Casemix describes the nature of health service outputs or the type of cases treated. In the past, broad patient groups such as medical, obstetric, surgical, outpatients have been used to describe the casemix of a health care facility. However, in recent years Commonwealth and State health authorities have been introducing requirements for more detailed casemix reporting, based on demographic and coded clinical data abstracted from medical records and information systems. A Health Information Manager needs to understand how to source, analyse and report on health data to facilitate its use for assessment of activity and for purchasing of services.

PUB461 Qualitative Inquiry in Public Health

Qualitative methods enable researchers to gain knowledge and understanding of people's lived experiences, the meanings they ascribe to them, and to the social context in which they take place. The nature and complexity of many public health problems require a mix of research methods and the contributions of qualitative inquiry are now well recognised. This unit is an integral component of the public health course because you will learn the skills and knowledge required to appreciate and apply qualitative research in your professional practice. This unit is placed at this point in the course because you acquired in PUB215 a sound knowledge and understanding of the fundamental and complex public health concepts so can now develop specific research knowledge and skills. PUB461 belongs to the suite of four research units available in PU52 and associated degrees.

PUB514 Contract / Project Management

This unit is designed to provide advanced undergraduate students with an outline of some of the generally accepted processes and procedures for Contract/Project Management, .with particular attention to its application to health care delivery in Australia.

PUB530 Health Education and Behaviour Change

As a practitioner working in a variety of health and education settings, you will need to understand and be able to facilitate positive changes in human health behaviour. To bring about changes in individual health behaviours and community action, you need skills in developing health promotion strategies based on theory and evidence. This unit complements studies in health and education courses and prepares you for PUB406 Health Promotion Practice, and PUB875 Professional Practice, and subsequently your professional practice.

PUB561 Statistical Methods in Health

An understanding of basic statistical concepts and the ability to analyse and interpret quantitative data is an important skill for all graduates in health-related disciplines. Descriptive statistics are required to effectively summarise and communicate important information in data, while inferential statistics enable conclusions to be extended beyond the immediate data. An understanding of the principles underpinning both types of statistical methods is critical not only for the analysis of data, but also for the critical appraisal of health literature. This unit introduces the foundational skills for quantitative research and is a stepping stone into PUB416 Research Methods.

PUN105 Health Statistics 1

This is a foundational research methods unit which introduces fundamental statistical concepts relevant to describing data and testing scientific hypotheses. An understanding of basic statistical concepts is a fundamental research skill in any scientific or health discipline. Such knowledge is mandatory for critical evaluation of the research literature, for design of efficient research studies, and to inform appropriate interpretation of research results. As such, the concepts taught in this unit are essentail for postgraduate students intending to undertake independent research, and indeed, to any student attempting to critically evaluate research literature. This is an introductory unit and knowledge and skills developed in this unit are relevant to a variety of health disciplines. HLN706 Health Statistics 2 builds on this unit by extending your knowledge and skills, allowing you to conduct more complex analysis.

PUN210 Contemporary Health Management

Health system managers require appropriate knowledge, competencies and attitudes to confront the challenges facing the health of modern communities. Acquisition of management competencies can best occur by application of an extensive knowledge of the theoretical principles that underlie organisational behaviour and the systems, structure and processes that characterise modern health services. This unit forms the knowledge and competency basis for health managers and lays the groundwork for more advanced education in the leadership role of health executives.

SWB100 Orientation to Social Work and Human Services

Purposefully positioned at the beginning of your course, this unit scaffolds essential learning about the scope of social work or human services, the professional context, and the changing occupational patterns of and service delivery. It is important that you start to explore your own motivation for becoming a social work or human service practitioner and begin to develop your professional identity. This unit also considers it essential that you are provided with the foundation for developing a critical approach to practice, grounded in social justice and social change. The concepts of power, oppression, privilege, and positionality will be explored. An understanding of critical practice, cultural diversity and the construction of 'difference' is presented as fundamental to commencing your reflective learning journey that you will continue throughout the social work or human services course.

SWB102 Human Development and Behaviour

Social work and human service students are studying for professional careers that enhance people's personal and social wellbeing and development, enhance problem solving in relationships, and promote human rights, social justice and culturally safe practice. To do this you need to understand how individual development and behaviour are shaped by a range of factors including biological, psychological, socio-cultural, political and economic factors. You will learn about a range of theories of development and behaviour and consider the implications of such ideas for social work and human service practice. You will learn about key aspects of human behaviour such as emotion, motivation and socialisation and integrate and communicate this knowledge. Studying this information in the first year of the course provides you with necessary foundational information about people and the environments that shape their lives.

SWB105 Contemporary Human Rights

Graduates across a wide range of professions must have an understanding of human rights and ethics together with an appreciation of their relevance for many contemporary global, regional and national issues. This unit provides an introduction to human rights . It is deliberately located within a broad political, legal, social, cultural and economic framework. It examines the relationship between human rights and thematic challenges including climate change, poverty,and oppressive forms of intolerance and discrimination. It offers the opportunities to investigate present day concerns relating to the human rights of women, Indigenous peoples and minority groups as well as specific topics such as human trafficking, harmful cultural practices, workers' rights and child soldiers. It includes a range of Australian human rights, ethical and social justice issues.

SWB108 Australian Society, Systems and Policies

Social work and human service professionals practice from a social justice perspective to engage with people who experience disadvantage. This unit focuses on understanding the structural dimensions of Australian society influenced by the global neoliberal context that produces, reproduces and entrenches inequality, poverty and precarity through uneven resource distribution and major social problems. Critical theory with a sociological lens is used to examine the contested space of policy (e.g. health, education, and income support), diverse institutions and systems (such as parliament, social services, media) that underpin the political economy of Australia and the welfare state. The unit is located in the first year as it provides the foundation for developing a critical orientation to practice and aspiring to create a more democratic, egalitarian society by introducing students to the fundamentals of Australian society, social policy and social service provision.

SWB109 Working with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples and Communities

Social work, human services and allied professions are identified as 'helping' professions, yet have been, and in some circumstances continue to be, complicit in enacting discriminatory and harmful social policies. To prevent perpetuation of these practices it is essential that practitioners possess knowledge of their professions' role in colonising practices. Practitioners require a deep understanding of how the profound disadvantage evidenced across social, health, and economic indicators, are embedded in colonisation. Understanding the impacts of dispossession, colonisation and policy directives on the ability to achieve self-determination and empowerment as basic human rights provides a requisite platform for culturally safe practice and helps redress social exclusion and marginalisation. Critical self-awareness, reflexivity and reflective practice, along with a strong critical analysis of institutionalized racism and privilege, are essential components of culturally safe practice.

SWB110 Understanding Families and Relationships

For effective practice, social workers and human servicespractitioners need a deep, crtically informed understanding of the nature and importance of relationships for human well-being identity and social justice. The immediate social worlds of individuals and families are complex, dynamic and heavily influenced by their socio-political context.To appropriately support people through professional practice  an appreciation of this aspect, as well as the impact of diversity and difference is required. Through understanding these complexities social work and human service practitioners can shape their practice to better respond to the needs of individuals, families, groups and communities. This unit provides introductory knowledge for professional practice and is located in first year as a foundation for subsequent critical theory and practice.

SWB204 Introduction to Child and Family Services

This unit focuses on social work and human services with children and families with an emphasis on providing support and services to parents so they are better able to identify and meet their children's needs. It introduces you to the continuum of welfare and family support services in Australia and knowledge and skills central to effective work with children and families. You will critically analyse the application of selected social work and human service practice approaches to work across a range of service contexts for children and families. Students from education, psychology, and health related areas also find this unit useful as it provides a foundation in theories and approaches for inter-professional practice with children and families that is transferable to a wide range of professional settings.

SWB207 Introduction to Youth Services

As social work and human service practitioners it is essential to have an understanding of and capacity to critique the range of ways young people are constructed in academic and popular contexts. It is also important for practitioners to have an appreciation of current policies oriented to young people and the nature of the various service delivery systems and programs in operation. This unit aims to give you a critical appreciation of the different ways 'youth' is understood in academic, policy and popular contexts, which is of fundamental importance if policy and practice responses and choices are to be understood.

SWB211 Casework and Case Management

Social work and human service practitioners are expected to be familiar with critical casework processes and practice models, including understanding their strengths and limitations and implications for practice. Accordingly, this unit provides foundational knowledge and skill for practitioners who will utilise these critical tools. It is located in the second year and will provide an opportunity for you to apply key principles and theories to practice scenarios in preparation for forthcoming placements. It extends from SWB221, which examines the helping processes from a range of critical social work perspectives. The aim of this unit is to enable you to develop your understanding of critical casework and its relevance of these for practice in complex and diverse settings.

SWB212 Community and Place Based Practice

Community level practice is a key social work and human services method. Various theories and approaches to 'community' and community work have been developed and used in practice. In recent years this has extended to include the need for locality oriented frames of 'space' and 'place', particularly as these apply to disadvantaged localities and tensions in various people's use of public spaces. This unit develops baseline practice skills and techniques for community-level practice underpinned by social work and human service ethics and values. Located in second year, this unit introduces you to the particular field of community work practice, building on foundational knowledge about social work and human services systems.

Units you need background knowledge to study

These units have requirements for previous study or background knowledge. Check the unit’s previous study requirements for details. If you have any questions, contact the unit coordinator for the semester you want to study.

If your previous studies were not in English, or were completed in a country where English is not the first language, you will also need to demonstrate that you meet our English proficiency requirements when you apply.