POPLHLTH 111 : Population Health

Medical and Health Sciences

2021 Semester One (15 POINTS)

Course Prescription

To introduce frameworks and tools for measuring and understanding and improving the health of populations, both locally and globally. These frameworks and tools are derived from epidemiology, demography, public health, environmental health and global health sciences.

Course Overview

Population health is just what it suggests – the health of populations – and the goal of studying population health is to improve the health of populations. Students on this course will be introduced to frameworks and tools for measuring the frequency, understanding the causes and controlling the impact of dis-ease (i.e. poor health) in populations, both locally and globally. We use frameworks and tools to describe the distributions of dis-ease (how frequently it occurs in different populations) and the determinants (the causes) of different distributions of dis-ease in populations. This knowledge helps to inform ways of controlling the impact of dis-ease through health promotion and disease prevention programmes in whole populations, through planning better health services for specific populations and through improving health care practice for groups within populations.

Traditionally health sciences and practice have been most concerned with each individual patient as an ‘island’, and with the biomedical disciplines such as anatomy, physiology, biochemistry and pathology, that “look inside” that individual to identify causes of dis-ease and possible treatments (the microscope approach). Although medicine’s approach to the health of individuals extends beyond a simply biomedical model, the study of population health brings another important dimension to both health science and health practice by “looking outside” the individual to groups (and populations) and to the effects of the physical and social environment on health of individuals and groups (the telescope approach).

This course introduces future health professionals (both clinical and non-clinical) to:

  1. Epidemiology, which is the science of measuring the distribution and determinants of dis-ease frequency in populations and the effectiveness of interventions to control dis-ease;
  2. The social and environmental determinants of dis-ease and their distributions in populations;
  3. Population health interventions to improve population health through health promotion and through the prevention and management of dis-ease; and
  4. The distribution, determinants and control of important local and global population health

Course Requirements

No pre-requisites or restrictions

Course Contacts

Course Director: Roshini Peiris-John 
Course Coordinator: Dennis Hsu
Course contact: poplhlth111@auckland.ac.nz

Capabilities Developed in this Course

Capability 1: Disciplinary Knowledge and Practice
Capability 2: Critical Thinking
Capability 3: Solution Seeking
Capability 4: Communication and Engagement
Capability 5: Independence and Integrity
Capability 6: Social and Environmental Responsibilities

Learning Outcomes

By the end of this course, students will be able to:
  1. Apply epidemiological measures to identify and describe the determinants of population health. (Capability 1.1)
  2. Identify the determinants of the determinants of health and apply this knowledge to describe the socio- demographic profiles of populations (Capability 1.2)
  3. Evaluate population-based and high-risk individual interventions designed to address population health issues and inequities. (Capability 2.1, 2.2 and 2.3)
  4. Justify particular approaches to improve population health locally and globally by using the course concepts, to enable problem solving and decision-making. (Capability 3.2, 6.1 and 6.2)
  5. Demonstrate academic integrity and develop team-working skills and apply these to explore population health problems. (Capability 4.1, 4.2 and 5.3)

Assessments

Assessment Type Percentage Classification
Exam 50% Individual Examination
Term Test 20% Individual Test
Online Test 6% Individual Test
PBL Workshops 24% Group & Individual Coursework
Assessment Type Learning Outcome Addressed
1 2 3 4 5
Exam
Term Test
Online Test
PBL Workshops

Workload Expectations

This course is a standard 15 point course and students are expected to spend 10 hours per week involved in each 15 point course that they are enrolled in.

For this course, you can expect 34 hours of lectures, 10 hours of tutorial, 3 hours per week of reading and thinking about the content and 5-6 hours per week of work on assignments and/or test preparation.

Delivery Mode

Campus Experience

Attendance is required at scheduled activities including workshops to complete components of the course.
Lectures will be available as recordings. Other learning activities including workshops will not be available as recordings.
The course will include live online events including online office hours.
Attendance on campus is required for the test and exam.
The activities for the course are scheduled as a standard weekly timetable.

Learning Resources

This course DOES NOT have a prescribed textbook; however we advise students to read Essential Epidemiology (4th Edition) by Webb, Bain and Page, as the suggested supplementary text for Blocks 1 and 2.

The required readings stated on the lecture outlines can be found through Reading Lists.

Student Feedback

At the end of every semester students will be invited to give feedback on the course and teaching through a tool called SET or Qualtrics. The lecturers and course co-ordinators will consider all feedback and respond with summaries and actions.

Your feedback helps teachers to improve the course and its delivery for future students.

Class Representatives in each class can take feedback to the department and faculty staff-student consultative committees.

About one-third of the class in 2019 completed the anonymous SET evaluations. We are delighted that students felt well informed on how their learning would be assessed, that they found the course helped their thinking skills, their satisfaction with the small-group teaching activities and that the resources (including digital resources) in this course were helpful to their learning. We were reassured to know that the way material was presented made it engaging and inspired them to learn. We are also pleased that students felt well supported in the way concepts were explained, how questions were answered and how approachable we were.
We received some helpful suggestions about improvements that we could make which we will endeavour to address in 2020. We plan to deliver Modules/Blocks  3 and 4  one after the other and not in parallel as done in 2019. We will also endeavour to provide more helpful feedback on student learning progress, including on the performance at the mid-semester test and assignments. 

Digital Resources

Course materials are made available in a learning and collaboration tool called Canvas which also includes reading lists and lecture recordings (where available).

Please remember that the recording of any class on a personal device requires the permission of the instructor.

Academic Integrity

The University of Auckland will not tolerate cheating, or assisting others to cheat, and views cheating in coursework as a serious academic offence. The work that a student submits for grading must be the student's own work, reflecting their learning. Where work from other sources is used, it must be properly acknowledged and referenced. This requirement also applies to sources on the internet. A student's assessed work may be reviewed against online source material using computerised detection mechanisms.

Inclusive Learning

All students are asked to discuss any impairment related requirements privately, face to face and/or in written form with the course coordinator, lecturer or tutor.

Student Disability Services also provides support for students with a wide range of impairments, both visible and invisible, to succeed and excel at the University. For more information and contact details, please visit the Student Disability Services’ website http://disability.auckland.ac.nz

Special Circumstances

If your ability to complete assessed coursework is affected by illness or other personal circumstances outside of your control, contact a member of teaching staff as soon as possible before the assessment is due.

If your personal circumstances significantly affect your performance, or preparation, for an exam or eligible written test, refer to the University’s aegrotat or compassionate consideration page https://www.auckland.ac.nz/en/students/academic-information/exams-and-final-results/during-exams/aegrotat-and-compassionate-consideration.html.

This should be done as soon as possible and no later than seven days after the affected test or exam date.

Learning Continuity

In the event of an unexpected disruption we undertake to maintain the continuity and standard of teaching and learning in all your courses throughout the year. If there are unexpected disruptions the University has contingency plans to ensure that access to your course continues and your assessment is fair, and not compromised. Some adjustments may need to be made in emergencies. You will be kept fully informed by your course co-ordinator, and if disruption occurs you should refer to the University Website for information about how to proceed.

Student Charter and Responsibilities

The Student Charter assumes and acknowledges that students are active participants in the learning process and that they have responsibilities to the institution and the international community of scholars. The University expects that students will act at all times in a way that demonstrates respect for the rights of other students and staff so that the learning environment is both safe and productive. For further information visit Student Charter https://www.auckland.ac.nz/en/students/forms-policies-and-guidelines/student-policies-and-guidelines/student-charter.html.

Disclaimer

Elements of this outline may be subject to change. The latest information about the course will be available for enrolled students in Canvas.

In this course you may be asked to submit your coursework assessments digitally. The University reserves the right to conduct scheduled tests and examinations for this course online or through the use of computers or other electronic devices. Where tests or examinations are conducted online remote invigilation arrangements may be used. The final decision on the completion mode for a test or examination, and remote invigilation arrangements where applicable, will be advised to students at least 10 days prior to the scheduled date of the assessment, or in the case of an examination when the examination timetable is published.