POPLHLTH 776 : Public Health in Practice

Medical and Health Sciences

2023 Semester Two (1235) (15 POINTS)

Course Prescription

Students will apply population health concepts, principles and methodologies from formal course work to current public health problems, and develop skills in communicating their solutions to a range of diverse audiences, while critically reflecting on their own position.

Course Overview

This course will consolidate your knowledge and facilitate the integration of your experiences and prior learning in public health by applying it to real-world case studies. 

The course assumes you are already familiar with core public health concepts such as the relationship between social and environmental factors and public health; the application of theories in public health to a range of health practices and contexts; and your own role in giving voice to, and advocating for, health equity.

Throughout the course - in classes and assignments - we refer to the following public health graduate learning outcomes for your public health programme of learning:
1) application of public health principles applied to particular health issues;
2) drawing on public health frameworks and public health tools;
3) evaluating, using robust methods, responses to public health issues;
4) critically reflecting on your own position and ability to problem solve and communicate solutions to a range of audiences on public health issues.

Course Requirements

Prerequisite: 45 points from Master of Public Health Schedule

Course Contacts

Prof Chris Bullen, Building 507 Room 1064, National Institute for Health Innovation, School of Population Health 

Dr Samantha Marsh, Building 507, School of Population Health

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
Graduate Profile: Master of Public Health

Learning Outcomes

By the end of this course, students will be able to:
  1. Apply public health principles to public health issues, drawing on public health frameworks and public health tools, (Capability 1.1, 1.2, 1.3, 2.1, 2.2, 3.1, 3.2, 4.1, 4.2, 5.1, 5.2, 6.1, 6.2 and 6.3)
  2. Critically evaluate responses to public health issues (Capability 2.1 and 3.2)
  3. Evaluate their own position and communicate effectively (Capability 4.1, 4.2 and 6.3)


Assessment Type Percentage Classification
Opinion piece 30% Individual Coursework
Briefing paper 35% Individual Coursework
Presentation and reflection 35% Individual Coursework
Assessment Type Learning Outcome Addressed
1 2 3
Opinion piece
Briefing paper
Presentation and reflection

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 25 hours of lectures/class-based discussions and exercises, 15 hours of reading and thinking about the content, and 40 hours of work on assignments.

Delivery Mode

Campus Experience or Online

This course is offered mainly in campus experience delivery mode but will use online delivery as needed if restrictions are required:

Campus Experience

Attendance is expected at scheduled activities to get the most value from the course.
Lectures will be available as recordings. 
The course will include live online events including group discussions and panel discussions
The activities for the course are scheduled as a block delivery.

Online delivery will be used in the event of restrictions on physical gatherings

Attendance is expected at scheduled online activities to get the most value from the course.
The course will include live online events including group discussions and panel discussions and these will be recorded.
Study material will be available at course commencement and some material will be released progressively throughout the course.
This course runs to the University semester timetable and all the associated completion dates and deadlines will apply.

Learning 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.

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.

We have linked course content to assessments more explicitly and made the course assessment criteria more specific.

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.

Class Representatives

Class representatives are students tasked with representing student issues to departments, faculties, and the wider university. If you have a complaint about this course, please contact your class rep who will know how to raise it in the right channels. See your departmental noticeboard for contact details for your class reps.

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 course assessment continues to meet the principles of the University’s assessment policy. Some adjustments may need to be made in emergencies. You will be kept fully informed by your course co-ordinator/director, and if disruption occurs you should refer to the university website for information about how to proceed.

The delivery mode may change depending on COVID restrictions. Any changes will be communicated through Canvas.

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.


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 students may be asked to submit 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. In exceptional circumstances changes to elements of this course may be necessary at short notice. Students enrolled in this course will be informed of any such changes and the reasons for them, as soon as possible, through Canvas.