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Comparative Health Systems (POPH90209)

Find the subject in the Handbook here


Students will have the opportunity to learn the history of health promotion and the models of health and health promotion, along with key theoretical approaches explaining change in individuals, organisations and systems.

They will be introduced to the fundamental elements of successful health promotion and its application to different health issues in different settings and sectors, and in different populations in Australia and in developed and developing countries overseas.

Students will be exposed to key leaders in health promotion in Victoria from different levels of government, from leading health NGOs and from academia during the course. They will also be required to interview a key practitioner in their place of work as part of assessed group work activity.


AugustA thorough comprehension of the different institutions, structures and processes that constitute health systems globally provides a strong platform for further studies and varied career paths in population and global health. This subject provides students with the analytical frameworks to explore the social and political dynamics, institutions and structures that constitute health systems globally. This subject is delivered by a cross-disciplinary team of experts working in health systems strengthening and analysis, and draws on contemporary research and examples from across Australia, the Asia and Pacific regions and other global contexts. Students of this subject will develop and apply skills in critical and comparative analysis of health systems in a range of countries and in settings with varied levels of socio-economic development.

Issues addressed in this subject include, but may not be limited to: global disparities in health system expenditures and outcomes; the characteristics of different health financing systems; health system structures; health system reform and performance measurement; health system strengthening approaches and strategies; intergovernmental relations and development assistance for health; health workforce supply and policy; general practice and primary healthcare; complementary health systems and health system orientation for Indigenous peoples; and the multi-level policy processes that inform health system decision-making.

Comparative Health Systems is a dual delivery block mode intensive subject. This means that the assessable material is delivered through self-directed online modules that students complete over a six-week period. The online modules offer flexibility in relation to the timing of when students complete them, or what hours of the day you may choose to study. However, allocated modules must be completed in time to allow effective participation in live interactive sessions that are linked with those modules. Live interactive sessions are held on six days across the six-week period, in which module material is discussed with fellow students and lecturers. Students may choose to attend these live sessions online or face to face. Students are expected to commit approximately 8-10 hours to learning each week, comprised of learning modules, reading, discussion board activities, group work and live sessions. This six-week teaching period is followed by independent learning towards a major assessment to be completed over six weeks. - dual delivery


  • Pre-recorded group presentation (4 -5 students per group) - 10 minutes (20%)

  • Annotated bibliography, due 6 weeks after final day of teaching - 1,000 words (20%)

  • Essay, due 6 weeks after final day of teaching - 3,000 words (60%)

  • Brief introductory post; AND comments on two group presentations. 200-300 words in total - 200-300 words (not marked)

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