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HPER71-116: Planetary Health


The primary intention of this subject is for participants to explore ‘health’, from the evolution of global, public and population health through to planetary health. One definition of planetary health is the health of human civilisation and the state of the natural systems on which it depends. Human health and well-being are thus intrinsically connected to the environment. In this subject, participants will reflect on the impact that the changing environment has on human health and well-being in different populations from a range of perspectives: Ethical, equity, advocacy, social and environmental or ecological justice. In tracing the ‘evolution’ of population health to planetary health, we will explore how innovations, such as vaccinations, have led to improved health outcomes. We will also examine how the current threats to human health, such as climate change, water shortages, antibiotic resistance and food insecurity have the potential to wipe out the health gains of the past 50 years. As the world population continues to increase, we will explore the policies and strategies required to address current and future challenges to human health and well-being. 

Subject details

FacultyFaculty of Health Sciences & Medicine
Semesters offered
  • May 2022 [Standard Offering]
  • May 2023 [Standard Offering]
Study areas
  • Health Sciences
Subject fees
  • Commencing in 2022: $5,710
  • Commencing in 2023: $5,860

Learning outcomes

1. Discuss the concept of health and well-being in a complex, changing world. 2. Explain what is meant by 'planetary health'. 3. Compare historical and current trends in global disease patterns to explain terms such as demographic transition, epidemiological transition and ecological transition. 4. Discuss the environment as a determinant of health and explain why the world is in 'ecological transition', including the implications for future generations. 5. Explain what is meant by (environmental) sustainability, such as the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals and sustainable healthcare. 6. Summarise the role of ethics, justice, advocacy and activism in ensuring sustainable health and well-being. 7. Formulate strategies and policies to tackle current and future threats to health and well-being both locally and globally.

Enrolment requirements

Requisites: ?


Restrictions: ?


Subject outlines

Subject dates

Standard Offering
Enrolment opens20/03/2022
Semester start16/05/2022
Subject start16/05/2022
Cancellation 1?30/05/2022
Cancellation 2?06/06/2022
Last enrolment29/05/2022
Withdraw – Financial?11/06/2022
Withdraw – Academic?02/07/2022
Teaching census?10/06/2022