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Reflect critically on how social sciences can inform a public health issue

Final Assignmnent


The aim of this final assignment is to provide an opportunity for you to reflect critically on how social sciences can inform a public health issue in which you have a particular interest or in which you may be involved or would like to become involved. You may choose any topic, but you must explore it from a social science perspective, preferably by developing a social determinants of health approach to the topic. In choosing a topic, you should begin with a question. The reason for framing the topic as a question is that it makes you focus your discussion and apply your findings.

Here are some examples: please note these are examples, not set topics!

• Why do some Australian parents refuse to immunize their children?

• Why is cancer screening effective in some communities and not others?

• Why is privatization of health care popular with certain governments and what are some implications for public health provision?

• Why is community capacity building a popular strategy in Australian public health policy?

• Should we expect the same mental health promotion campaigns to work in all settings? (Or, what are social determinants of mental health?)

• Is ethnicity the same thing as race, and why would this matter in public health research and interventions?

• How might public health policy and strategy take into account recent findings about climate change?

You should write about a topic that interests you and which may be useful to you in your work or professional (and/or personal) development. You might for example select a question or problem that has arisen as you’ve participated in this subject. The essay should briefly frame the topic in terms of epidemiology or health promotion or policy or intervention. You should devote less than 500 words to this aspect. Then you should clearly state the major questions and, finally, drawing on social science literature, Discuss possible approaches to addressing the problem. Remember, the idea is to provide some answers to the question you’ve raised.

We expect you to draw on at least 10-20 substantive references related to your topic. Use APA referencing with in-text citations. See library guidelines for assignments:


The essay is to be typed, 1.5 spaced, and 1,500 words in length.


The assessment will focus on your ability to discuss critically and clearly the issue you have chosen. Questions in the assessors’ minds will include: How well have you addressed the problem? Have you drawn on social science ideas to understand your problem? How well have you articulated ways in which social sciences might provide answers to the questions you have raised? Have you identified some practical implications of your findings?


This assessment task will be submitted through Turnitin.

The essay is due on Monday, 3rd November 2018.

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