PUBH5721 Public Health Field Trip

6 points
(see Timetable)
Semester 1UWA (Perth)Face to face
This unit is designed to allow students to apply the theory and content that they have learnt at University to a current health issue in a LMIC country. Further, they will develop evaluation, leadership and mentoring skills which will be applied in a developing country. The students will mentor a small group of undergraduate students who are working with a local university or non-government organization (NGO), on a health issued that they have identified as a priority. The students will mentor the undergraduates as they plan, implement and reflect on fieldwork that may include: interviews with or seminars given by key local personnel such as health professionals, government officials, school teachers and community leaders; engagement with local NGOs and community members through group meetings, interviews, surveys and/or social events; site visits of health and community agencies; and field observations of environmental and social factors affecting health.

Students will allow undergraduates to drive the project, but will provide leadership and direction if needed, and assist the undergraduates to reflect on their fieldwork approach.

The students will also be responsible for evaluating the field trip experience, gathering and triangulating data from a variety of sources. They will be responsible for writing an evaluation report that includes recommendations for future field trips.
Students are able to (1) develop an ethical sense of social responsibility and citizenship; (2) employ verbal and non-verbal communication skills; (3) employ skills of observation, recording, questioning and analysis; (4) identify the main health issues in the selected LMIC; (5) recognise own limitations and how and when to access support; (6) develop skills in mentoring and evaluating the contribution of undergraduate students; (7) employ skills of personal reflection; and (8) further develop and implement skills in program evaluation.
Indicative assessments in this unit are as follows: (1) pre-trip assessment; (2) participation: role as a mentor and engagement in evaluation fieldwork during the trip; and (3) group evaluation report. Further information is available in the unit outline.

Supplementary assessment is not available in this unit.
Unit Coordinator(s)
Dr Julie Saunders and Prof Jane Heyworth
Unit rules
any 1 of PUBH5749 Foundations of Public Health, PUBH5705 Health Program Evaluation, PUBH5754 Health Promotion, PUBH5805 Qualitative Research Methods in Health, PUBH4403 Epidemiology 1
PUBH5705 Health Program Evaluation
Advisable prior study:
PUBH5749 Foundations of Public Health, PUBH5754 Health Promotion, PUBH4403 Epidemiology 1
Approved quota: 5—based upon the students' expressions of interest, interview and academic performance. Given the small quota, places will be allocated to students in the MPH.
Incidental fees
Incidental student fees and charges are costs incurred by students as part of their studies at UWA that are in addition to their tuition fees (further information is available here or contact your Faculty Office).
Participation in this unit will incur the following incidental fee(s):
Airfares, accommodation, internal travel, host fee and daily living during the overseas field work. (estimated cost - 3,000).
Contact hours
Seminars up to 6 x 2 hours; 1-3 week fieldwork overseas
Police Clearance or Working with Children check may be required. Given the international nature of the field trip, students need to be aware that the unit may be cancelled if travel warnings are issued for the fieldtrip destination prior to departure, or during the visit. The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) regularly reviews and reissues their travel advice to reflect the level of danger they perceive to be present in each country and travel will not proceed if DFAT issues a Level 4 travel warning (i.e. 'Reconsider your need to travel'). In the event of an emergency during the field trip, and where DFAT re-classifies the travel advice for the fieldtrip destination to a Level 4, students will be instructed to return to Australia as soon as possible. For further details, refer to the UWA Emergency Travel Management Plan. Please note that a condition of enrolment in this unit is the student's adherence to the unit requirements prior to departure. The following criteria must be met to remain enrolled in the unit: (1) assignment 1 must be submitted and completed to a satisfactory standard; (2) application for a visa must be submitted by the specified due date; (3) travel is organized as per instructions provided (4) emergency contacts/pre-existing health conditions and medication use must be submitted to the School of Population and Global Health by the specified due date; and (5) the student is to read and commit to follow the UWA policy on code of conduct for field work and health and safety advice as outlined in the unit guidebook.
  • The availability of units in Semester 1, 2, etc. was correct at the time of publication but may be subject to change.
  • All students are responsible for identifying when they need assistance to improve their academic learning, research, English language and numeracy skills; seeking out the services and resources available to help them; and applying what they learn. Students are encouraged to register for free online support through GETSmart; to help themselves to the extensive range of resources on UWA's STUDYSmarter website; and to participate in WRITESmart and (ma+hs)Smart drop-ins and workshops.
  • Books and other material wherever listed may be subject to change. Book lists relating to 'Preliminary reading', 'Recommended reading' and 'Textbooks' are, in most cases, available via the Booktopia Textbook Finder, which has the functionality to search by course code, course, ISBN and title, and may also be posted or available at the appropriate school's administrative offices. Where texts are listed in the unit description above, an asterisk (*) indicates that the book is available in paperback.