Studying online

There are now 2 possible online modes for units:

Units with modes Online timetabled and Online flexible are available for any student to self-enrol and study online.

Click on an offering mode for more details.

Unit Overview


This unit is part of the pathway course for Indigenous students seeking access to postgraduate health professional science courses. Through an investigation of the social determinants of health, and the scientific method underpinning modern health practice, the unit provides the tools for an understanding of Aboriginal health in Australia. While concentrating on the Australian context, international comparisons and contrasts are made. Upon successful completion of the unit, students understand the multiple and dynamic factors influencing Aboriginal health, and are aware of the capacities that Aboriginal health providers can bring to their role(s) as professional practitioners in the health field.

6 points

Students are able to (1) apply a critical perspective to the current status of Aboriginal health; (2) demonstrate their understanding of what is meant by the concept of 'social determinants of health' in the Australian context; (3) describe the relative impact of social determinants upon Aboriginal health and wellbeing; (4) articulate the roles and capacities that Aboriginal people bring to bear in their engagement in Aboriginal health or health related arenas; (5) explain the basic principles of the scientific method in Western health practice and the complexities that arise in the context of Aboriginal health and health care; (6) articulate international comparisons against the Australian context; (7) develop critical skills through the application of oral and written arguments; and (8) demonstrate the ability to participate as a group member.


Indicative assessments in this unit are as follows: (1) weekly reflective journal and learning log; (2) three short essays; (3) tutorial attendance and participation; (4) tutorial group presentation; and (5) final essay. Further information is available in the unit outline.

Student may be offered supplementary assessment in this unit if they meet the eligibility criteria.

Unit Coordinator(s)
Professor Dawn Bessarab
  • 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.
  • Unit readings, including any essential textbooks, are listed in the unit outline for each unit, one week prior the commencement of study. The unit outline will be available via the LMS and the UWA Handbook one week prior the commencement of study. Reading lists and essential textbooks are subject to change each semester. Information on essential textbooks will also be made available on the Essential Textbooks. This website is updated regularly in the lead up to semester so content may change. It is recommended that students purchase essential textbooks for convenience due to the frequency with which they will be required during the unit. A limited number of textbooks will be made available from the Library in print and will also be made available online wherever possible. Essential textbooks can be purchased from the commercial vendors to secure the best deal. The Student Guild can provide assistance on where to purchase books if required. Books can be purchased second hand at the Guild Secondhand bookshop (second floor, Guild Village), which is located on campus.
  • Contact hours provide an indication of the type and extent of in-class activities this unit may contain. The total amount of student work (including contact hours, assessment time, and self-study) will approximate 150 hours per 6 credit points.