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 introduces students to how human health is linked to social determinants of health, cultural determinants of health, health literacy and access to health systems.

Students cover medical practice in a global context and relate this to First Nations Health and wellbeing using a strengths-based approach. You will gain an understanding of the important role of clinicians with regards to sustainable development goals, population health, preventative medicine and public health and hear from medical practitioners who have practiced medicine in resource constrained settings within Australia and in low- and middle-income countries. You will experience an immersion into Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander, Maori and First Nations culture, learning some of the rich history of Noongar peoples and understanding the impacts of European colonisation on health. Students will engage with First Nations, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander and Maori cultures, health and wellbeing practices. Students will gain insights into the health and wellbeing practices of Native American communities in Arizona. In addition, the epidemiology of the leading causes of morbidity and mortality globally will be covered and aligned with health services, policies and systems approaches to community medical practice. Case-studies on successful health interventions will be examined to understand the impact that they have on health and wellbeing of individuals, communities and society.

Includes a 3-day Cultural Immersion and a 14-day Overseas Health Immersion (low and middle-income countries).

12 points
Not available in 2024UWA (Perth)Face to face

Students are able to (1) demonstrate professional behaviour in the educational and clinical settings and outline challenges to professionalism, recognise personal abilities and difficulties, access support services when necessary; (2) comply with medicolegal responsibilities and outline common bioethical issues in the doctor-patient relationship; (3) explain the impact of historical, geographical and socio-cultural factors on the health of Aboriginal and Torres Strait, Maori and First Nations people and communities, and the elements of culturally safe medical practice for First Nations Peoples; (4) describe the leading causes of mortality and morbidity globally and link these to preventative medicine measures; (5) describe the history, principles and major fields of practice in global medicine and apply this knowledge to contemporary health issues and their contexts; (6) propose effective responses to current and emerging global health issues that demonstrate knowledge of the underlying principles, evidence-base and disciplines of public health and its major fields of practice; (7) demonstrate constructive teamwork skills to support self- and peer-learning within a contemporary medical context; (8) demonstrate skills to professionally communicate health information to a variety of audiences; and (9) describe strengths and limitations of biomedical, biopsychosocial and socio-ecological models of health.


Indicative assessments in this unit are as follows: (1) in-semester assessment; (2) end of semester assessments; and (3) professional behaviour and attendance assessment. Further information is available in the unit outline.

To pass this unit, a student must: (a) achieve an overall mark of 50 per cent or higher for the unit; and (b) achieve the requisite requirements(s) or a mark of 50 per cent or greater, whichever is higher and specified in the unit outline, for the professional behaviour and attendance assessment component.

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

Unit Coordinator(s)
Dr Vanessa Vaughan (UWA)
Unit rules
Enrolment in
92850 Doctor of Medicine (Global)
GMED4102 Foundations of Medical Science
and GMED4103 Primary Care 1
Approved quota: 105—selection for the Global MD will be overseen with the Medical School's Medicine and Dentistry Admission and Selection Committee and be consistent with the approved and advertised selection processes for the standard UWA MD (course code 91850).
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).
Participation in this unit will incur the following incidental fee(s):
Overseas Immersion Program (estimated cost - $3000).
Contact hours
10-14 hours per week. Lectures (4-5 hours), small group learning in seminars, tutorials and/or Team-Based Learning (3 hours), online learning (2 hours).
  • 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.