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.

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Unit Overview


Determinants of our health include the social, economic and physical environments in which we live, and our individual characteristics and behaviours, especially our sex and gender. Whilst life expectancy is higher for women than men globally, many biological and social factors combine to create a lower quality of life for women.

This unit explores determinants of women's health across the lifespan: from conception, through childhood, into the reproductive years and beyond to healthy ageing and death. Students will consider how these factors inform health decision making by the individual, their health practitioner and the healthcare system. Students will identify barriers and enablers to good health decision making and consider how to utilise/address these as part of health promotion strategies at a local, national, and international level.

In this unit, students will begin to develop their research reading, writing, and science communication skills through both written and video assessments. They will also begin to learn how to carry out effective peer review and to successfully work as a team.

This unit is the first of three core units in the Women's Health Minor.

6 points
(see Timetable)
Semester 2UWA (Perth)Face to face
Details for undergraduate courses
  • Level 1 elective

Students are able to (1) describe sex and gender as key determinants of women's health across the lifespan; (2) discuss within a global context developmental milestones and common health conditions affecting each stage of the female lifespan: pre-birth, childhood, adolescence, adulthood, reproduction, and healthy ageing; (3) discuss within a global context factors that inform health decision making at the level of the individual, health practitioner and healthcare system; (4) predict the short, medium, and long term impacts of social and biological determinants on women's health across the lifespan; and (5) communicate effectively in written and spoken form, both independently and in a team.


Indicative assessments in this unit are as follows: (1) tests; (2) written assessments; and (3) team video project. 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)
Dr Demelza Ireland and Dr Philippa Martyr
Contact hours
lectures: 2 hours per week
tutorials: 2 hours per week
  • 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.