School of Population Health

Global Chronic Disease Prevention and Control (PHCM2009)


This course aims to enhance students’ understanding of the major chronic diseases, specifically cardiovascular disease, some cancers, type 2 diabetes, chronic lung disease and the interaction between their associated risk factors such as unhealthy diet, physical inactivity, tobacco use and alcohol use. Students will examine the concept of the epidemiological transition to provide insights into trends in the burden of chronic diseases in developed and developing countries. This course will help students to understand, plan and evaluate prevention and control approaches to chronic diseases using logic models, and to critique the modern social environment with respect to global health.

Credit points

This is a core course in the Bachelor of International Public Health (3880) comprising 6 units of credit towards the total required for completion of the study program.

Mode of study

Fully online.


There are no pre-requisite courses that need to be completed before undertaking this course. However, the course builds on concepts learned in YMED1001 Introduction to Public Health, PHCM2001 Epidemiology, and PHCM2003 Health Promotion.

If you have not completed these courses (or even if you have), please complete the short catch-up modules (Week 0) in Moodle.

Course aim

The course aims to help students understand the importance and relevance of undertaking program evaluation in modern public health practice. Using chronic diseases and their risk factors as case studies, students will be guided and supported in developing a basic program evaluation plan.

Course learning outcomes
  • Understand and describe the evolution of the global burden of major chronic diseases, their risk factors, and the implications for global health.
  • Describe the ‘epidemiological transition’ and analyse the evidence for the transition to the rise and fall of chronic diseases in developed and developing countries.
  • Describe the broader social determinants that underpin relationship between changes to ways of life, the development of risk factors, and their relationship to chronic disease development.
  • Describe and evaluate population approaches to the prevention and control of chronic diseases in developed and developing countries, and theories and principles underpinning these approaches.
  • Assess the impact of and challenges to monitoring, preventing, and controlling chronic diseases within healthcare systems in developed and developing countries.
Learning and teaching rationale

The course utilises a range of learning strategies each week including interactive lessons, discussions forums, and audio-visual materials that are centred around real-world case studies to support your learning of the application of chronic disease prevention and control techniques and program evaluation.

The course is delivered totally online over a ten-week term. You are expected to spend approximately 12-15 hours a week preparing for and actively participating in this course and preparing for and completing assessments. There are weekly lessons that are designed to be as informative and engaging as possible. You will be given reading information within the lessons. The discussion forums and webinars will involve engaging in participatory activities, enabling you to practice new skills and receive feedback on progress.


Assessment Task 1 - Discussion Forum Participation
Length: 200-300 words
Weighting: 20%

Assessment Task 2 - Presentatiion on the epidemiological transition
Length: 12-15 minutes
Weighting: 30%

Assessment Task 3 - Evaluation plan
Length: 2500 - 3000 words
Weighting: 50%

Readings and resources

There is no compulsory textbook for this course. The readings required to complete the activities in the interactive lectures are included in the lectures via weblinks. These readings may be a journal article, a report, videos, podcasts or news articles. Some lectures will also include recommended resources for optional further reading.