School of Population Health

Public Health Capstone (PHCM3003)

Description

This course provides students with an opportunity to bring together learning developed during their undergraduate program and to apply and further develop public health knowledge and skills through a research project, internship or public health study tour.

A pre-capstone preparatory phase will allow students to level expectations and develop a capstone proposal to guide their work during the course. Students will choose between a research project, internship placement or public health study tour based on interest, career aspirations and feasibility.

The capstone experience will be scaffolded by the proposal and support from the course convenor and research or workplace supervisor. The chosen experience will support the student’s public health interests and career aspirations, and a structured daily activity log and reflective journal (assessment task 2) will allow the student to relate their capstone to broader learning in the undergraduate program and their emerging position as a public health professional.

Students will complete the capstone by demonstrating their learning through a capstone report and presentation. These will include a summary of literature, reflection and progress against the proposal, together with an original piece of work consisting of either a research report, policy analysis, program evaluation, or written program plan.

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.

Pre-requisites

Prerequisites: It is recommended that the Public Health Capstone be undertaken by students who have completed the first 2 years (full-time equivalent) of the Bachelor of International Public Health and PHCM3007 Applied Public Health Practice.

Course aim

The Public Health Capstone aims to: 

  • Allow students to synthesise and reflect on their knowledge and skills in public health.
  • Provide students with an opportunity to apply knowledge and skills developed through their undergraduate degree to an area of interest and relevance to career aspirations.
  • Extend students’ practical skills in public health practice.
  • Increase students’ understanding of public health practice and opportunities in the field.
  • Build skills in communications (oral and written) and information literacy, intellectual and practical skills of inquiry and analysis, critical and creative thinking, integrative and applied learning and reflective practice.
Course outcomes

On successfully completing this course you will be able to:

  • Apply theories, concepts, models, methods, skills, knowledge and/or values developed during the undergraduate program.
  • Reflect on the process of developing a proposal and meeting work and professional aims and objectives in a public health research or practice context.
  • Synthesise knowledge, skills and experience gained through the capstone course to create an original public health product (research report, policy analysis, program evaluation or program plan).
  • Engage collaboratively, professionally and productively within a professional setting.
  • Improve communication skills and use these to summarise public health information and findings.
Learning and teaching rationale

The course is delivered over a 10 week term and you are expected to actively engage with course resources and the capstone project work provided by your workplace, research or study tour supervisor. The Public Health Capstone course is divided into three phases, including a preparatory period, the capstone experience, and a post-capstone phase.

Phase 1:
The pre-capstone preparatory phase will include a compulsory webinar in week 1 to outline expectations, to work through a capstone proposal, and to provide guidance on the first assessment task.  

Phase 2:
The second phase will consist of the capstone experience of approximately 150 hours. This will take one of the following forms, depended on your choice, career aspirations and availability/ feasibility:

  • Research Project OR
  • Internship Placement OR
  • Public Health study tour

Phase 3:
At the close of the capstone, you will be provided with a questionnaire to encourage feedback on the experience and the opportunity to make an appointment to speak with the course convenor to debrief. A webinar will be held during the final week as an informal forum for you to share your experiences.

Assessment

Assessment Task 1 - Capstone background and proposal
Weighting: 15%

Assessment Task 2 - Reflective journal summary
Weighting: 20%
Length: 1000 words

Assessment Task 3 - Supervisor evaluation
Weighting: 20%

Assessment Task 4 - Capstone report
Weighting: 45%
Length: 2000 words

Readings and resources

There is no required textbook for this course. You will be given reading materials as required.