School of Population Health

Public Health Capstone (PHCM3003)


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 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.

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. You are expected to:

  • Complete the online lessons and all embedded activities;
  • Read or view required items and engage with optional and further learning resources as they suit your knowledge and skill development needs;
  • Diligently engage with the capstone work provided, exhibiting professionalism, initiative and strong communication skills. You should view the capstone as an opportunity to develop the skills and capabilities you will require for your future roles in public health.
  • Reflect on the course materials and the capstone experience and contribute to online discussion forums and webinars with your own insights and ideas, and share and debate issues with course-coordinators and peers; and
  • Monitor your progress and, if required, seek support through online discussions, webinars and communication with the course convener.

Assessment Task 1 - Capstone background and proposal
Length: Scoping literature review 500 words; capstone proposal not specified- template based
Weighting: 15%

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

Assessment Task 3 - Supervisor Evaluation
Weighting: 20%

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

Readings and resources

The following learning resources for this course are available on Moodle:

  • Lesson recordings and transcripts
  • Weekly lists of readings and viewings. These include “Required readings and viewings” which you will need to engage with to complete course activities and achieve course outcomes, and supplementary resources that are provided to enable you to learn more about the content covered each week.

There is no textbook for this course. Resources and websites are recommended as general sources of information to support your learning throughout the course.