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. This course builds on concepts learned in YMED1001 Introduction to Public Health, YMED1008 Introduction to Global 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:

  • Examine perspectives of the epidemiological transition in terms of the global burden of disease from communicable disease, maternal and malnutrition causes to chronic diseases.
  • Address chronic diseases including cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, certain cancers, chronic lung disease and mental illness, and their associated risk factors (obesity, unhealthy diet, physical inactivity, tobacco use and alcohol use), with a focus on the challenges faced by developing countries and rapidly-growing economies.
  • Provide students with an increased understanding of the effects of ways of life on health and strategies for positive change on a population and global health level.
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

This course has been designed to support you in gaining the fundamental knowledge and skills in developing, implementing and critically analysing interventions to prevent and control chronic disease and related risk factors within a public health practice role. 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 new concepts and the application of chronic disease prevention and control techniques.

The course is delivered totally online over a ten-week term. You are expected to spend approximately 10 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 reflect on their own ways of life and assess the health behaviours of the broader community locally and globally.


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

Assessment Task 2 - Epidemiological transition country analysis
Length: 1000-1500 words
Weighting: 30%

Assessment Task 3 - Critical analysis of a population-based intervention
Length: 2500 - 3000 words
Weighting: 50%

Readings and resources

There is no required textbook for this course. Each week you will be given the required reading materials in the lessons. All required reading materials is marked ‘Mandatory’ on Leganto, accessible from the Moodle course page. There will also be ‘optional’ reading materials made available on Leganto: these resources were used to develop the lessons and you may find it useful to browse through them for further information.