School of Public Health and Community Medicine

Reproductive, Maternal and Children's Health (PHCM9606)

image - Reproductive, Maternal and Children's Health


This course aims to provide an overview of reproductive, maternal and child health in its global context and within a public health framework. The course will take a critical look at the Global Strategy for Women’s, Children’s and Adolescents’ Health 2016-2030 and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Sessions will include a wide range of international public health issues on child health and development, maternal and child mortality, maternal and newborn health among Indigenous Australians, reproductive health, gender and gender-based violence, immunization, non-communicable and infectious diseases as well as strategies to improve maternal and child health outcomes with a focus on the social determinants of health.

Case studies, theories and relevant policies from developed and developing countries as well as rural and remote Aboriginal communities will be presented for discussion and debate to improve students understanding of reproductive, maternal and child health issues in a variety of contexts. The course will be most suitable for those wishing to gain a general overview of reproductive, maternal and child health. Students could select and focus on a specific topic of interest to them through individual assessments and group discussions during the course.

Credit points

This course is an elective course of the Graduate Public Health and Health Management Programs, comprising 6 units of credit towards the total required for completion of the study program. There are no pre-requisites for this course.

Mode of study

External (Distance) and Internal (Face-to-Face) classes on campus.

Course aim
  • Provide an understanding of the key issues in reproductive, maternal, child health in a national and global context.
  • Provide a critical overview of current policies relating to reproductive, maternal and child health particularly Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
  • Give an overview of thematic topics in the area of Reproductive, Maternal and Child Health to address current programs and policies through social determinants approach.
Course Outcomes

The outcomes for this course are to enable you to:

  • Understand the key concepts and issues in reproductive, maternal and child health in a national and international context.

  • Discuss the importance of reproductive, maternal and child health in national and international contexts drawing on key theoretical approaches and through interpreting relevant data.

  • Outline the leading causes of ill-health and death among mothers, newborns and children under-five globally and the potential implications for policy and practice.

  • Distinguish key stakeholders and partners involved in international reproductive, maternal and child health and discuss their values, activities and stake in the field.

  • Describe the determinants of health that influence reproductive, maternal and child health status and discuss potential solutions for addressing future challenges.

  • Appraise the current public health strategies addressing reproductive, maternal and child health internationally, and identify an issue to research in depth, justifying why this is currently an issue of significance.

  • Identify the public health needs of Australia’s Indigenous people, and critically review the reasons and challenges for improving reproductive, maternal and child health in Australia.

  • Evaluate the current challenge confronting the Sustainable Development Goals, and critique standard approaches to improving reproductive, maternal and health issues in populations.

Learning and teaching rationale

Class participants come from diverse backgrounds, with varied forms of professional training and experience.  Participants come from Australia and a number of other countries, with some students internal and others external.  The design of the course aims to ensure that every student can see its relevance and benefit from it.  In particular, it aims to give external and internal students the same challenges and opportunities through the utilisation of technology.


Assessment Task 1 - Quiz
Weighting: 25%
Length: 25 Multiple Choice Questions (MCQ)

Assessment Task 2 - Short Essay
Weighting: 25%
Length: 1000 words

Assessment Task 3 - Long Essay
Weighting: 50%
Length: 2500 words

Readings and resources
Learning resources for this course consist of the following:
  1. Course notes and readings
  2. Materials made available in Moodle
  3. Lecture recordings and lecture slides
  4. Supplementary resources such as videos, podcasts
Recommended textbook