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HEA8303 Community Development and Health

Semester 1, 2019 Online
Short Description: Comm Develop Health
Units : 1
Faculty or Section : Faculty of Health, Engineering and Sciences
School or Department : School of Nursing and Midwifery
Student contribution band : National Priority - Nursing
ASCED code : 060399 - Nursing not classified
Grading basis : Graded


Examiner: Melissa Carey


Pre-requisite: Students must be enrolled in one of the following Programs: GCHH or GDHH or MOHH or MNSG or PDEV.

Other requisites

Access to high-level computers is essential for students taking this program. For up-to-date advice on computing requirements, please see Students will require access to e-mail and have internet access to UConnect for this course.


Community development is a distinct and key aspect of community health practice. It includes forms of capacity-building at personal, group, community and organisational levels and the mobilisation of inter-sectorial partnerships to address health determinants. While community development processes are based around values of self-determination and so lend themselves well to working with a broad range of groups, distinct differences also exist between Western, Indigenous and other culturally based frameworks regarding underlying worldviews, approaches to human health and well-being, and culturally-informed practices and protocol.

This course introduces the student to contemporary theory and practice of community development within a health determinants framework in ways that are applicable to all groups, whilst including a critical focus on epistemology, culture, cultural change and implications of these for development approaches and outcomes. The course is recommended for students to develop competency in working ‘with’ communities to improve health outcomes, and thereby understanding the roots of community health practice.


The purpose of this course is to provide students with a conceptual grounding in community development principles and to facilitate the application of these within health and social well-being practice contexts.

Key themes include community development theory, principles and strategies within a social wellbeing and health determinants framework; critical epistemologies and cultural change; the construction of knowledge and research methods appropriate to community-driven approaches; community health program planning and evaluation. Content and assessment items in this course will led to an appreciation of community, health and development and the ability to apply principles and strategies to a range of contexts through critical thinking and assessment.

This course is uniquely positioned nationally and internationally as its focus includes local Aboriginal and community contexts of interest as these are relevant to other regions and communities globally.


On successful completion of this course students should be able to demonstrate:

  1. Identify and explain the relevance, scope and potential of different theoretical approaches, context and history to community development within contemporary contexts
  2. Explain key community development principles and strategies and distinguish between these and other associated practices such as community engagement, planning and consultation;
  3. Explain the relevance of critical approaches to epistemology, culture and cultural change for community development practice in general and with specific reference to work with Indigenous communities.
  4. Critically evaluate approaches to community development research, knowledge construction, ethics and professionalism as these concern community development and explain the relevance of appropriate research methodologies and methods;
  5. Demonstrate competency in designing a community health program plan and evaluation strategy;
  6. Demonstrate competence in and appropriate use of language and literacy including spelling, grammar, punctuation and bibliographic referencing.


Description Weighting(%)
1. History, Contexts and Theory of Community Development: Global-local transformations and the relevance of community development to human health, social well-being and addressing health disparities; Political economy - state-based approaches to health, development and the service sector; the relevance of Human Rights, Ecological and Anti-oppressive approaches to Community, Health and Development. 20.00
2. Community, health and Development Principles and Strategies: Community Development as an integrated, trans-disciplinary and intercultural practice; Key principles of practice including the primacy of process, power and culture; scope, implications and impacts of community development in relation to other related areas of practice; Asset mapping, individual and community capacity building and measurement. 20.00
3. Culture, Epistemology and Development: application of critical theory to issues of epistemology, culture, cultural change and development as relevant to all communities; Indigenous communities, anti-colonialist approaches and implications for human-ecological well-being and development; engaging traditional and contemporary epistemologies, cultural practices and protocol for well-being. 20.00
4. Community Development Research: research and evaluation, Power-knowledge and approaches to knowledge creation; social constructionism, lay knowledge and professional power; Research as empowerment, ethics and measures of validity; participatory and community action frameworks and the use of qualitative and quantitative methods within these; and, reflective practice. 20.00
5. Community health program planning, implementation and evaluation: Introduction to formative, process and summative forms of evaluation; application of community development research principles as nested within ecological and community-grounded frameworks. 20.00

Text and materials required to be purchased or accessed

ALL textbooks and materials available to be purchased can be sourced from USQ's Online Bookshop (unless otherwise stated). (

Please contact us for alternative purchase options from USQ Bookshop. (

McMurray A. & Clendon J 2015, Community Health and wellness: primary health care in practice, 5th edn, Elsevier, Australia.

Reference materials

Reference materials are materials that, if accessed by students, may improve their knowledge and understanding of the material in the course and enrich their learning experience.
Journal of Community Development
Journal of Rural and Community Development; available in USQ databases
Community Development Mission Australia

Student workload expectations

Activity Hours
Assignments 60.00
Directed Study 50.00
Online Tutorials 10.00
Private Study 45.00

Assessment details

Description Marks out of Wtg (%) Due Date Notes
On line Discussion 10 10 29 Mar 2019
Written Assignment 40 40 02 May 2019
Development Plan 50 50 06 Jun 2019

Important assessment information

  1. Attendance requirements:
    There are no weekly attendance requirements for this course. However, it is the students’ responsibility to study all material provided to them or required to be accessed by them to maximise their chance of meeting the objectives of the course and to be informed of course-related activities and administration.

  2. Requirements for students to complete each assessment item satisfactorily:
    To satisfactorily complete an individual assessment item a student must achieve at least 50% of the marks for that item.

  3. Penalties for late submission of required work:
    Students should refer to the Assessment Procedure (point 4.2.4)

  4. Requirements for student to be awarded a passing grade in the course:
    To be assured of receiving a passing grade a student must achieve at least 50% of the total weighted marks available for the course.

  5. Method used to combine assessment results to attain final grade:
    The final grades for students will be assigned on the basis of the aggregate of the weighted marks obtained for each of the summative items for the course.

  6. Examination information:
    There is no examination in this course.

  7. Examination period when Deferred/Supplementary examinations will be held:
    As there is no examination in this course, there will be no deferred or supplementary examinations.

  8. University Student Policies:
    Students should read the USQ policies: Definitions, Assessment and Student Academic Misconduct to avoid actions which might contravene University policies and practices. These policies can be found at

Assessment notes

  1. Students must familiarise themselves with the USQ Assessment Procedures (

  2. Referencing in Assignments must comply with the APA referencing system. This system should be used by students to format details of the information sources they have cited in their work. The APA style to be used is defined by the USQ library’s referencing guide. These policies can be found at

Evaluation and benchmarking

In meeting the University’s aims to establish quality learning and teaching for all programs, this course monitors and ensures quality assurance and improvements in at least two ways. This course:
1. conforms to the USQ Policy on Evaluation of Teaching, Courses and Programs to ensure ongoing monitoring and systematic improvement.
2. forms part of the GCHH, GDHH AND MOHH and is benchmarked against the:
internal USQ accreditation/reaccreditation processes which include (i) stringent standards in the independent accreditation of its academic programs, (ii) close integration between business and academic planning, and (iii) regular and rigorous review.