Politics, Surveillance and Public Health - PHCM9522

Faculty: Faculty of Medicine

School: School of Public Health and Community Medicine

Course Outline: See Course Outline

Campus: Sydney

Career: Postgraduate

Units of Credit: 6

EFTSL: 0.12500 (more info)

Indicative Contact Hours per Week: 5

Enrolment Requirements:

Prerequisite: Students who are not enrolled in a postgraduate program in the School of Public Health and Community Medicine will need to provide approval from their program authority and the approval of the course convenor to

CSS Contribution Charge: 3 (more info)

Tuition Fee: See Tuition Fee Schedule

Further Information: See Class Timetable

View course information for previous years.


This course aims to provide a broad understanding of some of the principal discussions in medical sociology from the perspective of public health practice. The courses teaches some key social scientific tools, and considers their use as applied to contemporary public health issues, with a particular focus on surveillance, infectious disease and global health. We will consider social scientific research on the topics of medicalisation, public understandings of disease & contagion, risk, infectious disease surveillance and preparedness, empowerment & health equity as well as biosecurity & biodefense. In examining this research we will be identifying some of the different (and sometimes competing) theories of power, risk, globalisation and embodiment being employed by medical sociologists and anthropologists. We will be examining what social science can contribute to key debates in public health and health governance.

Note: This course was previously named PHCM9811 Social Studies for Public Health - Students who have completed PHCM9811 cannot enrol in PHCM9522.

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