Health and Human Development Units 3 and 4


Health and Human Development looks at health, wellbeing and human development as dynamic concepts influenced by interplay of various factors. Australian and global contexts are considered.

Health and Human Development Units 3 and 4 has four main areas:

  • Understanding health and wellbeing (Unit 3)
  • Promoting health and wellbeing (Unit 3)
  • Health and wellbeing in a global context (Unit 4)
  • Health and the sustainable development goals (Unit 4)

In Understanding health and wellbeing, you will explore health and wellbeing and illness as complex, dynamic and subjective concepts. While the major focus is on the health of Australians, it is recognised that Australia’s health is not isolated from the rest of the world. You will inquire into the WHO prerequisites for health and wellbeing, reflect on the increasing influence of global conditions on Australians and develop an understanding of the indicators used to measure and evaluate health status, and the factors that contribute to variations between population groups in Australia.

In Promoting health and wellbeing you will look at different approaches to public health over time, with an emphasis on changes and strategies that have succeeded in improving health and wellbeing. You will examine the progression of public health in Australia since 1900, noting global changes and influences such as the Ottawa Charter for Health Promotion and the general transition of focus from the health and wellbeing of individuals to that of populations. You will investigate the Australian health system and its role in promoting health and wellbeing. You will conduct a detailed study on a successful health promotion campaign or program, and inquire into priorities for health improvements in Australia.

Health and wellbeing in a global context looks at similarities and differences in major burdens of disease in low, middle and high income countries, including Australia. You will investigate a range of factors that contribute to health inequalities and study the concepts of sustainability, human development and the Human Development Index to further their understanding of health in a global context. You will consider the global reach of product marketing and inquire into the effects of particular global trends on health and wellbeing.

Health and the Sustainable Development Goals looks at action for promoting health globally. It looks at the rationale, objectives and interdependencies of the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals, focusing on their promotion of health and wellbeing and human development. You will investigate the priorities and work of the World Health Organisation and evaluate Australia’s aid program and the role of non-government organisations, selecting one aid program for detailed research and analysis. You will reflect on meaningful and achievable individual actions that could contribute to the work of national and international organisations that promote health and wellbeing.

Who is it for?

This subject is for you if you are interested in learning about:

  • health and wellbeing and illness for both Australians and globally
  • fundamental conditions required for health improvement
  • benefits of optimal health and wellbeing
  • health promotion and improvements in population health
  • health and human development in a global context
  • exploring factors that contribute to health inequalities
  • health implications of increased globalisation and worldwide trends
  • health promotion initiatives that have been developed to address Australian and global health issues
  • global action to improve health and wellbeing and human development with a focus on the UN’s SDGs and the work of the WHO
  • the role of non-government organisations and Australia’s overseas aid program
  • social action that promotes health and wellbeing.

What do you do?

Activities include:

  • reading current Australian and global health information, issues and various case studies
  • writing short and extended answer responses (but not essays)
  • describing key health concepts
  • interpreting, comparing and analysing health information/data from various sources, e.g. in tables or different types of graphs and case studies
  • researching and evaluating Australian and global health issues and initiatives developed to address these
  • using and evaluating data to analyse similarities and differences and draw conclusions.

What skills do you need?

There are no prerequisites, however:

  • an interest in learning about health issues in Australia and globally is important
  • some health vocabulary and theoretical knowledge (e.g. Year 11 Health and Human Development) is an advantage.

What skills do you develop?

This study enables you to:

  • collect and analyse information from, and participate in, a variety of practical activities
  • develop and refine movement skills from a coaching perspective
  • apply biomechanical and skill acquisition principles
  • analyse data from an activity analysis and fitness tests to determine and assess the fitness components and energy system requirements of the activity
  • participate in a variety of training methods, and design and evaluate training programs to enhance specific fitness components.




You must have access to the internet in order to access this course. All weekly work will be completed and submitted online.

You need an email address that you will check regularly.

An updated version of the text will be required: Jacaranda, Key Concepts in VCE Health and Human Development Units 3 & 4, Sixth Edition
(including learnON and studyON). Andrew Beaumont and Meredith Fettling.

Things to think about

For latest Australian and global health information, reading the newspapers and watching various health-related documentaries on TV and YouTube (e.g. UN videos) will be helpful.

Things you can do now

Look out for media items (newspaper articles, TV and YouTube documentaries) about rural, Indigenous health, obesity, poverty in low and middle income countries, Sustainable Development Goals, etc. Start a scrapbook or digital collection of these articles.

Unit 3 focuses on Australia’s health in a globalised world.

Watch Understanding health promotion for an introduction into health promotion.

Unit 4 focuses on health and human development in a global context.

Watch The State of Global Health to obtain an insight into Unit 4 Global health. Dr Greg Martin talks about a few of the major issues that need to be addressed.

Watch The Sustainable Development Goals outlining the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) campaign and steps we can take use to achieve these important goals.

Watch “Imagine…” – A powerful animation about the shortage of health workers.

Watch Malala Yousafzai United Nations Speech on Malala and her story: A Pakistani schoolgirl who stood up to the Taliban and defended her right to an education

Go to the VCAA website for more information about this subject.



Things to have a look at

200 Countries, 200 Years, 4 Minutes

Check out Hans Rosling’s 200 Countries, 200 Years, 4 Minutes for a look at data about changes in global health and wealth over the last 200 years