VCE Health and Human Development provides students with broad understandings of health and wellbeing that reach far beyond the individual. Students learn how important health and wellbeing is to themselves and to families, communities, nations and global society. Students explore the complex interplay of biological, sociocultural and environmental factors that support and improve health and wellbeing and those that put it at risk. The study provides opportunities for students to view health and wellbeing, and development, holistically – across the lifespan and the globe, and through a lens of social equity and justice.
VCE Health and Human Development is designed to foster health literacy. As individuals and as citizens, students develop their ability to navigate information, to recognise and enact supportive behaviours, and to evaluate healthcare initiatives and interventions. Students take this capacity with them as they leave school and apply their learning in positive and resilient ways through future changes and challenges.
VCE Health and Human Development offers students a range of pathways including further formal study in areas such as health promotion, community health research and policy development, humanitarian aid work, allied health practices, education, and the health profession.
Units of Study
Understanding health and wellbeing
This unit looks at health and wellbeing as a concept with varied and evolving perspectives and definitions. It takes the view that health and wellbeing are subject to a wide range of contexts and interpretations, with different meanings for different people. As a foundation to the understanding of health, students should investigate the World Health Organization’s (WHO) definition and also explore other interpretations. Wellbeing is a complex combination of all dimensions of health, characterised by an equilibrium in which the individual feels happy, healthy, capable and engaged. For the purposes of this study, students should consider wellbeing to be an implicit element of health.
In this unit students identify personal perspectives and priorities relating to health and wellbeing, and enquire into factors that influence health attitudes, beliefs and practices, including among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders. Students look at multiple dimensions of health and wellbeing, the complex interplay of influences on health and wellbeing and the indicators used to measure and evaluate health status. With a focus on youth, students consider their own health as individuals and as a cohort. They build health literacy through interpreting and using data, through investigating the role of food, and through extended inquiry into one youth health focus area.
Managing health and development
This unit investigates transitions in health and wellbeing, and development, from lifespan and societal perspectives. Students look at changes and expectations that are part of the progression from youth to adulthood. This unit promotes the application of health literacy skills through an examination of adulthood as a time of increasing independence and responsibility, involving the establishment of long-term relationships, possible considerations of parenthood and management of health-related milestones and changes.
Students enquire into the Australian healthcare system and extend their capacity to access and analyse health information. They investigate the challenges and opportunities presented by digital media and health technologies, and consider issues surrounding the use of health data and access to quality health care.
Australia’s health in a globalised world
This unit looks at health, wellbeing and illness as multidimensional, dynamic and subject to different interpretations and contexts. Students begin to explore health and wellbeing as a global concept and to take a broader approach to inquiry. As they consider the benefits of optimal health and wellbeing and its importance as an individual and a collective resource, their thinking extends to health as a universal right. Students look at the fundamental conditions required for health improvement, as stated by the World Health Organization (WHO). They use this knowledge as background to their analysis and evaluation of variations in the health status of Australians. Area of Study 2 focuses on health promotion and improvements in population health over time. Students look at various public health approaches and the interdependence of different models as they research health improvements and evaluate successful programs. While the emphasis is on the Australian health system, the progression of change in public health approaches should be seen within a global context.
Health and human development in a global context
This unit examines health and wellbeing, and human development in a global context. Students use data to investigate health status and burden of disease in different countries, exploring factors that contribute to health inequalities between and within countries, including the physical, social and economic conditions in which people live. Students build their understanding of health in a global context through examining changes in burden of disease over time and studying the key concepts of sustainability and human development. They consider the health implications of increased globalisation and worldwide trends relating to climate change, digital technologies, world trade and the mass movement of people. Area of Study 2 looks at global action to improve health and wellbeing and human development, focusing on the United Nations’ (UN’s) Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the work of the World Health Organization (WHO). Students also investigate the role of non-government organisations and Australia’s overseas aid program. Students evaluate the effectiveness of health initiatives and programs in a global context and reflect on their capacity to take action.
- Aged care
- All Medical Professions
- Disability related Industries
- Fitness Instructor
- Massage Therapist
- Medical Science
- OH&S Officer
This is a guide only, please see the careers team for pathway planning advice.
There are no prerequisites for entry to Units 1, 2 and 3. Students must undertake Unit 3 prior to undertaking Unit 4.
Unit 3 and 4 Assessment
Percentage contributions to the study score in VCE Health & Human Development are as follows:
- Unit 3 School-assessed Coursework: 25 per cent.
- Unit 4 School-assessed Coursework: 25 per cent.
- End-of-year examination: 50 per cent