VCE Health and Human Development

Health and wellbeing is essential for all of us. It helps us to live a productive and fulfilled life. It is important for both individuals and communities to experience the highest level of health and wellbeing possible to live their best lives. In order to achieve this, we must understand factors that impact health. By addressing these, it is possible for us to work together to develop knowledge and skills and empower people to take control of their health.

Students examine the impact of social, economic, and environmental factors on health and wellbeing. Students explore similarities and differences in health issues faced by low income countries compared to high income countries, as well as ways to address these issues. This subject also focuses on sustainability and sustainable human development. This underpins the content of Health and Human Development.

Understanding health and wellbeing

This unit is about health and wellbeing, which means feeling happy, healthy, capable, and engaged. Everyone has their own idea of what health and wellbeing means and we will learn about different perspectives and interpretations, including the World Health Organisation definition.

We will explore different factors that influence our attitudes and beliefs about health, and how they differ among population groups, including Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

The role of food and nutrition as the foundation of health and wellbeing will be addressed. Students will learn about the importance of a balanced diet, nutrients and their key functions in the body, in addition to some consequences of dietary imbalance. Food selection models that are widely recognised in the community, such as the 5 Star Health Rating System, The Healthy Eating Pyramid, and the Australian Guide to Healthy Eating will be examined in terms of their effectiveness in helping people make good choices. Marketing tactics used to promote foods and food trends will also be explored and students will learn skills to critically evaluate information presented to them.

This unit will also focus on health issues that are important to youth, factors that influence youth health outcomes, and how related challenges can be addressed. Students will have the opportunity to build their health literacy through an extended inquiry into one youth health focus area.

Area of Study 1: Health perspectives and influences

Area of Study 2: Health and nutrition

Area of Study 3: Youth health and wellbeing

Managing health and development

This unit is about how people change and develop as they move through different stages of the lifespan. A particular emphasis is placed on learning about transitions that take place as youth become adults. As we grow older, we have more independence and responsibility, sometimes involving the establishment of long-term relationships, possible considerations of parenthood, and management of health-related changes. Each of these transitions are explored.

We will learn about Australia’s health system and how we can access and understand information about our health. This will include how digital media and new technologies can help us stay healthy, but also consider the challenges and risks involved in these mediums. As part of this study, we will discuss the fact that everyone should have access to quality healthcare, and what we can do to make sure this happens.

Area of Study 1: Developmental transitions

Area of Study 2: Health care in Australia

Australia’s health in a global world

This unit looks at health, wellbeing, and illness as dynamic and subjective concepts. Students begin to explore health and wellbeing as a global concept. As they consider the benefits of good health and wellbeing, they learn that this is a right and an essential resource for all.

There is a focus on learning about old public health methods that focused on reducing infectious diseases to a newer approach that aims to prevent lifestyle diseases. There is an emphasis on the Australian health system, including Medicare, the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme, the National Disability Insurance Scheme, and Private Health Insurance. Initiatives taken to bring about improvements in health outcomes through health promotion are also investigated.

Area of Study 1: Understanding health and wellbeing

Area of Study 2: Promoting health and wellbeing

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. 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.

Students also look at global action to improve health and wellbeing and human development, focusing on the United Nations’ (UN) Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the work of the World Health Organisation (WHO).

Area of Study 1: Health and wellbeing in a global context

Area of Study 2: Health and the Sustainable Development Goals

Selection advice

What kind of learner is best suited to study this subject?

This subject relates to everyday life and will equip students with knowledge and skills to make positive health decisions. Those who find it easier to engage in learning that has a clear application to their life will enjoy this subject. Students will also gain a better understanding of health-related challenges and actions that can be taken to overcome these.

What key skills are required for success?

The ability to apply knowledge, and to analyse and interpret data and case studies that inform us about health and wellbeing. Students need to be able to show an understanding of how concepts of health and wellbeing are connected and impact one another. Consistent revision of content and terminology is also required.

What are three most engaging topics studied?

Unit 1 & 2:

  • Health issues that relate to youth
  • Healthy and respectful relationships
  • Nutrition and tactics used in the marketing of food and food trends

Unit 3 & 4:

  • Australia’s health system
  • Road safety health promotion initiatives
  • Factors that impact the health and wellbeing of low-, middle-, and high-income countries.

What are the learning activities in this subject like?

Research, data analysis, media analysis, concept mapping, critical thinking and communication, application tasks, quizlets.

What advice would you give to a student about to embark on this subject?

A positive attitude is essential for success in Health and Human Development. Approach the subject with an open mind, a willingness to learn, and a commitment to give your best effort. It is suggested that students keep up to date with smaller incremental tasks with a regular study routine. Keep detailed organised notes on the different Key Knowledge areas of each topic and complete as many practice questions as possible before assessment tasks.

Student Voice

I enjoyed studying Health and Human Development in VCE as you explore the ways in which health outcomes and quality of life can be maximized to benefit individuals, nations, and the globe. Health requires you to learn a lot of content, but it is interesting, and can be practically applied. In this subject I found that being consistent in my effort and application to learning was rewarded with success/achievement.

Logan Ridoutt

Studies in VCE Health and Human Developmentcan lead to study and career options in the following areas:

Age carer, Ambulance officer, Paramedic, Childcare worker, Child/Youth residential carer, Chiropractor, Dental assistant, Dietitian, Enrolled nurse, Registered nurse, General medical practitioner, Health promotion officer, Medical imaging professional, Medical receptionist,

Naturopath, Acupuncturist, Nursing aide, Nutritionist, Occupational therapist, Personal care assistant, Physiotherapist, Podiatrist, Specialised medical practitioner, Youth worker, Speech pathologist, Health policy maker, Public health official.