Introduction to Public Health Ethics (BETH5206)


This unit provides students with an introduction to the ethical and political issues that underlie public health and public health research. The unit introduces key concepts in public health ethics including liberty, utility, justice, solidarity and reciprocity, and introduces students to different ways of reasoning about the ethics of public health. Most learning occurs in the context of two teaching intensives, which are highly interactive and focus on the development and application of reasoning skills.
By the end of the Unit you will be able to identify the values and ideas upon which public health rests and ready to start thinking proactively about the ethical issues raised by public health interventions and health policy. This is a Core Unit for Graduate Diploma and Master in Public Health students.

Our courses that offer this unit of study

Further unit of study information


2x8hr intensives; or Distance Education (online).


2xOnline Quiz (40%); 1x1500wd essay (60%)


Students are provided with a list of readings (in digital format). Most supplementary readings can be accessed through the library or online.

Faculty/department permission required?


Unit of study rules



Additional Information

Students enrolled in the Graduate Diploma or Master of Public Health may choose to take BETH5203 (6CP) instead of BETH5206 (2CP).

Study this unit outside a degree

Non-award/non-degree study

If you wish to undertake one or more units of study (subjects) for your own interest but not towards a degree, you may enrol in single units as a non-award student.

Cross-institutional study

If you are from another Australian tertiary institution you may be permitted to underake cross-institutional study in one or more units of study at the University of Sydney.