Health and Risk Communication (PUBH5422)


In this unit, students will develop a critical awareness of the determinants of effective communication, particularly in relation to health risks to the individual and to society. The first half covers individual health risk communication in clinical settings, including: theories of health communication, patient centred care and shared decision making; evidence-based communication skills; research paradigms including interaction analysis; cross-cultural communication in health care; discussing prognosis and informed consent. The second half explores risk communication for public health. We teach theories of risk perception and communication with particular application to public health incident responses. We give practical guides to media messages, risk message framing, public engagement, traditional and social media, and the ethical aspects of public communication. The unit offers students the opportunity to learn from outstanding guest lecturers who work in these areas and interactive opportunities for students to try their skills in risk communication and decision making.

Our courses that offer this unit of study

Further unit of study information


Block/intensive - 5 days Monday - Friday


Assignment 1 x 3000 word (55%), Assignment 1 x 2000 words (35%), Pre-block online activities (10%)


Readings will be provided

Faculty/department permission required?


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.