Breadth subjects are an exciting part of the Melbourne Curriculum. They allow undergraduate students to expand their horizons by taking subjects offered outside their degrees.

Why study MDHS breadth subjects?

Studying undergraduate breadth subjects in the Faculty of Medicine, Dentistry and Health Sciences (MDHS) will give you a variety of transferable skills that are highly valued by employers and applicable in a variety of contexts. These include critical thinking, problem solving, interpersonal and decision-making skills, as well as an understanding and high regard of social and cultural diversities, human rights, equity and ethics.

The Faculty teaches six undergraduate breadth subjects. These subjects are available to all undergraduates to take as breadth, even those studying within MDHS.

Find out more about breadth at the University of Melbourne.

Breadth Subject Showcase webinar

Hear from the coordinators of three breadth subjects from the Melbourne School of Population and Global Health that offer perspectives on the big issues for the health of our planet, our people and our societies:

- Indigenous Cultures and Knowledges (UNIB20022) *NEW SUBJECT*
- Inequalities: Causes and Consequences (UNIB20021) * NEW SUBJECT*
- Our Planet, Our Health (UNIB10017)

Breadth Subjects Showcase 2021 from Faculty of MDHS on Vimeo.

  • Our Planet, Our Health (UNIB10017)

    This interdisciplinary subject will introduce students to the core concepts of One Health in its broadest sense, as a concept that describes the interconnectedness of the health of humans, animals and the environment. Students will gain a deeper and broader understanding of the complex interplay between human, animal and ecosystem health including the historical and current influence of anthropogenic change in different cultures and contexts.

    This subject is offered in conjunction with the Faculty of Veterinary and Agricultural Sciences. Find out more here:

  • Drugs That Shape Society (UNIB20008)

    This subject is a compelling story of drugs that provides insight to us as individuals and as a society. Drugs impact our lives in many ways and social responses to their use have shaped our laws, the health system, commerce and foreign policy. Using a case-study approach, students will explore the scientific, social, historical and legal issues associated with alcohol, opiates, tobacco, penicillin and thalidomide.

  • Global Health, Security & Sustainability (UNIB30002)

    Global Health, Security & Sustainability is an exciting subject that explores the root causes of disease, poverty, injustice and inequity that exist in the world today. Students are encouraged to draw on disciplines in law, arts, engineering, economics, biosciences and medicine to explore and understand the depth, complexity and multi dimensionality of current global health challenges.

  • Living Longer: A Global Diagnosis (UNIB30005)

    Since 1800, human life expectancy at birth has doubled globally and tripled in the most favoured nations. The subject will explore in historical sequence the social interventions, economic changes and advances in scientific knowledge that have enabled increasing proportions of human beings to live longer. It will critically review the roles of public health; medicine; wealth, income and economic development; famine, malnutrition and diet; households and individuals; literacy and education.

  • Indigenous Cultures and Knowledges (UNIB20022)

    Indigenous Cultures and Knowledges will introduce students to the diversity of Indigenous culture, epistemologies, practices and engagements with the contemporary world. It will also introduce students to the immense body of scholarship on traditional Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander societies, cultures, languages, history and prehistory in curricula, research and knowledge exchange.

  • Inequalities: Causes and Consequences (UNIB20021)

    This interdisciplinary subject introduces concepts and theories from population health, the humanities, sociology, economics, geography, criminology and education to explore contemporary and historical trends and debates. It will be delivered by scholars and eminent guest speakers from varied backgrounds and areas of expertise and focus on understanding causes, consequences, and potential means of tackling inequalities, inequities and injustices from a range of disciplinary perspectives.