Faculty of Medical and Health Sciences

HLTHSCI 702 - Principles of Primary Health Care

30 Points

Semester 2 



This is a collabrative course between School of Nursing and School of Population Health. 

Health systems have adopted a primary health care approach in an attempt to reduce disparities in health. In practice, this demands a commitment to reducing inequalities and addressing the determinants of health, which often underpin causes of illnesses and include, for example, income, education, employment, housing and neighbourhoods, health services and discrimination. 

The Treaty of Waitangi establishes a partnership of equals and clearly implies equity of determinants and outcomes of health. This course will introduce theories, frameworks and evidence to support practice in primary health care. New and innovative models of primary health care will be explored along with the challenges of developing a health workforce, collaborating within multidisciplinary teams, and working across health and social sectors. 

The role of health professionals in self-management support is central. This course offers students a common language, deeper understandings of conceptually new and complex health issues, and creates an environment that supports students to apply new learning to practice in diverse settings. Determinants of health, population health, equity, community empowerment, partnerships and effective ways to care for people with long-term conditions in communities will be explored.

Course information - School of Population Health

Goals of the course

The course will enable the student to develop and consolidate foundational concepts of primary health care to be applied in practice. It requires students to demonstrate scholarship focussed on theory and evidence that maximises primary health care outcomes for individuals, families and populations. 

Learning outcomes 

At the completion of the course, the student will have the knowledge to:

  1. Critically analyse and apply frameworks, theories and models that maximise primary health care outcomes.
  2. Apply primary health care values and principles to initiate and implement sustainable and effective interventions in partnership with populations and individual consumers within the contexts of health promotion, primary and secondary prevention and illness care
  3. Critically analyse policies and interventions for groups and individuals from a primary health care perspective based on the social determinants of health and evidence-based primary health care principles including community engagement, empowerment, health equity, and alignment with the Treaty of Waitangi
  4. Identify and critique the contribution of population health and primary health care clinical practice to the overall health system, taking into account complex environments, collaborative practice, and professional and disciplinary boundaries.
  5. Reflect on and critique the ways that different theoretical perspectives influence personal social, cultural and professional viewpoints. 


Course outline

The course components include:

Foundations of PHC

Social Determinants of Health (SDH)

Equity in PHC

Infant and Child Health

Youth Health

Health of Adults

Older Person Health

The Health of Populations

Partnerships with and within Communities with Individuals and Families


Assessment of this course is by course work, there are no examinations. All three assignments must be completed to pass this course. Course information is available on Canvas.


Word Count


Learning outcome assessed

Assignment One –


3500 words




Assignment Two – Case presentation

20 minute verbal presentation



Assignment Three – Report

3500 words



Learning and teaching

This course is offered for commencement in study in Primary Health Care. The course entails attendance at six study days and course work in distance mode as displayed on Canvas during the semester.

Programme and course advise

The course is offered for multi-professionals working in Primary Health Care. Postgraduate students who wish to enrol in a Postgraduate Certificate/Diploma in Health Science are advised to contact the Department of Primary Health Care for advice on an appropriate pathway.

Course Information - School of Nursing

Assists primary healthcare professionals working in diverse settings to put population health into practice through primary healthcare. Determinants of health, equity, community empowerment, partnerships and effective ways to care for people with long-term conditions in communities will be explored.

Course information

Primary health care practitioners are challenged to deliver health care in new ways that better respond to consumers’ health and social needs. This course explores individual and population health, equity, partnerships, empowerment and public policy. Primary healthcare interventions and broader strategies for action, informed by multiple sources of evidence are advocated.


Restriction: NURSING 772 

Course Coordinator - School of Nursing

Course Administrator