Faculty of Medical and Health Sciences

POPLHLTH 769 - Interpersonal and Family Violence

30 Points

Semester 1



Explores the magnitude and consequences of the problem of, and contributing factors to, interpersonal and family violence. Examines some of the major violence prevention and intervention activities currently undertaken in New Zealand. Considers how effective practices and policies might be disseminated at the individual, community, and national levels. Themes include:  the epidemiology of violence, causes of violence, developing and evaluating interventions, and violence as a health issue.


Restriction: SOCHLTH 751 

Programme and course advice

This course can be taken towards the Postgraduate Certificate of Health Science or towards a Postgraduate Diploma in Social Work. It can also be taken as a one-off course by those interested in the subject under the Certificate of Proficiency programme.

Course aims

Goals of the course

To provide students with the theoretical frameworks and core knowledge necessary to critically examine current violence intervention and prevention activities, and to develop skills for designing and implementing violence solutions.


Learning outcomes 

By the end of this course, the student should be able to:

  • With reference to foundational models and approaches to understanding family violence, critically discuss some of the major and systemic factors that contribute to the occurrence of family and interpersonal violence at the local, national and global levels.
  • Articulate and contrast the magnitude and consequences of the problem of interpersonal and family violence at the local, national, and global levels.
  • Describe how we can measure the effect of a range of major violence prevention and intervention activities currently being undertaken in New Zealand with respect to their efficacy, validity and scalability.
  • Engage in critical debate, and self-reflection, about our role in disseminating effective practices and policies at the individual, community, and national levels to provoke creative and positive systemic change.

Teaching dates

This course will be offered in the first semester. Face to face teaching will be conducted over six days (3 times 2-day blocks).

The six days cover the following topics-

  • Day 1 Definitions, theory & models
  • Day 2 Measurement of the scale and consequences of violence
  • Day 3 Risk & protective factors
  • Day 4 Prevention & intervention activities and considering effectiveness
  • Day 5 Student projects & ways forward
  • Day 6 Student projects & ways forward

For each teaching day, there is a set of required readings which are provided. The basic format for each one day session will be an initial catch-up and business period, then input from the teachers related to the topic of the day. This will continue on an input/discussion basis for the morning.

A variety of interactive teaching methods will be used, including group discussions and individual presentations. These will provide opportunities to practice critical thinking skills, and engage in robust and respectful debate. Assessments are structured to support students in the scoping, development and presentation of ideas relating to violence solutions.

This course is held at Tāmaki Campus to be held in 3 blocks of 2 days spread through the semester.

Please see your timetable on SSO or Building 730 Reception noticeboard on the day for the room details.


The assessment of this course is 100% on-course.

The on-course assessment consists of:

  • An annotated bibliography of key readings (readings supplied) (10%)
  • An individual essay related to one type of violence, based on a critical reading and synthesis of academic literature (maximum 3,000 words, 40%). Findings of this individual project should be tailored to inform the development of the case study (see below).
  • A draft one-page visual of a possible intervention or prevention effort, or research project, to be presented in class (marked as either complete/incomplete). Following feedback, this document can be revised and submitted with the Case Study (below).
  • Case Study—future creative solutions to prevent or intervene in violence, or to encourage individual, family, community and societal well-being. Building on what was learned in the individual essay and/or their practice experience students can design a prevention, intervention or research project, or approach the issue from a more conceptual perspective. The structure of the case study needs to include: a written description of the proposed project (maximum 3,5000 words), a one page visual representation of the case project, and a self-reflective comment on the project (600-800 word). (Case Study total: 50%).

Learning resources

The required readings for this course are provided on CANVAS, which is our online Student Learning Management system. Library and computer facilities with internet are available to students. Support in developing internet skills and library usage is included in the orientation package. The Powerpoint presentations for the lectures will be put up on CANVAS.

Course Coordinator

Programme Advisor