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VCE Physical Education and Health

Health and Human Development Unit 1: Understanding Health and Wellbeing


There are no prerequisites. 

Course Description

This unit looks at health and wellbeing as a concept with varied and evolving perspectives and definitions. It takes the view that health and wellbeing are subject to a wide range of contexts and interpretations, with different meanings for different people. As a foundation to the understanding of health, students investigate the World Health Organization’s (WHO) definition and explore other interpretations. Wellbeing is a complex combination of all dimensions of health, characterised by an equilibrium in which the individual feels happy, healthy, capable and engaged. In this unit students identify personal perspectives and priorities relating to health and wellbeing, and enquire into factors that influence health attitudes, beliefs and practices, including among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders. Students look at multiple dimensions of health and wellbeing, the complex interplay of influences on health and wellbeing and the indicators used to measure and evaluate health status. With a focus on youth, students consider their own health as individuals and as a cohort. They build health literacy through interpreting and using data, through investigating the role of food, and through extended inquiry into one youth health focus area.

Areas of Study

Health perspectives and influences

  • A broad, multi-dimensional approach to health and wellbeing that recognises that defining and measuring these concepts is complicated by a diversity of social and cultural contexts.
  • Students consider the influence of age, culture, religion, gender and socioeconomic status on perceptions of and priorities relating to health and wellbeing.
  • Students look at measurable indicators of population health, and at data reflecting the health status of Australians.
  • With a focus on youth, students enquire into reasons for variations and inequalities in health status, including sociocultural factors that contribute to variations in health behaviours.

Health and nutrition

  • Students explore food and nutrition as foundations for good health and wellbeing.
  • Students investigate the roles and sources of major nutrients and the use of food selection models and other tools to promote healthy eating.
  • Students look at the health and wellbeing consequences of dietary imbalance, especially for youth, and consider the social, cultural and political factors that influence the food practices of and food choices made by youth.
  • Students develop strategies for building health literacy and evaluating nutrition information from various sources, including advertisements and social media.

Youth health and wellbeing

  • Students focus on the health and wellbeing of Australia’s youth, and conduct independent research into a selected area of interest.
  • Students identify major health inequalities among Australia’s youth and reflect on the causes.
  • Students apply research skills to find out what young people are most focussed on and concerned about with regard to health and wellbeing.
  • Students inquire into how governments and organisations develop and implement youth health programs, and consider the use of health data and the influence of community values and expectations.
  • Students select a particular focus area and conduct research, interpret data and draw conclusions on how the health and wellbeing of Australia’s youth can be promoted and improved.



Assessment Tasks

(school-assessed coursework)

Explain multiple dimensions of health and wellbeing, explain indicators used to measure health status and analyse factors that contribute to variations in health status of youth.


Apply nutrition knowledge and tools to the selection of food and the evaluation of nutrition information.


Interpret data to identify key areas for improving youth health and wellbeing, and plan for action by analysing one particular area in detail.

Selected from:

• a short written report, such as a media analysis, a research inquiry, a blog or a case study analysis.

• oral presentation, such as a debate or a podcast.

• a visual presentation such as a graphic organiser, a concept/mind map, an annotated poster, a digital presentation.

• structured questions, including data analysis.

Overall Final Assessment

End of Semester Examination – 1.5 hours.

Information can be obtained from the Victorian Curriculum and Assessment Authority, Victoria, Australia: