VCE Health & Human Development

Through the study of VCE Health and Human Development, students investigate health and human development in local, Australian and global communities.


Health is a dynamic condition that is influenced by complex interrelationships between individuals and biomedical and behavioural factors, as well as physical and social environments. These interrelationships are reflected in a social view of health that sees health as being created in the settings where people live and work. This social view of health recognises the need for personal skills development, the importance of empowering communities to take action to promote health, the creation of social and physical environments that are supportive of health and development, an awareness of the impacts on health of public policies and the need for health services to be oriented towards health promotion and the prevention of ill health.


The VCE Health and Human Development study approaches the concept of 'development' as a continuum, that begins with individual human development in Units 1 and 2 and progresses towards human development at a societal level in Unit 4. In Units 1 and 2 the study of human development is about individual change, that is a continuous lifelong process that begins at conception and continues until death. Individual human developmental changes are cumulative; development that occurs in the future is dependent upon development occurring in the past. Unit 4 takes a global perspective on health and human development and uses definitions of human development that are consistent with approaches taken by both the World Health Organization (WHO) and the United Nations (UN). In Unit 4 human development is about expanding people's choices and enhancing capabilities (the range of things people can be and do) and their freedoms; enabling people to live full, productive and creative lives; having access to knowledge, health and a decent standard of living; and participating in the life of their community and decisions affecting their lives (adapted from the United Nations Development Programme, 1990).


The study of Health and Human Development is based on the premise that health and human development needs to be promoted at an individual level, and within group and community settings at national and international levels, to maximise global development potential. This underpins the structure of the four units of Health and Human Development. The study also promotes the understanding that nutrition plays a major role in influencing both health status and individual human development.



The study is made up of four units:

Unit 1: The health and development of Australia's youth
Unit 2: Individual human development and health issues
Unit 3: Australia's health
Unit 4: Global health and human development

Each unit contains between two and four areas of study.



There are no prerequisites for entry to Units 1, 2 and 3. Students must undertake Unit 3 prior to undertaking Unit 4. Units 1 to 4 are designed to a standard equivalent to the final two years of secondary education.