Health Behaviour Sciences

Health Behaviour Sciences (HBS) focuses on the knowledge and skills relevant to the understanding of health and illness, and the application of this knowledge to prevention, promotion, treatment and rehabilitation.  Professionals in this field work in a variety of settings both in the community and medical facilities. Rather than being concerned with any one specific disease or population, HBS professionals make a significant contribution at primary, secondary and tertiary levels of prevention or intervention. Key concerns are events relating to individual and population health and illness, the health care system, and the behaviour of health providers and patients.

The Discipline of Health Behaviour Sciences is a foundation discipline in the medical program and teaches into the Joint Medical Program, co-ordinating aspects of clinical communication skills such as building a therapeutic relationship, sexuality and counselling, end of life planning and changing unhealthy behaviours such as smoking and alcohol use.

The Discipline offers a range of other courses at the University of Newcastle including health and behavioural sciences for students studying to be early childhood, primary and secondary teachers, undergraduate public health courses for all students and post graduate Health Promotion courses in the Masters of Public Health.

High quality on-going behavioural science research in diverse areas such as improving the quality of health care, reducing alcohol, tobacco use and harm associated with inactivity and obesity is being carried out.