Infectious Disease Epidemiology

Subject 505-929 (2009)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2009. Search for this in the current handbook

Credit Points: 12.50
Level: 9 (Graduate/Postgraduate)
Dates & Locations:

This subject has the following teaching availabilities in 2009:

Semester 1, - Taught on campus.
Pre-teaching Period Start not applicable
Teaching Period not applicable
Assessment Period End not applicable
Last date to Self-Enrol not applicable
Census Date not applicable
Last date to Withdraw without fail not applicable


Timetable can be viewed here. For information about these dates, click here.
Time Commitment: Contact Hours: One 2-hour lecture per week
Total Time Commitment:

Students will be expected to undertake additional study (i.e. outside the stated contact hours and including assessment tasks) averaging 4 to 6 hours per week.


505-102 or 505-106 Epidemiology, or

505-969 Epidemiology & Analytic Methods I , or equivalent

Corequisites: None
Recommended Background Knowledge: None
Non Allowed Subjects: None
Core Participation Requirements:

For the purposes of considering request for Reasonable Adjustments under the Disability Standards for Education (Cwth 2005), and Student Support and Engagement Policy, academic requirements for this subject are articulated in the Subject Overview, Learning Outcomes, Assessment and Generic Skills sections of this entry.

It is University policy to take all reasonable steps to minimise the impact of disability upon academic study, and reasonable adjustments will be made to enhance a student's participation in the University's programs. Students who feel their disability may impact on meeting the requirements of this subject are encouraged to discuss this matter with a Faculty Student Adviser and Student Equity and Disability Support:


Assoc Prof Cathie Bennett


Centre for Molecular, Environmental Genetic & Analytic Epidemiology

School of Population Health

Subject Overview:

The epidemiology of infectious diseases differs from chronic disease - cases may be the source of infection for further cases, immunity is an important factor in disease transmission and control, and there is often the need for urgency in the detection and response to disease. This subject introduces students to the strategies used to predict, detect and respond to infectious disease outbreaks, including vaccine-preventable diseases. Content is updated daily incorporating current outbreak reports, and emphasis is given to a practical understanding of infectious disease epidemiology and to developing the team-working skills central to outbreak investigations. Students will learn the basic steps of outbreak detection and response, and will develop the terminology and written and oral skills for effective reporting. Students will also develop problem-solving skills in scenario-based workshops.


On completion, students will be able to:

  • understand the epidemiologic principles underpinning disease surveillance and the mechanisms for disease control;
  • critically appraise surveillance systems;
  • analyse and interpret outbreak data;
  • determine appropriate strategies to monitor, investigate and prevent infectious diseases at the population level;
  • provide written/oral reports to fellow health professionals and the public; be an effective investigation/research team member; and
  • critically appraise the evidence base for public health infectious disease decision-making.

5 short-answer quiz questions (of approximately 200 words each), spread throughout the semester with a combined total word limit of 1000 words (20%), completion of an assignment of up to 3000 words (70%) due the 10th week of semester, and participation in group tasks and workshops in weeks 10 to 12 (10%).

Prescribed Texts: None
Recommended Texts:

Giesecke J. Modern Infectious Disease Epidemiology, Arnold, Edward 2002.

Gregg M., Field Epidemiology, Oxford 2002.

Heymann D. Control of Communicable Diseases Manual, 18th Ed., American Public Health Association, Washington 2004.

Breadth Options:

This subject is not available as a breadth subject.

Fees Information: Subject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date
Links to further information:
Notes: This subject is a Group 1 elective in the Master of Public Health.

Related Course(s): Master of Epidemiology
Master of Public Health

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