Master of Epidemiology

Course 570AA (2010)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2010.

Year and Campus: 2010 - Parkville
Fees Information: Subject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date
Level: Graduate/Postgraduate


Professor Dallas English


Centre for Molecular, Environmental, Genetic and Analytic (MEGA) Epidemiology
Tel: +61 3 8344 0671


Academic Programs Office
Melbourne School of Population Health
Tel: +61 3 8344 9339
Fax: +61 3 8344 0824

Course Overview: The Master of Epidemiology provides a solid foundation in epidemiological and analytical skills for those who aim to develop their understanding of the epidemiological and biostatistical theory and methods that underpin epidemiological practice and research, build competence in critical appraisal, and develop core skills for research and practice in epidemiology. The course combines six compulsory integrated subjects in epidemiology and statistical methods with a choice of either two epidemiological specialty elective subjects, or a research report where students conduct an applied project. The project may involve a student analysing existing data, performing a systematic review or developing a research protocol, allowing further development in a specialty interest area of the student's choice according to methods, disease groups and/or population setting.

The core and elective subjects are offered in a range of delivery modes (full semester classroom, 1/2 semester workshop, intensives, distance). Students who have completed the Postgraduate Diploma in Epidemiology or equivalent may seek exemption from core subjects and complete 100 points
combining both a research report and elective subjects, or may apply to take a 50 point minor thesis in place of the research report.


On completion of this course, graduates are expected to have:

  • An advanced understanding of epidemiological theory and its role and contribution in health-related disciplines
  • An understanding of basic statistical concepts and their role in epidemiological design and analysis
  • A critical approach to the appraisal of research work
  • The skills to identify and prioritise issues in health research and practice
  • The capacity to apply epidemiological and biostatistical theory and methods in practice including the demonstrated ability to:

    > Identify health issues and formulate research questions
    > Locate, synthesise and critically appraise epidemiological data, systems and research.
    > Design and appraise epidemiological studies
    > Summarise and report epidemiological data
    > Apply standard methods of statistical analysis used in epidemiology
    > Interpret and apply the findings of epidemiological studies
    > Prepare grant applications and manuscripts and deliver effective oral presentations

Course Structure & Available Subjects: Students have two options:
Option 1: Completion of the 6 core subjects AND 2 electives.
Option 2: Completion of the 6 core subjects AND a research report/minor thesis.

Subject Options:

Core Subjects

Students must complete all SIX Core subjects for both Option 1 and Option 2:

Part time students are expected to take 505-969, 505-970, 505-971 and 505-972 in their 1st year.

Study Period Commencement:
Credit Points:


The following elective subjects are available to students who choose Option 1 of the Course Plan.
Study Period Commencement:
Credit Points:

Research Report/Minor Thesis

Students who enroll in Option 2 must complete either of the following subjects:

  • 505-930 (Research Project) or
  • 505-931 (Minor Thesis)
NOTE: The Minor Theis is ONLY available to students exempt from some or all core subjects.
Study Period Commencement:
Credit Points:
Entry Requirements:

The Selection Committee will evaluate the applicant's ability to pursue successfully the course using the following criteria -

  • An honours degree in a relevant discipline with at least H2B (70%) in the major, or equivalent, OR
  • a medical degree, OR
  • a postgraduate diploma in Epidemiology with at least a H2B (70%) average, or equivalent, OR
  • a degree in a relevant discipline with at least a H2B (70%) average in the major, and at least 2 years of relevant documented full-time work experience.

The Selection Committee may conduct interviews and tests and call for referee reports and employer references to elucidate any matters to do with selection.

Core Participation Requirements: None
Graduate Attributes: The Melbourne Experience enables our graduates to become:

Academically excellent:

  • have a strong sense of intellectual integrity and the ethics of scholarship
  • have in-depth knowledge of their specialist discipline(s)
  • reach a high level of achievement in writing, generic research activities, problem-solving and communication
  • be critical and creative thinkers, with an aptitude for continued self-directed learning
  • be adept at learning in a range of ways, including through information and communication technologies

Knowledgeable across disciplines:

  • examine critically, synthesise and evaluate knowledge across a broad range of disciplines
  • expand their analytical and cognitive skills through learning experiences in diverse subjects
  • have the capacity to participate fully in collaborative learning and to confront unfamiliar problems
  • have a set of flexible and transferable skills for different types of employment

Leaders in communities:

  • initiate and implement constructive change in their communities, including professions and workplaces
  • have excellent interpersonal and decision-making skills, including an awareness of personal strengths and limitations
  • mentor future generations of learners
  • engage in meaningful public discourse, with a profound awareness of community needs

Attuned to cultural diversity:

  • value different cultures
  • be well-informed citizens able to contribute to their communities wherever they choose to live and work
  • have an understanding of the social and cultural diversity in our community
  • respect indigenous knowledge, cultures and values

Active global citizens:

  • accept social and civic responsibilities
  • be advocates for improving the sustainability of the environment
  • have a broad global understanding, with a high regard for human rights, equity and ethics

Generic Skills: Please refer to Course Objectives.
Links to further information:
  • Mid year entry not normally offered. Only students who are exempt from Semester 1 core subjects may apply for mid-year entry.
  • This course is taught in face-to-face teaching mode in either semester-long, half-semester or 5 day intensive teaching blocks.
  • 505-926 Genetic Epidemiology is also available in distance mode.

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