Master of Science (Epidemiology)

Course MC-SCIEPI (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


Melbourne Graduate School of Science
Faculty of Science
The University of Melbourne

Tel: + 61 3 8344 6404
Fax: +61 3 8344 5803

Course Overview:

The Master of Science - Epidemiology program is one of the research training streams of the Master of Science. The research training streams give students the opportunity to undertake a substantive research project in a field of choice as well as a broad range of coursework subjects including a professional tools component, as a pathway to PhD study or to the workforce.


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;
  • acritical 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, and
  • developed business and communication skills that are relevant to the workplace.
Course Structure & Available Subjects:

Students undertaking the Master of Science - Epidemiology program will complete 200 points comprising:

  • 75 points of Discipline subjects;
  • 25-50 points of Elective Discipline subjects;
  • 25-50 points of Professional Tools subjects; and
  • a 50 point Research Project.

Core Discipline subjects (75 points)
Students must take:

  • 505-969 Epidemiology and Analytic Methods 1
  • 505-970 Epidemiology and Analytic Methods 2
  • 505-973 Study Design in Epidemiology
  • 505-974 Epidemiology in Practice
  • 505-971 Linear and Logistic Regression
  • 505-972 Survival Analysis and Regression for Rates

Elective Discipline subjects (25-50 points)
Students must take 25-50 points of the following:

  • 505-929 Infectious Disease Epidemiology
  • 505-926 Genetic Epidemiology
  • other approved subjects

Students may select approved subjects from those within the Master of Public Health which includes subjects on health economics, health program evaluation, international health, sexual health, social science and women’s health. Students without a background in biology may select up to two approved relevant biology subjects.

Professional Tools subjects (25-50 points)
Students must take between two and four subjects from:

Business tools

  • 600-614 Money, People and Processes
  • 600-622 Business Tools: The Market Environment

Communication tools

  • 600-619 Scientists, Communication and the Workplace
  • 600-616 Science in Context

Science tools

  • 615-668 Critical analysis in Science
  • 615-505 e-Science
  • 600-618 Ethics and Responsibility in Science
  • 600-617 Systems Simulation and Modelling

Research Project (50 points)
Students will gain research experience in Epidemiology by completing a 50 point Research Project comprising:

  • a research proposal and protocol
  • a scientific manuscript based on an analysis of an existing dataset or a meta analysis of existing studies
  • two oral presentations

Students would normally enrol in a combination of Research Project subjects as indicated below to ensure they have completed a total of 50 points by the end of their course.

  • 505-983 Epidemiology Research Project - 12.5 points
  • 505-984 Epidemiology Research Project - 25.0 points
  • 505-985 Epidemiology Research Project - 37.5 points
Subject Options:

Discipline Core subjects

Study Period Commencement:
Credit Points:

Discipline Elective subjects

For further discipline elective subjects, refer to the approved subjects within the Master of Public Health.

Study Period Commencement:
Credit Points:

Professional Tools subjects

Study Period Commencement:
Credit Points:
Semester 2
Semester 2

Epidemiology Research Project

Study Period Commencement:
Credit Points:
Semester 1, Semester 2
Not offered in 2010
Semester 1, Semester 2
Entry Requirements:

Bachelor degree with a major in an appropriate discipline with at least an H3 (65%) average in the major or equivalent.

As part of their degree studies, applicants must have completed an appropriate mathematics or statistics subject. Candidates who have not completed any mathematics or statistics subjects at university level will be required to sit the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) and submit these results as part of their application.

Core Participation Requirements: It is University policy to take all reasonable steps to minimise the impact of disability upon academic study and reasonable steps will be made to enhance a student’s participation in the University’s programs. Students who feel their disability may impact upon their active and safe participation in a course are encouraged to discuss this with the relevant course coordinator and the Disability Liaison Unit.
Further Study:

The Research Training programs offer a pathway to a PhD.

Graduate Attributes:

Graduates will:

  • have the ability to demonstrate advanced independent critical enquiry, analysis and reflection;
  • 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, research or project activities, problem-solving and communication;
  • be critical and creative thinkers, with an aptitude for continued self-directed learning;
  • be able to examine critically, synthesise and evaluate knowledge across a broad range of disciplines;
  • have a set of flexible and transferable skills for different types of employment; and
  • be able to initiate and implement constructive change in their communities, including professions and workplaces.
Links to further information:

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