Infectious Disease Epidemiology

Subject POPH90112 (2010)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2010.

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

This subject has the following teaching availabilities in 2010:

Semester 1, Parkville - 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: None


Ms Hazel Clothier


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

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
Generic Skills: -
Links to further information:
Notes: This subject is a Group 1 elective in the Master of Public Health.

Related Course(s): Master of Environment
Master of Environment
Master of Epidemiology
Master of Science (Epidemiology)
Postgraduate Certificate in Environment
Postgraduate Diploma in Environment
Related Majors/Minors/Specialisations: Epidemiology and Biostatistics
International Health
Public Health
Sexual Health

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