Epidemiology & Analytic Methods 1

Subject POPH90142 (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:

March, 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: 4 hours/wk over semester weeks1 to 6.
Total Time Commitment: Students will be expected to undertake additional tasks, reading and preparation equivalent to a total additional time commitment of 80 to 90 hours.
Prerequisites: None
Corequisites: None
Recommended Background Knowledge: None
Non Allowed Subjects: None
Core Participation Requirements: None


Prof Dallas English


Centre for Molecular, Environmental, Genetic and Analytic (MEGA) Epidemiology
Tel: +61 3 8344 0671
Email: epi-info@unimelb.edu.au


Academic Programs Office
Melbourne School of Population Health
Tel: +61 3 8344 9339
Fax: +61 3 8344 0824
Email: sph-gradinfo@unimelb.edu.au

Subject Overview:

This subject provides an introduction to epidemiological and biostatistical concepts and methods, and their application in the assessment and management of health issues in a range of clinical and population-based settings. Methods are taught in an applied context to enhance core skills and develop an awareness of current issues in epidemiological research and practice. Subject content includes an introduction to disease causation and measures of population health, including disease burden and the distribution of disease determinants. This subject also introduces basic demography, including population structure and sampling methods, and introduces students to epidemiological research study designs. Key skills covered include how to set up datasets, tabulate, graph and explore health data and carry out basic descriptive analyses using the Stata statistical software package.

Objectives: On completion of this subject, students are expected to:
  • Understand the principles of epidemiology
  • Be familiar with the major study designs used in Epidemiology
  • Understand the measures of frequency and association used in epidemiology
  • Critically appraise measures of exposure and disease occurrence
  • Be familiar with the concepts of bias and confounding
  • Apply descriptive statistical methods
  • Understand the concept of sampling variability and how it underpins statistical inference in the form of estimation (using confidence intervals)
  • Competently interpret and report measures of disease distribution
  • Be familiar with spreadsheets and basic methods for statistical summary and description of epidemiological data computed by hand and using Stata
  • Summarise and interpret measures of disease distribution, effect and association
  • Compute and interpret confidence intervals for means and proportions

One assignment of up to 2000 words (30%) due week 5
One assignment of up to 2500 words (70%) due a few weeks after the end of coursework

Prescribed Texts: Webb P, Bain C & S Pirozzo Essential Epidemiology. Cambridge University Press: 2005, and
BR Kirkwood and JAC Sterne, Essential Medical Statistics Second Edition, Blackwell Science, 2003.
Breadth Options:

This subject is not available as a breadth subject.

Fees Information: Subject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date
Generic Skills: On completion of this subject, students are expected to:
  • Develop basic descriptive analytical skills
  • Begin to develop the epidemiological frameworks to recognise and describe research methods
  • Become familiar with the language and terminology used in epidemiology
  • Develop skills in writing reports on health data
  • Develop the ability to plan and prioritise reading and assessment tasks
Links to further information: http://www.sph.unimelb.edu.au

This subject, taken in conjunction with 505-970 Epidemiology and Analytic Methods II, replaces 505-101 and 505-102 as a core subject for the MPH Epidemiology and Biostatistics stream.

Related Course(s): Master of Adolescent Health & Welfare
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: Development
Energy Efficiency Modelling and Implementation
Energy Studies
Epidemiology and Biostatistics
Integrated Water Catchment Management
Public Health
Waste Management
Women's Health

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