Epidemiology in Practice

Subject POPH90147 (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:

August, 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: 5 contact days over semester weeks 5 to 8.
Total Time Commitment: Students will be expected to undertake additional study averaging 80 hours in total through to end of assessment.

505-971 can be taken as a Pre-requisite or Co-requisite.

Study Period Commencement:
Credit Points:
Corequisites: -
Study Period Commencement:
Credit Points:
Recommended Background Knowledge: None
Non Allowed Subjects: None
Core Participation Requirements: None


Assoc Prof Shyamali Dharmage


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 will build on the principles and methods covered in Epidemiology and Analytic Methods I and 11 and Study Design in Epidemiology, focussing on the application of epidemiological methods in a range of clinical and population-based settings. Subject content includes screening and diagnostic testing, surveillance of health events, systematic reviews and grant writing and preparation of scientific manuscripts. Practical aspects of running an epidemiological study will be covered including participant recruitment, linking databases, collecting biological specimens, project management and ethical issues. Analytical methods are taught in applied epidemiologic contexts using the Stata statistical software package.

Objectives: On completion of this subject, students are expected to:
  • Appreciate the relevance of screening and diagnostic tests at individual and population levels
  • Critically appraise studies on validation of tests and compute estimates that are used to evaluate screening & diagnostic tests
  • Have a sound understanding of potential biases of screening data
  • Have a sound understanding of study designs, potential sources of biases and analytic techniques in systematic reviews and meta analysis
  • Critically appraise and conduct systematic reviews
  • Understand the practical issues in designing an epidemiological study including recruiting participants, questionnaire design, collecting biospecimens, maximising follow-up, ethical issues, linking databases
  • Have acquired basic protocol development and manuscript preparation skills.
  • Apply ethical principles in epidemiological research

One assignment (up to 1000 words) worth 20% due on 3rd contact day (2nd contact week),
One 10 minute small group oral presentation (10%) on 4th contact day
One 20 minutes group oral presentation (10%) 5th contact day.
An assignment (up to 3000 words) worth 60% due 3 to 4 weeks after the final contact session.

Prescribed Texts: None
Recommended Texts:


Special computer skills required: Students are expected to have experience using the Stata statistical package for multivariate statistical methods.

Breadth Options:

This subject is not available as a breadth subject.

Fees Information: Subject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date
Generic Skills:

On completion of the subject, students are expected to:

  • Have a broad understanding of epidemiology research methods and the critical thinking skills to plan and appraise epidemiological studies in applied settings
  • Have advanced written communication skills including the ability to clearly describe and appraisal epidemiological study designs in detail
  • Effectively communicate complex epidemiological issues through clear oral presentations
  • Demonstrate the ability to work in teams and plan and prioritise tasks set outside the contact period
  • Be aware of the implications of epidemiologic research to the wider community and know how to operate in an appropriate and sensitive way
  • Have an understanding of current method and context issues in epidemiology and biostatistics

Links to further information: http://www.sph.unimelb.edu.au

This subject is a group 1 elective in the Master of Public Health

Related Course(s): Master of Epidemiology
Master of Science (Epidemiology)
Related Majors/Minors/Specialisations: Epidemiology and Biostatistics

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