Subject POPH90014 (2011)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2011.

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

This subject has the following teaching availabilities in 2011:

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: 24 hours: 2 hours per week for 12 weeks.
Total Time Commitment: Students will be expected to undertake additional study (i.e. outside the stated contact hours) of at least 4 to 5 hours for each hour of contact in this subject
Prerequisites: None
Corequisites: None
Recommended Background Knowledge: None
Non Allowed Subjects: -
Core Participation Requirements: For the purposes of considering request for Reasonable Adjustments under the Disability Standards for Education (Cwth 2005), and Students Experiencing Academic Disadvantage Policy, academic requirements for this subject are articulated in the Subject Description, Subject Objectives, Generic Skills and Assessment Requirements of this entry.
The University is dedicated to provide support to those with special requirements. Further details on the disability support scheme can be found at the Disability Liaison Unit website.


Dr Melissa Russell


Centre for Molecular, Environmental, Genetic and Analytic (MEGA) Epidemiology
Melbourne School of Population Health
Tel: +61 3 8344 0736
Email: melissar@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 is a core subject within the Master of Public Health, the Master of Epidemiology and the Master of Science (Epidemiology). Students should enrol in this subject early in their program of study.

Epidemiology is the discipline of studying the distribution and determinants of disease in populations and is a fundamental science of public health. It plays major roles in the development and evaluation of the policy and practice of public health and health care.

The subject covers measures of disease frequency, measures of association between disease and potential risk factors and measures of the impact of specific risk factors. The common experimental and observational study designs and their relative strengths and weaknesses are discussed. The implications of common types of bias (selection bias, information bias, confounding and effect modification) are discussed as are methods to minimise them. Causal inference is considered within a framework of critical appraisal of epidemiological evidence. The validity and performance of screening and diagnostic tests are considered.

Objectives: At the completion of this subject, students are expected to be able to:
• Locate, analyse, present and interpret data on population health
• Calculate and interpret measures of disease frequency, association and impact
• Identify confounding and effect modification and assess their public health implications
• Recognise the roles, strengths and weaknesses of randomised controlled trials, and the common observational designs
• Recognise the common forms of bias in epidemiological studies and discuss means to minimise their effects
• Perform a basic critical appraisal of an epidemiological study
• Calculate and interpret measures of screening and diagnostic test
• Assess whether associations are likely to be causal or non-causal
Assessment: Five short-answer assignments of 800 words each, due in weeks 3, 5, 7, 9 and 11 (14% each) and a 1.5 hour open-book examination (administered by the School) to be held during the examination period (30%).
Prescribed Texts: None
Recommended Texts: Beaglehole R, Bonita R and Kjellström T. Basic Epidemiology, World Health Organization: Geneva.
Hennekens, C H and Buring J E. Epidemiology in Medicine, Little Brown Co; Boston.
Jekel, J.F., Elmore, J.G., Katz, D.L. (2007) Epidemiology, biostatistics and preventive medicine. W.B. Saunders Company.
Breadth Options:

This subject is not available as a breadth subject.

Fees Information: Subject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date
Generic Skills: Upon completion of this subject, students will have developed skills in:

• Critical thinking and analysis
• Finding, evaluating and using relevant information
• Problem-solving
• Written communication
• Using computers
Links to further information: http://www.sph.unimelb.edu.au
Related Course(s): Master of Adolescent Health & Welfare
Master of Epidemiology
Master of Genetic Counselling
Master of Public Health
Master of Science (Epidemiology)
Related Majors/Minors/Specialisations: Epidemiology and Biostatistics
Gender && Women's Health
Global Health
Health Economics && Economic Evaluation
Health Program Evaluation
Primary Care
Sexual Health
Social Health

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