Infectious Disease Epidemiology

Subject POPH90112 (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:

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: 24 hours: 2 hour weekly seminar for 12 weeks
Total Time Commitment:

120 hours



Study Period Commencement:
Credit Points:
Semester 1, Semester 2
Corequisites: None
Recommended Background Knowledge: None
Non Allowed Subjects: None
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.


Ms Hazel Clothier


Centre for Molecular, Environmental, Genetic and Analytic (MEGA) Epidemiology
Melbourne School of Population Health
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 of this subject, students will be able to:

  • describe the epidemiologic principles underpinning disease surveillance and the mechanisms for disease control;
  • examine and appraise surveillance systems;
  • analyse, interpret and present outbreak data;
  • determine appropriate strategies to monitor, investigate and control or 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 200 words each), spread throughout the semester (20%), completion of an assignment of 3000 words (60%) due the 10th week of semester, 15 minute group presentation during weeks 10 to 12 (10%) and a 500 word written critique of the group process due during the assessment period (10%)

Prescribed Texts: Heymann D. Control of Communicable Diseases Manual, 19th Ed., American Public Health Association, Washington 2008
Recommended Texts:

Giesecke J. Modern Infectious Disease Epidemiology, Arnold, Edward 2002.
Gregg M., Field Epidemiology, Oxford 2002.

Breadth Options:

This subject is not available as a breadth subject.

Fees Information: Subject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date
Generic Skills: After completing this subject, students will develop skills in:
  • Critical thinking and analysis
  • Working with others and in teams
  • Problem-solving
  • Oral communication
  • Finding, evaluating and using relevant information
  • Written communication
  • Decision-making
Links to further information:

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

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