Outbreak Assessment at Population Level

Subject VETS50013 (2011)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2011.

Credit Points: 12.50
Level: 5 (Graduate/Postgraduate)
Dates & Locations:

This subject is not offered in 2011.

Time Commitment: Contact Hours: Approximately 10-14 hours per week over an 8-week period
Total Time Commitment: Approximately 112 hours per semester
Prerequisites: The following subjects are prerequisites:
Study Period Commencement:
Credit Points:
Not offered in 2011
Not offered in 2011
Corequisites: None
Recommended Background Knowledge: Information learned in the prior modules of this course
Non Allowed Subjects: None
Core Participation Requirements: It is University policy to take all reasonable steps to minimise the impact of disability upon academic study, and reasonable adjustments will be made to enhance a student's participation in the University's programs. Students who feel their disability will impact on their academic performance are encouraged to discuss this matter with the Subject Coordinator and the Disability Liaison Unit.


Stephanie Morrison-Duff
Research and Graduate Studies Manager
Faculty of Veterinary Science
University of Melbourne
Victoria 3010
+61 (0)3 8344 0357
Subject Overview: Outbreak epidemiology combines the need to fully describe an outbreak with the need to design control options. This subject will, through a series of lectures and assignments, inform students on the functions of response epidemiologists as per the Australian Veterinary Emergency Plan (AUSVETPLAN) and impart knowledge and skills covering data types required in an outbreak, data collection and analysis, types of reporting required, projecting the course of an outbreak, and surveillance for proof of freedom.

On completion of this subject, students will have gained:
• detailed knowledge of the work of the epidemiologist at both State Disease Control Headquarters (SDCHQ) and Local Disease Control Centre (LDCC) levels;
• detailed knowledge of data sources to be tapped for outbreak analysis and the analytical techniques used in data-sparse situations;
• knowledge of the type of reporting and analysis required in outbreak situations;
• understanding of the techniques used in making projections for planning purposes; and
• a good understanding of the process and requirements related to demonstrating proof of freedom from disease.


Students will be assessed for participation in weekly forum discussions, group assignment in week 5 and final written exam in week 9 and 10. You will be required to identify a university near you where you can be supervised while sitting the exam.

The assessment components of this subject are:

  • Participation in online forum discussions (15%)
  • Group assignment of 4000 words (25%)
  • Written 2-hour final exam (60%)
Prescribed Texts:

Students will use a reading list of scientific articles from the current literature and specific sections from the Australian Veterinary Emergency Plan (AUSVETPLAN), which will be provided on-line.

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 should have developed their:
• analytical thinking skills;
• ability to analyse complex situations from spare data; and
• integration of data from multiple sources into projection models.
Notes: Reliable internet access with at least a medium speed connection and a personal computer are essential for undertaking this online program. The content is accessed through your web browser. Microsoft Office™ and Adobe Acrobat Reader or equivalent software packages are necessary for assessment tasks, assignments and some class exercises.
Related Course(s): Master of Veterinary Public Health (Emergency Animal Diseases)

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