Outbreak Assessment at Population Level

Subject VETS50013 (2014)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2014.

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

This subject is not offered in 2014.

Time Commitment: Contact Hours: Approximately 10-14 hours per week over an 8-week period
Total Time Commitment:

Approximately 112 hours per semester

Study Period Commencement:
Credit Points:


Recommended Background Knowledge:
Study Period Commencement:
Credit Points:
Non Allowed Subjects:


Core Participation Requirements:

For the purposes of considering request for Reasonable Adjustments under the Disability Standards for Education (Cwth 2005), and Student Support and Engagement Policy, academic requirements for this subject are articulated in the Subject Overview, Learning Outcomes, Assessment and Generic Skills sections of this entry.

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 may impact on meeting the requirements of this subject are encouraged to discuss this matter with a Faculty Student Adviser and Student Equity and Disability Support: http://services.unimelb.edu.au/disability

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.

Learning Outcomes:

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.

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 Officeâ„¢ 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)
Postgraduate Diploma in Veterinary Public Health (EAD)

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