Master of Epidemiology

Course 570AA (2015)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2015.

Year and Campus: 2015 - Parkville
CRICOS Code: 037931G
Fees Information: Subject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date
Level: Graduate/Postgraduate
Duration & Credit Points: 100 credit points taken over 12 months part time.


Professor Dallas English



Academic Programs Office
Melbourne School of Population Health
Tel: +61 3 8344 9339
Fax: +61 3 8344 0824

Course Overview:

NOTE: This course is only available part time and is not available for international students.

The Master of Epidemiology provides a solid foundation in epidemiological and analytical skills for those who aim to develop their understanding of the epidemiological and biostatistical theory and methods that underpin epidemiological practice and research, build competence in critical appraisal, and develop core skills for research and practice in epidemiology. The course combines five compulsory integrated subjects in epidemiology and statistical methods with a choice of either two epidemiological specialty elective subjects, or a research report where students conduct an applied project. The project may involve a student analysing existing data, performing a systematic review or developing a research protocol, allowing further development in a specialty interest area of the student's choice according to methods, disease groups and/or population setting.

The core and elective subjects are offered in a range of delivery modes (full semester classroom, 1/2 semester workshop, intensives). Students who have completed the Postgraduate Diploma in Epidemiology or equivalent may seek exemption from core subjects and complete 100 points combining both a research report and elective subjects.

Learning Outcomes:

On completion of this course, graduates are expected to have:

  • An advanced understanding of epidemiological theory and its role and contribution in health-related disciplines
  • An understanding of basic statistical concepts and their role in epidemiological design and analysis
  • A critical approach to the appraisal of research work
  • The skills to identify and prioritise issues in health research and practice
  • The capacity to apply epidemiological and biostatistical theory and methods in practice including the demonstrated ability to:

    > Identify health issues and formulate research questions
    > Locate, synthesise and critically appraise epidemiological data, systems and research.
    > Design and appraise epidemiological studies
    > Summarise and report epidemiological data
    > Apply standard methods of statistical analysis used in epidemiology
    > Interpret and apply the findings of epidemiological studies
    > Prepare grant applications and manuscripts and deliver effective oral presentations

Course Structure & Available Subjects:

FIVE core subjects, ONE research project and ONE elective

Subject Options:

Core Subjects

Study Period Commencement:
Credit Points:
Semester 1
Semester 1


Students must choose one of the following subjects:

Study Period Commencement:
Credit Points:

Research Report

The research project is 25 points in total taken over 2 semesters consecutively (12.5 points per semester).

Study Period Commencement:
Credit Points:
Entry Requirements:

1. In order to be considered for entry, applicants must have completed:
• either
– an honours degree in a relevant discipline with a weighted average mark of at least H2B (70%), or equivalent, or
– a Postgraduate Diploma in Epidemiology with a weighted average mark of at least H2B (70%), or equivalent, or
– an undergraduate degree in a relevant health care discipline (e.g. medicine, dentistry, physiotherapy) and documented evidence of either one year of research experience or two years of relevant professional experience.
Meeting these requirements does not guarantee selection.

2. In ranking applications, the Selection Committee will consider:
• prior academic performance; and when relevant
• the research/professional experience.

3. The Selection Committee may seek further information to clarify any aspect of an application in accordance with the Student Application and Selection Procedure.

4. Applicants are required to satisfy the university’s English language requirements for postgraduate courses. For those applicants seeking to meet these requirements by one of the standard tests approved by the Academic Board, performance band 6.5 is required.

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 course are articulated in the Course Description, Course Objectives and Generic Skills 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.

Graduate Attributes:

The Melbourne Experience enables our graduates to become:

Academically excellent:

  • have a strong sense of intellectual integrity and the ethics of scholarship
  • have in-depth knowledge of their specialist discipline(s)
  • reach a high level of achievement in writing, generic research activities, problem-solving and communication
  • be critical and creative thinkers, with an aptitude for continued self-directed learning
  • be adept at learning in a range of ways, including through information and communication technologies

Knowledgeable across disciplines:

  • examine critically, synthesise and evaluate knowledge across a broad range of disciplines
  • expand their analytical and cognitive skills through learning experiences in diverse subjects
  • have the capacity to participate fully in collaborative learning and to confront unfamiliar problems
  • have a set of flexible and transferable skills for different types of employment

Leaders in communities:

  • initiate and implement constructive change in their communities, including professions and workplaces
  • have excellent interpersonal and decision-making skills, including an awareness of personal strengths and limitations
  • mentor future generations of learners
  • engage in meaningful public discourse, with a profound awareness of community needs

Attuned to cultural diversity:

  • value different cultures
  • be well-informed citizens able to contribute to their communities wherever they choose to live and work
  • have an understanding of the social and cultural diversity in our community
  • respect indigenous knowledge, cultures and values

Active global citizens:

  • accept social and civic responsibilities
  • be advocates for improving the sustainability of the environment
  • have a broad global understanding, with a high regard for human rights, equity and ethics

Generic Skills:

A Knowledge

Graduates of the Master of Epidemiology Degree will have acquired:

  1. a body of knowledge that includes the understanding of recent developments in the discipline of Epidemiology
  2. knowledge of research principles and methods applicable to the field of Epidemiology

B Skills

Graduates of the Master of Epidemiology will have developed:

  1. cognitive skills to demonstrate mastery of theoretical knowledge and to reflect critically on theory and scholarship
  2. cognitive, technical and creative skills to investigate, analyse and synthesise complex information, problems, concepts and theories and to apply established theories to different bodies of knowledge or practice
  3. cognitive, technical and creative skills to generate and evaluate complex ideas and concepts at an abstract level
  4. communication and technical research skills to justify and interpret theoretical propositions, methodologies, conclusions and scientific professional decisions to specialist and non-specialist audiences
  5. technical and communication skills to design, evaluate, implement, analyse, theorise about developments that contribute to scientific professional practice or scholarship

C Application of knowledge and skills

Graduates of the Master of Epidemiology will demonstrate the application of knowledge & skills:

  1. with creativity and initiative to new situations in professional scientific practice and/or for further learning
  2. with high level personal autonomy and accountability
  3. to plan and execute a substantial research-based project
Links to further information:

The Master of Epidemiology in not registered on the Commonwealth Register of Institutions and Courses for Overseas Students (CRICOS) and is not available to international students who require a student visa to study in Australia. However, international students may be able to undertake this course if they hold or are eligible to apply for other visas that permit study. Please visit the Australian Department of Immigration (DIAC) or the University’s International Student Services for further information.

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