Infectious Disease Epidemiology

Subject POPH90112 (2016)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2016.

Credit Points: 12.5
Level: 9 (Graduate/Postgraduate)
Dates & Locations:

This subject has the following teaching availabilities in 2016:

Semester 1, Parkville - Taught on campus.
Pre-teaching Period Start not applicable
Teaching Period 29-Feb-2016 to 29-May-2016
Assessment Period End 24-Jun-2016
Last date to Self-Enrol 11-Mar-2016
Census Date 31-Mar-2016
Last date to Withdraw without fail 06-May-2016

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:

170 hours


This subject can be taken concurrently

Study Period Commencement:
Credit Points:
Semester 1


Recommended Background Knowledge:


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.


Ms Hazel Clothier


Melbourne School of Population and Global Health


Currently enrolled students:

Future Students:

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.

Learning Outcomes:

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.

  • Short-answer quiz questions (of 200 words each), four spread throughout the semester (24%),
  • Major assignment of 3000 words (60%) due the 10th week of semester,
  • Group work (2 week preparation and 10 minute oral presentation per group) due week 12 (10%)
  • Group work summary (300 words) due in the first week of the examination period (6%)
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 3rd Edition, 2008.
Plant A & Watson C. Communicable Disease Control: an Introduction. IP Communications, 2008

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: Environment and Public Health
Epidemiology and Biostatistics
Global Health
Public Health
Tailored Specialisation
Tailored Specialisation

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