Infectious Diseases Modelling

Subject POPH90271 (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 2, Parkville - Taught on campus.
Pre-teaching Period Start not applicable
Teaching Period 25-Jul-2016 to 23-Oct-2016
Assessment Period End 18-Nov-2016
Last date to Self-Enrol 05-Aug-2016
Census Date 31-Aug-2016
Last date to Withdraw without fail 23-Sep-2016

Timetable can be viewed here. For information about these dates, click here.
Time Commitment: Contact Hours: 24
Total Time Commitment:

170 hours

Study Period Commencement:
Credit Points:
Semester 1
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 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:


Prof Jodie Mcvernon


Melbourne School of Population and Global Health


Currently enrolled students:

Future Students:

Subject Overview:

Faced with the rising cost of vaccines and increasing drug resistance, public health decision makers increasingly rely on epidemiological models of infectious disease transmission to predict the impact, and define optimal implementation of, intervention strategies. Such considerations are particularly critical in resource-constrained settings.

This subject introduces students to the concepts of infectious diseases modeling required to interpret modeling papers relevant to the public health context. By considering real world examples of the use of models to support practice, they will learn to distinguish between different types of modeling frameworks, and understand their relevance to alternative questions and settings. Building on their strengths in infectious diseases epidemiology, students will develop confidence in assessing whether model frameworks incorporate all relevant knowledge and are ‘fit for purpose’ to support decision making.

Learning Outcomes:

On completion of this subject, students will be able to:

  • Describe the basic concepts underlying the susceptible-infectious-recovered modeling paradigm;
  • Identify data sources of relevance to inform model structure and parameters;
  • Differentiate between alternative modeling frameworks and approaches, and identify which are most relevant to specific infectious disease policy questions;
  • Understand the concepts of uncertainty and sensitivity in model outputs;
  • Provide summary reports of modeling papers for a non-expert audience, such as public health policy makers or the public;
  • Critically appraise modeling outputs, and their relevance to public health decision making for infectious disease control and surveillance.

  • Short-answer test assessing understanding of key concepts due at the end week 4 (20%)
  • Major assignment of 3000 words due at the end week 9 (60%)
  • Group work oral presentation due at the end week 12 (20%)
Prescribed Texts:

Vynnycky E, White RG. An introduction to Infectious Disease Modelling. Oxford University Press 2010, Great Britain.

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:

  • Finding, evaluating and using diverse sources of evidence;
  • Critical thinking and analysis;
  • Problem-solving;
  • Written and verbal communication;
  • Decision making.
Related Course(s): Master of Biostatistics
Master of Public Health
Master of Science (Epidemiology)
Related Majors/Minors/Specialisations: Epidemiology and Biostatistics

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