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TM5515 - Epidemiology for Public Health

Credit points: 03
Year: 2019
Student Contribution Band: Band 2
Administered by: College of Public Health, Medical & Vet Sciences

Available to all postgraduate students in the health sciences.

Epidemiology is the "study of the distribution and determinants of health-related states or events in specified populations and the application of this study to the control of health problems" (Last, 1988). This subject introduces students to the principles of epidemiology. Topics covered include:history, development and definition of epidemiology and its place in health research; identification of disease; measures of disease frequency; summary measures of population health; measures of association; study design; chance, bias and confounding; causation; data collection techniques; screening and surveillance; epidemiological disease concepts; and ethics. Core theoretical material will be supplemented by guest lectures where possible. Theory is complemented by the use of applied examples and exercises to enhance understanding and facilitate development of practical skills. A variety of examples of published, epidemiological studies in scientific literature will be critically discussed during the subject to enhance the understanding of the introduced concepts and techniques. Being able to read and evaluate health literature is essential for health professionals, especially those in public health. Some computer literacy is assumed (e.g, Windows, Word and Excel).

Learning Outcomes

  • critically engage with the conduct and interpretation of (public) health research using fundamental epidemiological principles;
  • integrate theoretical and technical epidemiological knowledge to calculate and interpret appropriate measures of disease frequency, summary measures of population health and measures of association in the context of their limitations;
  • demonstrate judgement to recognise, describe and critically evaluate the major types of study designs and data collection techniques used in epidemiology and the related sources of error, in a research situation;
  • Define and apply the concepts of diagnostic testing, screening, surveillance and infectious disease;
  • Demonstrate expertise and judgement in the identification and interpretation of issues associated with ethics of health research.


External, Study Period 1
Census Date 28-Mar-2019
Coordinator: <Person not found>, Assoc. Professor Kerrianne Watt
Contact hours:
  • 65 hours - online (lectures/tutorials/other online activity)
    Method of Delivery: WWW - LearnJCU
    Assessment: other exams (20%); assignments (35%); assignment 2 (20%); workbook (25%).
    Special Assessment Requirements: Students must pass exam to pass subject

    Townsville, Limited, Study Period 9
    Census Date 10-Oct-2019
    Non-standard start/end 26-Aug-2019 to 22-Nov-2019
    Face to face teaching 26-Aug-2019 to 06-Sep-2019 (Please note early start date)
    Contact hours:
    • 65 hours - face to face (lectures/tutorials)
      Assessment: other exams (20%); assignments (35%); assignment 2 (25%); workbook (20%).
      Special Assessment Requirements: Student must pass exam to pass subject

      Note: Minor variations might occur due to the continuous Subject quality improvement process, and in case of minor variation(s) in assessment details, the Subject Outline represents the latest official information.