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TM5515 - Epidemiology for Public Health

Credit points: 3
Year: 2012
Student Contribution Band: Band 2
Administered by: Sch Public Health,Trop Medicine&Rehabilitation Sc

Available to all postgraduate students in the health sciences.

This subject introduces students to the principles of epidemiology. It will discuss history, development and definition of epidemiology and its place in medical research. Identification of disease will be discussed. Measures of disease frequency will be introduced and methods for standardisation of rates will be discussed. The structure of research in the health sciences will be outlined. In this context, quantitative and qualitative epidemiology will be introduced, consistency and conformity and their relationship to epidemiology and biostatistics will be presented. Bias will be introduced as a theoretical concept of epidemiologyDescriptive epidemiology. The critical use of routinely available health data will be discussed and the basic descriptive study types, such as case report, ecological study and cross-sectional study, will be introduced and discussed.Analytic epidemiology. Experimental and observational designs are introduced and discussed. Measures of association, like relative risk and odds ratio, will be introduced and discussed within the appropriate study designs.Sources of Bias. The three basic types of bias selection, information and confounding bias will be introduced by means of famous examples. A priori and a posteriori control of bias will be discussed.Sampling and sample size and its relation to the research hypothesis will be clarified. Quantitative techniques of data collection, such as interviews, questionnaires and observation will be discussed. Statistical reasoning in epidemiologic research will be introduced, ie confidence interval and the principles of statistical testing will be discussed. Qualitative epidemiology will be introduced. Special topics in epidemiology include: epidemiology of infectious diseases, nutritional epidemiology and cancer epidemiology. Critical reading of publications. A variety of examples of published, epidemiological studies in scientific literature will be critically discussed during the subject to enhance the understandin g of the introduced concepts and techniques.

Learning Outcomes

  • to be able to competently apply knowledge of study design to a research situation;
  • to be able to read and understand epidemiological publications critically;
  • to develop a fundamental understanding of the principles of epidemiology;
  • to have a sound understanding of the pros and cons of the main study designs.

Graduate Qualities

  • The ability to think critically, to analyse and evaluate claims, evidence and arguments;
  • The ability to define and to solve problems in at least one discipline area;
  • The ability to calculate, produce, interpret and communicate numerical information.


Townsville, Study Period 10, Block
Census Date 13-Dec-2012
Non-standard start/end 29-Oct-2012 to 04-Jan-2013
Face to face teaching 29-Oct-2012 to 09-Nov-2012
Coordinator: <Person not found>
Lecturers: <Person not found>, <Person not found>.
Assessment: other exams (50%); assignments (50%).

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.