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MPH1040 - Introductory epidemiology

6 points, SCA Band 2, 0.125 EFTSL

Postgraduate Faculty of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences

Leader: Dr D Magliano


Alfred Hospital First semester 2007 (Day)
Alfred Hospital First semester 2007 (Off-campus)


This unit is taken concurrently with MPH1041. Together they are prerequisites for clinical epidemiology elective units. Content includes rates, sources of data, descriptive and analytical epidemiology, epidemiological study designs, critical appraisal of literature, screening, prevention, exposure assessment, outbreak investigation, confounding and sources of bias.


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

  1. Understand the differences between descriptive and analytical epidemiology;
  2. Explain the concepts of study question, study population, sampling strategy, exposure assessment, bias and confounding;
  3. Understand the strengths and weaknesses of different epidemiological study designs and apply this knowledge to the selection of appropriate study designs;
  4. Critically analyse epidemiological papers from the medical research literature in order to identify the main study question/s, study design, study populations and sampling strategy using epidemiological principles;
  5. Evaluate the inadequacy of exposure assessment in epidemiological studies and appreciate the consequences of poor exposure assessment;
  6. Interpret the results of epidemiological studies, solve problems relating to the use of the epidemiological concepts, parameters and study designs and calculative relative risks, incidence ratesm and odds ratios from simple data.


Assignments 30%
Examination 70%.

Contact hours

2 contact hours per week

Off Campus Attendance Requirements

2 day on campus block