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Monash University

Monash University Handbook 2011 Undergraduate - Unit

6 points, SCA Band 2, 0.125 EFTSL

Refer to the specific census and withdrawal dates for the semester(s) in which this unit is offered.

FacultyFaculty of Science
OfferedSunway Second semester 2011 (Day)
Coordinator(s)Dr Ton So Ha


The unit uses an ecological approach to examine the relationship between human health and their environment. Various factors in the physical, chemical, and biological environment are studied from an epidemiological perspective. Case studies introduce students to ways of assessing environmental hazards, and control measures are discussed. Current environmental health issues such as world health, air pollution, and climate change are considered.


On completion of this unit, students will be able to: identify the major environmental factors that influence human health; demonstrate a basic level of understanding of the mechanisms involved in the spread of diseases within human populations; know the basic terminology in epidemiology sufficiently to be able to read and interpret journal articles on epidemiology; demonstrate an awareness of the factors involved in risk assessment and risk communication; demonstrate an understanding of the epidemiology of infectious diseases and the use of immunisation to control the spread of infections in populations; discuss food contamination and the public health measures used to control food quality; demonstrate an understanding of research methods used to investigate food poisoning outbreaks; describe the main features of microbial life in freshwater and sea water habitats and the role micro-organisms have in the degradation of introduced materials; describe the common infections caused by waterborne pathogens and water testing and treatment; demonstrate a rudimentary knowledge of toxicokinetics, toxicity testing, and the effects of common chemical hazards on human health; describe the properties of common physical hazards and their effects on human health; discuss the public health measures designed to protect the public from hazards in the chemical and physical environment; explain the interactions between human population growth, malnutrition and infection and discuss the major world health problems facing us at present; describe the common chemical, physical, and biological hazards in the indoor air environment and explain appropriate control measures; discuss the possible effects of global warming on public health; use the internet to carry out research


Journal article critique: 10%
Internet research assessment: 10%
Written assignment (2000-3000 words): 20%
End-of-semester examination (3 hours): 60%

Chief examiner(s)

Dr Ton So Ha

Contact hours

Equivalent of three 1-hour lectures, one 1-hour tutorial and one 2-hour practical work/field work per week


One of ENV1616, ENV1711, ENV1800, BIO1637, BIO1711 or BIO1022