Faculty of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences

Monash University

Postgraduate - Unit

This unit entry is for students who completed this unit in 2013 only. For students planning to study the unit, please refer to the unit indexes in the the current edition of the Handbook. If you have any queries contact the managing faculty for your course or area of study.

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6 points, SCA Band 2, 0.125 EFTSL

To find units available for enrolment in the current year, you must make sure you use the indexes and browse unit tool in the current edition of the Handbook.

FacultyFaculty of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences
Organisational UnitDepartment of Epidemiology and Preventive Medicine
OfferedAlfred Hospital First semester 2013 (Day)
Alfred Hospital First semester 2013 (Off-campus)
Coordinator(s)Dr D Magliano / Prof F Cicuttini


To be taken concurrently with MPH5041 together they are prerequisites for clinical epidemiology elective units. Contents: rates, sources of data, descriptive & analytical epidemiology, epidemiological study designs, critical appraisal of literature, screening, prevention, exposure assessment, outbreak investigation, confounding & 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 rates and odds ratios from simple data.


Assignments (25%)
Examination (75%)

Chief examiner(s)

Contact hours

2 contact hours per week for on-campus students.

Off-campus attendance requirements

2 day compulsory on-campus block for off-campus students.


Additional information on this unit is available from the faculty at: