Faculty of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences

Undergraduate - Unit

This unit entry is for students who completed this unit in 2014 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

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

FacultyFaculty of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences
Organisational UnitDepartment of Epidemiology and Preventive Medicine
OfferedCaulfield First semester 2014 (Day)
Clayton First semester 2014 (Day)
South Africa First semester 2014 (Day)
Coordinator(s)Dr Michaela Riddell (Caulfield, Clayton), Assoc Prof Peter Nyasulu (South Africa)


This unit focuses on prevention and control of communicable diseases. Topics include principles of infection, outbreaks, public health control measures, and current issues in disease prevention and control.
Public health control measures discussed may include surveillance, modelling, immunisation, antimicrobial therapies, infection control, vector control, screening and risk factor management.
These topics are illustrated using relevant examples of communicable diseases such as vaccine-preventable diseases (e.g. influenza); vector-borne diseases (e.g., malaria), food-borne diseases (e.g., salmonella) and sexually transmitted infections (e.g., HIV). Epidemiological, social, and political perspectives are considered.


By the completion of this unit, the student will be able to:

  1. Identify the distinguishing epidemiological features of infectious diseases
  2. Explain how communicable infections are spread
  3. Interpret epidemiological data on disease surveillance and disease outbreaks
  4. Apply principles of communicable disease prevention to a range of scenarios, and identify which public health prevention and control strategies are appropriate for different diseases
  5. Design and evaluate disease surveillance and control programs
  6. Describe the role of social and political factors in disease prevention and control
  7. Explore similarities and differences in prevention and control strategies for non communicable diseases and communicable diseases


2 x Written assignments (Total of 2000 words) (30%)
Group presentation (oral) (15%)
Tutorial exercises (10%)
Final exam (2 hours) (45%)
Hurdle requirement: At least 80% attendance at tutorial classes

Chief examiner(s)

Workload requirements

3 contact hours per week plus 9 hours per week private study