Faculty of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences

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This unit entry is for students who completed this unit in 2016 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.

Monash University

12 points, SCA Band 3, 0.250 EFTSL

Undergraduate - Unit

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


Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences

Organisational Unit

School of Biomedical Sciences


Dr Basia Diug and Dr Bradley Broughton



  • Second semester 2016 (Day)


This unit will have a combined approach and examine the biomedical and epidemiological impacts of human disease on society. It will concentrate on the pathobiological and biomedical basis of prevalent human disease processes. Relevant areas examined in this unit may change from year to year but will generally include immune and inflammatory diseases, (e.g. inflammatory renal and joint disease); cancer biology (focussing on mechanisms of tumour spread); cardiovascular biology, (coronary heart disease/cerebrovascular disease); diabetes, obesity and neurological diseases. Disease pathogenesis, including lessons gained from cell/molecular biology and disease models will be the major focus. Concurrently, the epidemiological/clinical features of each disease, current treatments, challenges and future treatment prospects, including clinical trials will be covered highlighting the importance of an evidence-based approach to health care. This will discuss the complexities behind treatment based decision making by reviewing the evidence- base and understanding the criteria for deciding on what is best evidence. This unit will consider the biomedical basis and epidemiology in the context of the Australian health care system, including the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS), health policy and service delivery systems, putting illness and health in the context of social, cultural and behavioural systems.


Upon successful completion of this unit, students should be able to:

  1. Integrate and apply their knowledge from previous core units in the study of specific human diseases;
  2. Describe and distinguish between the pathobiological processes related to disease;
  3. Recognise and cite evidence for how biomedical research, including cell biology, animal models of disease and human studies are important in defining the pathogenesis of disease and the optimal treatment of disease in a public health context;
  4. Demonstrate sophisticated interpretation and application of epidemiological methods and principles and discuss critically and cite evidence for the impact of disease on the individual and society;
  5. Identify and evaluate the contribution of the epidemiological studies involved in prevention, diagnosis and treatment of specific diseases and justify your reasoning;
  6. Critically assess the epidemiological quality of research in a range of studies outlining the basis of your methodological approach and criteria for determining the quality of the research;
  7. Synthesise and critically analyse medical literature to discover future challenges in disease pathogenesis and treatment;
  8. Further develop research skills including collaborative team work, clear communication and interpersonal skills as well as critical thinking and writing skills.


Written exam (3 hours) (45%)
In-semester activities (Online quiz) (10%)
Small group activities (Tutorial based activities) (15%)
Systematic review (Oral and written presentation) (4,000 words) (30%)

Workload requirements

4 hours per week (lectures) plus 4 hours per week for small group work. There is a total of 8 hours per week in contact time and 16 hours of private study.

See also Unit timetable information

Chief examiner(s)

This unit applies to the following area(s) of study



Must be enrolled in one of the following:
+ Bachelor of Biomedical Science (including double degree programs)
+ Bachelor of Biomedical Science (Scholar Program)
+ Bachelor of Biomedical Science Advanced with Honours