BMS1042 - Public health and preventive medicine - 2017

6 points, SCA Band 2, 0.125 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

Evie Kendal

Unit guides



  • Second semester 2017 (Day)


Applications of epidemiological and statistical concepts and methods to typical problems in population health and in the biomedical literature. This will include consideration of fundamental ethical issues pertaining to the conduct of biomedical research and population health interventions. Much emphasis is placed on a population view of health and disease, social determinants of health, epidemiological principles, research study design and statistical analyses of data.


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

  1. Demonstrate and show application of core public health principles including epidemiology, biostatistics and ethics in health research.
  2. Explain how disease is measured in populations and critically analyse the strengths and weaknesses of different epidemiological study designs which are used in public health research.
  3. Critically appraise the popular and biomedical literature in public health.
  4. Identify fundamental ethical considerations that underpin health research.
  5. Identify and apply the importance of statistical methods in the design, analysis and presentation of the results of research studies in health and biomedicine, and in reports of health-related matters in general.
  6. Interpret statistical results presented and identify limitations in the biomedical literature and other media and convey the interpretation in simple language.


  • 2 x Online quizzes 10%
  • Public health critical review and oral presentation (20%)
  • Public health data analysis (20%)
  • Written examination (50%) (hurdle)
  • A pass in the final exam must be obtained to pass the unit

Hurdle Requirement: A pass in the final exam must be obtained to pass the unit.

Workload requirements

Biostatistics: 3 hours per week, Epidemiology/Ethics: 3 hours per week.

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
  • Bachelor of Emergency Health (Paramedic)
  • Bachelor of Psychology (Honours)