MPH5020 - Introduction to epidemiology and biostatistics - 2017

6 points, SCA Band 2, 0.125 EFTSL

Postgraduate - 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

Department of Epidemiology and Preventive Medicine


Dr Miranda Davies

Professor Flavia Cicuttini

Unit guides


Alfred Hospital


Differences between descriptive & analytical epidemiology, strengths & weaknesses of different epidemiological study design & basic concepts & methods of biostatistics including confidence intervals, p-values & sample size, statistical tests for comparing groups, regression models & survival analysis. Design & evaluation of clinical trials.


Upon successful completion of this unit, students will be able to;

  1. Explain how disease is measured in populations, calculate,interpret and communicate measures of association and difference;
  2. Critically analyse the strengths and weaknesses of different epidemiological study designs;
  3. Demonstrate an understanding of basic concepts and methods of biostatistics.
  4. Interpret confidence intervals, p-values and sample size and communicate their meaning.
  5. Use epidemiological and biostatistical principles to critically evaluate and interpret and communicate findings from epidemiological research.
  6. Explain and contextualise the concepts of population, sampling, measurement, bias, confounding and causation;


  • Written assignment 1 (1500 words) 25%
  • Written assignment 2 (1500 words) 25%
  • Exam (MCQ/SAQ) (2.5 hours) 45% (hurdle)
  • Weekly online participation 5%

Chief examiner(s)

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

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