MPH5040 - Introductory epidemiology - 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 Monira Hussain

Quota applies

This unit is quota restricted. Selection is on a first-in, first enrolled basis.

Unit guides


Alfred Hospital


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.

Students are expected to be competent at mathematics to a year 7 level


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

  1. explain and contextualise the purposes of descriptive and analytical epidemiology;
  2. explain and contextualise the concepts of study questions, population, sampling, exposure assessment, bias and confounding;
  3. analyse the strengths and weaknesses of different epidemiological study designs;
  4. critically analyse epidemiological papers from the medical research and OHS literature;
  5. evaluate the adequacy of exposure assessment in epidemiological studies;
  6. interpret and communicate the results of epidemiological studies; and
  7. solve complex problems relating to the use of epidemiological concepts and study designs.


  • Online quiz (SAQ) (45 minutes) (5%)
  • Test (MCQ) (45 minutes) (25%)
  • Written assignment (2,000 words) (20%)
  • Examination (MCQ/SAQ) (2 hours) (45%) (hurdle)
  • Participation (5%)

Workload requirements

2 contact hours per week for on-campus students.

See also Unit timetable information

Chief examiner(s)

Off-campus attendance requirements

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

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


MPH5041, unless enrolled in an Occupational and Environmental Health program or the Master of Medicine. Must be enrolled one of the following course codes:0046, 0160, 0702, 1884, 2311, 2312, 2314, 2868, 2870, 2872, 3198, 3403, 3416, 3420, 3421, 3422, 3440, 3807, 3862, 3873, 3874, 3896, 3900, M4006, M5007, M5017, M5018, M6008, M6023, M6024, M6025, M6026, M6027, M6028.

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