MPH5202 - Clinical 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


Professor Danny Liew

Unit guides


Alfred Hospital

  • First semester 2017 (Day)
  • First semester 2017 (Off-campus)


This unit aims to assist students to extend, integrate and apply their core knowledge and skills across the broad domain of clinical research.

This unit will require students to formulate clinical questions (regarding diagnosis, management, harm and prognosis), and develop strategies to search the scientific literature to answer these questions.

The unit will provide opportunities for students to conduct critical appraisals of primary studies, clinical practice guidelines, shared decision making tools and systematic reviews and apply the results to clinical research and inform patient care.

Criteria for choosing studies, including the importance of 'levels' of evidence, will be addressed along with the importance of clinical judgement, and patients' beliefs and values.


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

  1. Frame clinical problems in the 'population, intervention, comparator and outcome' (PICO) format, so that clinical questions can be more objectively and precisely defined, and hence more 'answerable'.
  2. Apply the PICO technique to formulate a clinical question for a treatment, diagnosis, diagnostic test accuracy, harm and prognosis
  3. Identify gaps in knowledge relevant to a clinical problem and make use of foundation information to fill such gaps.
  4. Systematically search scientific databases.
  5. Apply critical appraisal techniques of the literature to inform clinical practice or further research.
  6. Synthesise the principles of evidence-based practice and effectively communicate findings to colleagues and patients.


  • Written report (1,000 words) (10%)
  • Written report (2,000 words) (30%)
  • Group presentation - written report and oral presentation (2,000 words) (50%) (hurdle)
  • Online quizzes plus discussion forums (10%)

Workload requirements

This unit is structured into weekly modules. Each week comprises independent study (average 9 hours per week) and weekly online tasks. During the 9 hours per week of independent study you should read assigned course notes and the recommended readings listed in each module. During the recommended 3 hours you should complete the weekly task and conduct research for assessments. The total workload requirement for this unit is 12 hours per week. There will be two compulsory study days (15 contact hours). Both study days will be conducted at the Alfred Hospital.

See also Unit timetable information

Chief examiner(s)

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


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