MPH5243 - Chemical and biological hazards - 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


Associate Professor Deborah Glass

Unit guides


Alfred Hospital

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


Prevention of human disease resulting from workplace exposures to chemical and biological hazards. Covering toxicological principles, health effects of the major groups of chemical substances, as well as biological hazards from blood and bodily secretions, water, food, animals and travelling abroad.


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

  1. list groups of commonly encountered substances, giving examples of each;
  2. relate the principles of toxicokinetics and the metabolism of foreign substances by the human body;
  3. describe the common and well-known adverse effects from substances and biological agents;
  4. describe the common and important infections spread by water, food, air, blood and animal secretions;
  5. implement methods to control the spread of such infections;
  6. describe what is meant by immunity, allergy and vaccination;
  7. research, reflect on, interpret and critically analyse information about the health effects of substances and biological agents; and
  8. effectively and sensitively communicate or transmit synthesized information about risks due to substances and biological agents to specialist and non-specialist audiences.


  • Multiple choice tests (10%)
  • Short answer tests (10%)
  • Web-based tests (including online discussion) (15%)
  • Written assignment: outline and bibliography (10%)
  • Essay (2,500 - 3,000 words) (35%)
  • Group presentation and write-up (20%)

Hurdle: Full attendance at block days.

Workload requirements

6 hours off campus, self-directed learning per week, 4 hours teacher directed learning per week, plus 27 contact hours over 4 block days.

See also Unit timetable information

Chief examiner(s)

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

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