MPH5020 - Introduction to epidemiology and biostatistics - 2019

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

Chief examiner(s)

Professor Flavia Cicuttini


Dr Miranda Davies
Professor Flavia Cicuttini

Unit guides


Alfred Hospital


Must be enrolled in a Postgraduate degree


Unit incompatable for students enrolled in OEH course codes: 2312, 0160, 2868, M6026, M5018


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;


  • Assessment Handbook entry:
  • 6 x Critical reflections (300 words each) (30%)
  • Critical appraisal (1,200 words) (20%)
  • Study design (1,200 words) (20%)
  • Case study report (1,350 words) (30%) (hurdle)

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

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