MPH5277 - Practical data management - 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)

Dr Jessica Lockery


Dr Jessica Lockery

Unit guides


Alfred Hospital

  • First semester 2019 (Off-campus)
  • First semester 2019 (On-campus)


MPH5040. Must be enrolled in a Postgraduate degree


Managing health data has never been more challenging or significant. Data now plays a pivotal role in health care provision, discovery and research.

As health data becomes more widely accessible, it is essential that health data users can identify high quality data and understand the implications of poor data management.

In this unit, students will explore health data management using a practical, skills-based approach. Students will be guided through the process and pitfalls of health data management from project inception to final data analysis for a hypothetical study. Practical skills will be developed through the completion of weekly data management tasks and coding exercises.

Topics covered include: data management for project set-up, data collection design and pitfalls, data querying and cleaning, handling tricky data, interim data reporting and preparing for data analysis.


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

  1. Develop and implement a data management workflow from a project protocol
  2. Interpret the role of data management in identifying and supporting operational KPIs
  3. Design and construct interim data reports
  4. Summarise the barriers to data quality and the impact upon analysis
  5. Apply new knowledge of data quality and monitoring to synthesize an analysis data set
  6. Apply knowledge and skills of user experience to create a data set handbook


  • Moderated discussion forum (720 words) (12%)
  • Coding exercises (24%)
  • Operational data report (1500 words, plus data tables) (32%)
  • Data set portfolio (1500 words, plus data dictionary) (32%)

Workload requirements

6 hours of teacher-directed learning activities per week, and 6 hours of self-directed study per week, plus 2 compulsory on-campus Block Days.

See also Unit timetable information

Off-campus attendance requirements

2 block days.

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

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