BIOSTATS 6000 - Epidemiology

External - Semester 2 - 2019

On completion of this course students should be familiar with the major concepts and tools of epidemiology, the study of health populations, and should be able to judge the quality of evidence in health-related research literature. Topics include: historical developments in epidemiology; sources of data on mortality and morbidity; disease rates and standardisation; prevalence and incidence; life expectancy; linking exposure and disease (eg relative risk, attributable risk); main types of study design-case series, ecological studies, cross-sectional surveys, case-control studies, cohort or follow-up studies, randomised controlled trials; sources of error (chance, bias, confounding); association and causality; evaluating published papers; epidemics and epidemic investigation; surveillance; prevention; screening.

  • General Course Information
    Course Details
    Course Code BIOSTATS 6000
    Course Epidemiology
    Coordinating Unit Public Health
    Term Semester 2
    Level Postgraduate Coursework
    Location/s External
    Units 3
    Contact 2 hours per week
    Available for Study Abroad and Exchange N
    Incompatible PUB HLTH 7075 and PUB HLTH 4275
    Quota A quota of 20 applies
    Course Description On completion of this course students should be familiar with the major concepts and tools of epidemiology, the study of health populations, and should be able to judge the quality of evidence in health-related research literature. Topics include: historical developments in epidemiology; sources of data on mortality and morbidity; disease rates and standardisation; prevalence and incidence; life expectancy; linking exposure and disease (eg relative risk, attributable risk); main types of study design-case series, ecological studies, cross-sectional surveys, case-control studies, cohort or follow-up studies, randomised controlled trials; sources of error (chance, bias, confounding); association and causality; evaluating published papers; epidemics and epidemic investigation; surveillance; prevention; screening.
    Course Staff

    Course Coordinator: Associate Professor Lisa Smithers

    Course Timetable

    The full timetable of all activities for this course can be accessed from Course Planner.

  • Learning Outcomes
    Course Learning Outcomes
    On successful completion of this course students will be able to:

    1. Demonstrate an understanding of routine sources of data used in descriptive epidemiology, and appreciate their strengths and limitations accordingly.
    2. Outline epidemiological measures of disease occurrence, calculate basic measures and describe patterns of disease occurrence.
    3. Correctly calculate and apply absolute and relative measures of risk.
    4. Differentiate epidemiological study designs, recognise the most appropriate circumstances in which to use each design, and describe the measures of disease occurrence that can be generated using each design.
    5. Recognise potential threats to correctly interpreting results from epidemiological studies and identify those most relevant to each study design.
    6. Distinguish the difference between association and causation and appreciate relevant issues in inferring causation from observational designs.
    7. Demonstrated ability to review and critically appraise observational studies;
    8. Summarise the principles of screening and the conditions under which a screening program would be most appropriate and cost-effective.

    University Graduate Attributes

    This course will provide students with an opportunity to develop the Graduate Attribute(s) specified below:

    University Graduate Attribute Course Learning Outcome(s)
    Deep discipline knowledge
    • informed and infused by cutting edge research, scaffolded throughout their program of studies
    • acquired from personal interaction with research active educators, from year 1
    • accredited or validated against national or international standards (for relevant programs)
    2, 5, 6, 7, 8
    Critical thinking and problem solving
    • steeped in research methods and rigor
    • based on empirical evidence and the scientific approach to knowledge development
    • demonstrated through appropriate and relevant assessment
    3, 5, 7, 8
    Teamwork and communication skills
    • developed from, with, and via the SGDE
    • honed through assessment and practice throughout the program of studies
    • encouraged and valued in all aspects of learning
    1, 4, 7, 8
    Career and leadership readiness
    • technology savvy
    • professional and, where relevant, fully accredited
    • forward thinking and well informed
    • tested and validated by work based experiences
    3, 8
    Intercultural and ethical competency
    • adept at operating in other cultures
    • comfortable with different nationalities and social contexts
    • Able to determine and contribute to desirable social outcomes
    • demonstrated by study abroad or with an understanding of indigenous knowledges
    4, 5, 7, 8
    Self-awareness and emotional intelligence
    • a capacity for self-reflection and a willingness to engage in self-appraisal
    • open to objective and constructive feedback from supervisors and peers
    • able to negotiate difficult social situations, defuse conflict and engage positively in purposeful debate
    1 - 8
  • Learning Resources
    Required Resources
    The textbook for the course is:
    Webb P, Bain C, Page A. Essential Epidemiology: An introduction for Students and Health Professionals. 3rd edition. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 2017.

    Three hard copies of the textbook are available from the University library. An e-textbook is forthcoming and will be made available via the University library in the future.

    Other relevant reading material may be provided during the course in the form of book chapters, journal articles (both recently published and seminal), and links to websites.
    Recommended Resources
    Other Resources: Epidemiology Textbooks
    There are many introductory epidemiology texts. Reading a text other than the set text can be helpful if a topic seems unclear or difficult – a different explanation and different examples can be illuminating. Some recommended texts for learning about epidemiology are described below.
    1. Rothman K. Epidemiology: An Introduction. 2nd edition. Oxford, UK. Oxford University Press, 2012.
    This is a small introductory-level book that provides good explanations of epidemiological concepts.

    2. Szklo M, Nieto FJ. Epidemiology: Beyond the Basics. 3rd edition. MA, USA. Jones & Bartlett Learning, 2014.
    This text digs a little deeper into epidemiological concepts.

    Other Resources: Statistical Textbook
    If you are need of support for statistical concepts, a good entry-level textbook is:
    3. Kirkwood BR, Sterne JAC. Medical Statistics. 2nd edition. MA, USA. Blackwell Publishing, 2010.

    Other Resources: Epidemiology Journals
    Many journals also specialise in epidemiological research and you have access to the University's journal collection. Some good epidemiological journals include:
    • The International Journal of Epidemiology
    • Epidemiology
    • American Journal of Epidemiology
    • Paediatric and Perinatal Epidemiology
    • Journal of Epidemiology & Community Health.
    Students could consider subscribing to a journal's Table of Contents, so that they can follow when new articles published in their area of interest. This is a free service offered by most international journals.
    Online Learning
    It is assumed that students will have access to the University of Adelaide student e-mail address that was assigned to them on enrolment. Messages will be sent to their official University of Adelaide student e-mail address and assume that they read their e-mail. The announcements page of the MyUni site for this course will also display relevant notices from time to time. MyUni is the primary entry point to online learning at the University of Adelaide. MyUni will be used to provide students with access to course materials, announcements, and other features to assist your study. Students can connect to MyUni on or off campus via the internet at: www.myuni.adelaide.edu.au/
  • Learning & Teaching Activities
    Learning & Teaching Modes
    Lectures: Provide basic factual information and introduce and illustrate concepts.

    Tutorials: Provide an opportunity to develop understanding of lecture material and clarify concepts.

    Practicals: A forum for application of lecture material. They provide an interactive forum to apply concepts from lectures and clarify understanding.

    Assignments: Opportunity for independent application and exploration of key concepts.
    Workload

    The information below is provided as a guide to assist students in engaging appropriately with the course requirements.

    The information below is provided as a guide to assist students in engaging appropriately with the course requirements. 

    Lecutres - 9x1 = 9hours 
    Tutorials - 4x1 = 4hours
    Practicals - 7x1 = 7hours 
    Workshops - 4x1 = 4hours 


    Learning Activities Summary

    No information currently available.

  • Assessment

    The University's policy on Assessment for Coursework Programs is based on the following four principles:

    1. Assessment must encourage and reinforce learning.
    2. Assessment must enable robust and fair judgements about student performance.
    3. Assessment practices must be fair and equitable to students and give them the opportunity to demonstrate what they have learned.
    4. Assessment must maintain academic standards.

    Assessment Summary

    No information currently available.

    Assessment Related Requirements
    N/A 
    Assessment Detail
    Assignment 1 (20%): Students are given a dataset to analyse using statistical analysis software. They will use the dataset to understand the occurrence of a disease, and explore factors that might effect that disease. Answers to the assignment will be numerical. This is a practical (hands-on) assignment is entirely online and is based on the first 5 weeks of content.

    Assignment 2 (20%): Students will answer a series of short-answer or multiple choice questions about study designs, random and systematic error.

    Exam (60%): The two-hour exam is designed to assess learning across the content of all lectures, readings, practicals and tutorials. The exam style may include short answer, multiple choice and calculations (e.g. of risks, and risk ratios). The exam will be closed book.
    Submission
    e-submission is required for both assignments. 
    Course Grading

    Grades for your performance in this course will be awarded in accordance with the following scheme:

    M10 (Coursework Mark Scheme)
    Grade Mark Description
    FNS   Fail No Submission
    F 1-49 Fail
    P 50-64 Pass
    C 65-74 Credit
    D 75-84 Distinction
    HD 85-100 High Distinction
    CN   Continuing
    NFE   No Formal Examination
    RP   Result Pending

    Further details of the grades/results can be obtained from Examinations.

    Grade Descriptors are available which provide a general guide to the standard of work that is expected at each grade level. More information at Assessment for Coursework Programs.

    Final results for this course will be made available through Access Adelaide.

  • Student Feedback

    The University places a high priority on approaches to learning and teaching that enhance the student experience. Feedback is sought from students in a variety of ways including on-going engagement with staff, the use of online discussion boards and the use of Student Experience of Learning and Teaching (SELT) surveys as well as GOS surveys and Program reviews.

    SELTs are an important source of information to inform individual teaching practice, decisions about teaching duties, and course and program curriculum design. They enable the University to assess how effectively its learning environments and teaching practices facilitate student engagement and learning outcomes. Under the current SELT Policy (http://www.adelaide.edu.au/policies/101/) course SELTs are mandated and must be conducted at the conclusion of each term/semester/trimester for every course offering. Feedback on issues raised through course SELT surveys is made available to enrolled students through various resources (e.g. MyUni). In addition aggregated course SELT data is available.

  • Student Support
  • Policies & Guidelines
  • Fraud Awareness

    Students are reminded that in order to maintain the academic integrity of all programs and courses, the university has a zero-tolerance approach to students offering money or significant value goods or services to any staff member who is involved in their teaching or assessment. Students offering lecturers or tutors or professional staff anything more than a small token of appreciation is totally unacceptable, in any circumstances. Staff members are obliged to report all such incidents to their supervisor/manager, who will refer them for action under the university's student’s disciplinary procedures.

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