PUB HLTH 7075 - Introduction to Epidemiology
North Terrace Campus - Semester 1 - 2015
General Course Information
Course Code PUB HLTH 7075 Course Introduction to Epidemiology Coordinating Unit Public Health Term Semester 1 Level Postgraduate Coursework Location/s North Terrace Campus Units 3 Contact Up to 2 hours per week Available for Study Abroad and Exchange N Course Description The aim of this course is to give students a grounding in the basic concepts of epidemiology. Students will gain knowledge about: measuring and interpreting patterns of disease occurrence; routine sources of data, their strengths and limitations; study designs used in epidemiology and when to apply them; epidemiological models of causation; and will begin to critically appraise epidemiological literature with reference to issues of study design and interpretation of results.
Course Coordinator: Professor Peng Bi
The full timetable of all activities for this course can be accessed from Course Planner.
Course Learning Outcomes
1 Outline epidemiological measures of disease occurrence, calculate basic measures and describe patterns of disease occurrence; 2 Correctly calculate and apply absolute and relative measures of risk; 3 Demonstrate an understanding of routine sources of data used in descriptive epidemiology, and appreciate their strengths and limitations accordingly; 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) Knowledge and understanding of the content and techniques of a chosen discipline at advanced levels that are internationally recognised. 2, 5, 6, 7, 8 The ability to locate, analyse, evaluate and synthesise information from a wide variety of sources in a planned and timely manner. 3, 7, 8 An ability to apply effective, creative and innovative solutions, both independently and cooperatively, to current and future problems. 5, 7, 8 Skills of a high order in interpersonal understanding, teamwork and communication. 1, 4, 7, 8 A proficiency in the appropriate use of contemporary technologies. 3, 8 A commitment to continuous learning and the capacity to maintain intellectual curiosity throughout life. 1-8 An awareness of ethical, social and cultural issues within a global context and their importance in the exercise of professional skills and responsibilities. 4, 5, 7, 8
Required ResourcesThe textbook for the course is: Gordis L. Epidemiology. 4th edition. PA, USA: Elsevier Saunders, 2009. The reading material will be in the form of relevant chapters from a range of books, digital copies of literature (both recently published and seminal) and links to relevant websites.
Recommended ResourcesThere are many introductory epidemiology texts. Reading a text other than the set text can be helpful especially if a topic seems unclear or difficult – a different explanation and different examples can be illuminating. Recommended texts for this purpose are:
Rothman K. Epidemiology: an introduction. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2002.
Hennekens C, Buring J. Epidemiology in Medicine. Boston: Little, Brown & Co., 1987.
Many journals also specialise in epidemiological research. The International Journal of Epidemiology, Epidemiology, Journal of Epidemiology & Community Health are all favourite.
Online LearningWe assume that you have access to student e-mail and that your address is the University of Adelaide student’s e-mail address that was assigned to you on enrolment.
We will send our messages to your official University of Adelaide student e-mail address and assume that you read your 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.
Learning & Teaching Activities
Learning & Teaching ModesLectures: 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.
Exam: To assess the extent to which understanding has developed through the course and can be applied in novel scenarios.
The information below is provided as a guide to assist students in engaging appropriately with the course requirements.In general, 3-4 hours of independent study will be required each week, in addition to class time. This includes reading the set text, wider reading, preparing answers to tutorial questions, and making progress with assignments.
The work on assignments will be greater as the due date approaches. Therefore, in weeks when an assignment is due, there will be a practical rather than a tutorial (with no preparation required for a practical).
Learning Activities Summary
Week Topic Lecture Week 1 Disease Measurement Introduction to epidemiology Week 2 Study Design I Study design 1: cross-sectional studies Week 3 Outbreak Investigation Outbreak investigation Week 4 Risk Adjustment Adjusting risk Week 5 Study Design II Sohort Study Week 6 Study Design III Case-Control Study Week 7 Bias Bias and confounding, critical appraisal Week 8 Association Association and causation Week 9 Study Design IV Randomised controlled trails Week 10 Study Design V Systematice reviews and meta-analysis Week 11 Atrributable Risk Attributable risk Week 12 Screening Screening
Specific Course RequirementsN/A
Small Group Discovery ExperienceSmall class teaching will be conducted in practicals and tutorials.
The University's policy on Assessment for Coursework Programs is based on the following four principles:
- Assessment must encourage and reinforce learning.
- Assessment must enable robust and fair judgements about student performance.
- Assessment practices must be fair and equitable to students and give them the opportunity to demonstrate what they have learned.
- Assessment must maintain academic standards.
Assessment Task Assessment Type Weighting Learning Outcome(s) being addressed Assignment 1 Summative 20% 1, 2, 3, 6 Assignment 2 Summative 20% 4-7 Exam Summative 60% 1-8
Assessment Related Requirements1) Students are required to attend, and expected to actively participate, in practicals and tutorials. A sign-in sheet will be provided for each practical and tutorial for students to sign.
2) Students must submit or present all pieces of work to pass the course.
Assessment Detail1) Students are expected to prepare for tutorials by attempting the tutorial questions before the scheduled session.
2) Students are expected to actively participate in tutorials and practicals.
3) Students must submit both assignments to be permitted to sit the exam.
Students are required to submit two assignments (weighting 20% for each, with a total of two written assignments, 40%). Assignment 1 will be provided to students and posted on MyUni at the start of Week 2, and Assignment 2 will be posted on MyUni at the start of Week 8. Students will be asked to use core epidemiological concepts, to correctly conduct disease measurements, and to critically assess and interpret epidemiological research findings from health literature.
A two-hour exam at the end of course (weighting 60%) will assess your learning on the content of all lectures, tutorials and practicals as indicated in Section 2.1.
Submission1) Assignments must be placed through the slot in the locked box at Reception, Discipline of Public Health, Level 7, Number 178 North Terrace.
2) No assignment will be accepted by mail, e-mail or fax without prior written agreement from the Course Co-ordinator.
2) The appropriate cover sheet must be attached to each assignment (available on MyUni).
3) Each student submitting an assignment must also sign and date the designated class list (for this specific course and assignment) which will be sited at Reception.
4) Assignments must be submitted by 4 pm on the due date. The locked box will be emptied every day at this time.
Note: You should retain a printed copy of the assignment submitted.
Assignments that are received by the due date will be marked and returned within 2 weeks. Written feedback will be provided on assignments. Re-submission will not normally be considered.
Marks will be deducted when an assignment for which no extension has been granted is handed in late.
The procedure is as follows:
- All assignments, including those handed in late, will be assessed on their merits;
- For late assignments, marks will then be deducted from the mark awarded, at the rate of
5 percentage points of the total possible per day.
The Discipline reserves the right to refuse to accept an assignment that is more than 7 days late.
Extension must be requested on the last working day before an assignment is due.
Only the Course Co-ordinator may grant an extension. Extensions will only be granted on medical or genuine compassionate grounds. Documentary supporting evidence such as a medical certificate will be required.
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.
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