PUB HLTH 2005 - Essentials of Epidemiology II

North Terrace Campus - Semester 1 - 2015

This course extends understanding of the epidemiological concepts and measures that are routinely used in public health practice. In three consecutive modules, the epidemiological concepts associated with health intelligence (particularly focusing on health surveillance), evaluation of public health initiatives, and documenting and addressing health inequalities in the population will be explored. The course will afford students the opportunity to appreciate how a broad scope of health and social indicators are obtained and used to monitor health outcomes and for public health advocacy. Confidence in understanding numerical data as reported in the health literature will be enhanced by this course, with assignments geared to develop skills in locating, synthesising and reporting of health information in a form likely to be required in public health workplaces.

  • General Course Information
    Course Details
    Course Code PUB HLTH 2005
    Course Essentials of Epidemiology II
    Coordinating Unit Public Health
    Term Semester 1
    Level Undergraduate
    Location/s North Terrace Campus
    Units 3
    Contact Up to 3 hours per week
    Available for Study Abroad and Exchange Y
    Assumed Knowledge PUB HLTH 1001, PUB HLTH 1002
    Assessment 3x 1500 word essays, 3x quizzes, end of semester exam
    Course Staff

    Course Coordinator: Professor Peng Bi

    Course Coordinator: Professor Peng Bi
    Phone: +61 8313 3583
    Location: Level 8, Hughes Building

    Learning and Teaching Team
    Phone: +61 8313 2128
    Location: Level 7, 178 North Terrace

    Course Timetable

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

  • Learning Outcomes
    Course Learning Outcomes
    1 Use core epidemiological concepts in assessing, monitoring and protecting population health;
    2 Interpret key epidemiological measures in the health literature and report findings appropriately
    3 Describe the role that quantitative measures of health and social welfare play in the development and evaluation of health policy;
    4 Explain the rationale and uses of surveillance, and compare the strengths and limitations of surveillance approaches;
    5 Demonstrate understanding of the need for, and approaches to, evaluation of public health initiatives;
    6 Judge both the potential for and the limitations of evaluating complex interventions and policy change;
    7 Explain how social determinants influence health and interpret measures of social determinants of health.
    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. 1-7
    The ability to locate, analyse, evaluate and synthesise information from a wide variety of sources in a planned and timely manner. 2, 7
    An ability to apply effective, creative and innovative solutions, both independently and cooperatively, to current and future problems. 2, 5
    Skills of a high order in interpersonal understanding, teamwork and communication. 2
    An awareness of ethical, social and cultural issues within a global context and their importance in the exercise of professional skills and responsibilities. 6, 7
  • Learning Resources
    Required Resources
    The teaching will be organised into three modules covering a range of topics and applications within each. For this reason, no one text book would be appropriate to all three modules, 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 Resources
    Please see 'Required Resources' section.
    Online Learning
    We 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.

    Some assessments (quizzes and assignments) will be required to be submitted online through MyUni. There may also be other online learning activities to supplement lectures and/or practical face-to-face sessions.
  • Learning & Teaching Activities
    Learning & Teaching Modes
    Within each module of the course there are a number of teaching and learning modes.
    Lectures are intended to introduce concepts and illustrate their use, providing both factual information and reinforcing numerical concepts in public health.

    Practicals provide an interactive forum to apply concepts from lectures and clarify understanding. These are generally problem-solving sessions, providing an opportunity for ‘hands on’ work with the concepts taught and applied to population data. Some lectures may also contain practical and interactive components.

    Each module uses a quiz to confirm understanding of fundamental concepts and allow for identification of areas requiring further study prior to undertaking the relevant assessments.

    Three assignments (one for each module) provide an opportunity for independent application and exploration and analysis of key concepts, for wider reading and for synthesis of concepts and literature.

    The exam will provide an opportunity for students to demonstrate what they have learnt, drawing together concepts and showing that they have developed their understanding through the course.

    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.

    Teaching in Essentials of Epidemiology II begins with the assumption that students are active participants in the learning process, rather than passive recipients of information. We assume that you are willing and able to prepare fully for classes, to participate in discussions and to carry your share of the workload. Students are expected to attend all sessions.

    As a general rule, in any university course you will need to allow a minimum of three independent study hours for every hour undertaken in formal class work contact. As a 3-unit course, Essentials of Epidemiology II will require approximately 3 contact hours per week by attending lectures (2 hours) and practicals (1 hour). This means that you will have to set aside at least a further nine hours per week for reading around topics, preparation for class activities, and work on assignments.

    You are urged to bear this in mind when planning your university timetable, particularly if you are also engaged in paid employment. In our experience, students may not be able to demonstrate their full capacity if they are working full-time and studying full-time.
    Learning Activities Summary
    Week Topic Lecture
    Week 1 Disease surveillance outline. Introduction to Disease Surveillance.
    Week 2 Methods of surveillance - criteria, methodological approaches, practicalities and feasbility. Disease Surveillance Approach.
    Week 3 Lessons from the field; Limitations and strengths of different surveillance approaches; Future directions (1). Infectious Disease Surveillance in Australia.
    Week 4 Lessons from the field; Limitations and strengths of different surveillance approaches; Future directions (2). Chronic Disease Surveillance in Australia.
    Week 5 Conceptual frameworks of social determinants of health and theories of disease causation. Do social determinants cause poor health?
    How does income inequality influence life
    goals and health?
    Week 6 Measuring social determinants of health. Measures of social inequalities.
    Week 7 Critical perspectives on the strengths and limitations to approaches of measuring health inequalities. Measuring health inequalities.
    Week 8 Social determinants of health and public health policy. Health inequalities, policy and population
    Week 9 The nature and purpose of evaluation for public health interventions. Introduction to Evaluation in Public Health:
    What? Why? When? & Who? Obstacles,
    Fears and potential Solutions.
    Week 10 Evaluation designs and models. Evaluation Plans, Program Logics, Economic Evaluation and Contemporary Evaluation Models.
    Week 11 Applying ‘scientific’ designs to the evaluation of complex interventions. Experimental and Quasi-Experimental
    Approaches to Evaluation.
    Week 12 Critical reflections of evaluation, focusing on the strengths and limitations of evaluation approaches in practice. Methodological Reflections on Evaluation:
    Quantitative and Qualitative approaches &
    choosing methods.
    Specific Course Requirements
    Small Group Discovery Experience
    Elements of small group discovery experience will be introduced in some practical sessions.
  • 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
    Assessment Task Assessment Type Weighting Learning Outcome(s) being addressed
    Module 1 written assignment Summative 15% 1, 2, 3, 4
    Module 2 written assignment Summative 15% 1, 2, 3, 5, 6
    Module 3 written assignment Summative 15% 1, 2, 3, 7
    Quiz - 1 per module @ 5% Summative 15% 2, 4, 6, 7
    Exam Summative 40% 2, 3, 4, 5, 7
    Assessment Related Requirements
    Students are required to attend, and expected to actively participate, in practicals. A sign-in sheet will be provided for each practical for students to sign.
    Attendance at lectures is expected. While attendance at lectures will not be checked, we strongly recommend that you attend. You will get more from the lectures if you are involved, and try to make sense of the material being presented. There will be many opportunities throughout the lectures for interaction, discussion and questions.
    Students must submit or present all pieces of work to pass the course.
    Assessment Detail
    There will be at least one summative quiz in each module, with a weighting of 5% per module and a total weighting of the quizzes across the three modules of 15%. The questions will generally be multiple choice and will cover core concepts addressed in the lecture, practical and reading material. Students will access them on MyUni, and should complete the questions within 15 minutes. Results will be automatically available or fed back to students.

    Students are required to submit a 1500 word assignment (weighting 15%) for each module (a total of three written assignments, 45%). Further details, including range of topic choice, will be available by the first week of each module, but each will include the following components: literature review; information evaluation and synthesis; reporting to a defined audience. Students will be asked to use core epidemiological concepts, to assess and interpret epidemiological measures in health literature, to explain how health inequalities are measured, and to demonstrate their understanding the approaches to evaluate public health initiatives.

    A two-hour exam at the end of course (weighting 40%) will involve multiple choice and short answer questions, and will assess your learning on the content of all three modules (lectures and practicals) as indicated in Section 2.1.

    Assignments will be submitted electronically unless otherwise indicated. Hardcopy assignments must be placed through the slot in the locked box at Reception, Discipline of Public Health, Level 7, 178 North Terrace.
    No assignment will be accepted by mail or fax without prior written agreement from the Course Co-ordinator.
    The appropriate cover sheet must be attached to each assignment (available on MyUni).
    Each student submitting an assignment in hardcopy must also sign and date the designated class list (for this specific course and assignment) which will be sited at Reception.
    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 copy of the assignment submitted.

    Each written assignment will be due on the next Friday after the Module has been completed. For instance, the first assignment will be due on the Friday of Week 5.

    Assignments that are received by the due date will usually be marked and returned within 2 weeks. Written feedback will be provided on assignments. Re-submission will not normally be considered.

    Late submission

    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 or before the last working day before an assignment is due.
    Only the Course Co-ordinators 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.
    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 ( 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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