PUB HLTH 2007 - Epidemiology for Health and Medical Sciences

North Terrace Campus - Semester 2 - 2018

This course introduces key approaches and concepts used in epidemiology to assess the health of populations. Principles of data collection will be explored and applied. Students will use statistical concepts and software to manipulate and analyse data to illustrate key epidemiological measures and concepts. By the end of the course students will be equipped to understand published epidemiological research, and gain practical skills in analysing and interpreting results. Examples will be drawn from a range of disciplines including Nutritional Health, Clinical Trials, Reproductive and Childhood Health, Addiction and Mental Health to illustrate the essential concepts.

  • General Course Information
    Course Details
    Course Code PUB HLTH 2007
    Course Epidemiology for Health and Medical Sciences
    Coordinating Unit Public Health
    Term Semester 2
    Level Undergraduate
    Location/s North Terrace Campus
    Units 3
    Contact Up to 3 hours per week
    Available for Study Abroad and Exchange Y
    Incompatible PUB HLTH 2005 and PUB HLTH 2100
    Assumed Knowledge PUB HLTH 1001
    Assessment Assignments, tutorial preparation and participation, practical participation, final exam
    Course Staff

    Course Coordinator: Dr Rhiannon Pilkington

    Course Coordinator: Professor Vivienne Moore
    Phone: +61 8 8313 0116
    Location: Level 8, Hughes Building

    Student & Program Support Services Hub
    Phone: +61 8313 0273

    Program Advisor’s booking system

    Course Timetable

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

  • Learning Outcomes
    Course Learning Outcomes

    Understand practical and conceptual issues involved in obtaining samples from populations

    Understand processes of data collection

    Manipulate and describe data with simple summary statistics, tables and graphs, using statistical software where relevant

    Understand and calculate measures of disease occurrence and measures of effect

    Explain how a variety of experimental and observational study designs can be used to address epidemiological questions

    Use statistical principles to draw conclusions about the health of populations

    Critique published research, including the research question, study design, variables used, statistical analysis, reporting, and interpretation of results

    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)
    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
    5, 6, 7
    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
    Career and leadership readiness
    • technology savvy
    • professional and, where relevant, fully accredited
    • forward thinking and well informed
    • tested and validated by work based experiences
    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
    2, 7
    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
  • Learning Resources
    Required Resources
    The textbook for the statistics component of this course is: Bland M.  An Introduction to Medical Statistics.  (4th edition)  Oxford: OUP, 2015.  Other resources, including links to journal articles and reading lists, will be disseminated via MyUni. Outside of practical sessions, students will need to access Stata statistical software via on-campus computing suites or remotely via the ADAPT software facility.
    Recommended Resources
    Online Learning
    The primary means of communication outside of formal contact hours will be via MyUni. Announcements and discussion boards will be the main method of communicating with the student cohort. Course material will be supported by online resources via MyUni. Material will be sequentially released in line with the teaching and learning activities in each week.
  • Learning & Teaching Activities
    Learning & Teaching Modes
    Seminars supported by problem solving in practicals that will be largely computer based as well as in tutorials for which individual preparation is required.

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

    There will usually be three contact hours each week for this course: a seminar, a practical, and a tutorial.  In general, students should expect to spend another 6-9 hours on independent learning.  This will include learning guided by questions set for the weekly tutorial (with preparation in advance an expectation) and as required to complete the assignments.

    Learning Activities Summary
    Week Topic
    1 Surveys and sampling - Part 1
    2 Surveys and sampling - Part 2
    3 Variables and descriptive statistics
    4 Measures of disease occurrence and registries
    5 Principles of experiments
    6 Inferential statistics, chi-square test
    7 Comparison of means and the t-test
    8 Dependent observations and paired t-test
    9 Cohort studies
    10 Case-control studies
    11 Levels of evidence and systematic reviews
    12 Highlights in epidemiology history and the Bradford Hill criteria

    Specific Course Requirements
    Small Group Discovery Experience
  • 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





    Practical participation, tutorial preparation and participation




    Assignment 1




    Assignment 2



    3, 4, 6





    Assessment Related Requirements
    Participation in practicals and both preparation for, and partipation in, tutorials is worth 10% of the marks for the course.

    An Assignment worth 20% of the marks for the course will focus on the design and use of surveys as well as interpretation of results. 

    An Assignment worth 30% of the marks for the course will focus on hypothesis testing, including manual calculations and the use of Stata.

    A 2-hour exam worth 40% of the marks for the course will draw on material from across the course, including seminars, readings, practicals, and tutorials.
    Assessment Detail
    For this course, this information is located in Canvas.
    All extensions for assignments must be requested, at the latest, by the last working day before the due date of submission. 
    Extensions will generally be granted only on medical or genuine compassionate grounds. Supporting documentation must be provided at the time a student requests an extension. Without documentation, extensions will not be granted. Late requests for extension will neither be accepted nor acknowledged.

    Only the Course Co-ordinator(s) may grant extensions.

    Supporting documentation will be required when requesting an extension. Examples of documents that are acceptable include: a medical certificate that specifies dates of incapacity, a police report (in the case of lost computers, car & household theft etc.), a letter from a Student Counsellor, Education and Welfare Officer (EWO) or Disability Liaison Officer that provides an assessment
    of compassionate circumstances, or a letter from an independent external counsellor or appropriate professional able to verify the student’s situation. The length of any extension granted will take into account the period and severity of any incapacity or impact on the student. Extensions of more than 10 days will not be granted except in exceptional circumstances.

    Late submission
    Marks will be deducted when assignments for which no extension has been granted are handed in late.

    All assignments, including those handed in late, will be assessed on their merits. In the case of late assignments where no extension has been granted, 5 percentage points of the total marks possible per day will be deducted. If an assignment that is 2 days late is awarded 65% on its merits, the mark will then be reduced by10% (5% per day for 2 days) to 55%. If that same assignment is 4 days late, the mark will be reduced by 20% (5% per day for 4 days) to 45%, and so on.

    The School of Public Health reserves the right to refuse to accept an assignment that is more than 7 days late.

    Assignments submitted after the due date may not be graded in time to be returned on the listed return dates.

    Students submitting examinable written work who request (and receive) an extension that takes them beyond the examination period are advised that there is no guarantee that their grades will be processed in time to meet usual University deadlines.

    If a student is dissatisfied with an assessment grade they should follow the Student Grievance Resolution Process <>. Students who are not satisfied with a particular assessment result should raise their concerns with Course Co-ordinator(s) in the first instance. This must be done within 10 business days of the date of notification of the result. Resubmission of any assignment is subject to the agreement of the Course Co-ordinator(s) and will only be permitted for the most compelling of reasons. 
    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.

The University of Adelaide is committed to regular reviews of the courses and programs it offers to students. The University of Adelaide therefore reserves the right to discontinue or vary programs and courses without notice. Please read the important information contained in the disclaimer.