PUB HLTH 2007 - Epidemiology for Health and Medical Sciences

North Terrace Campus - Semester 2 - 2023

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 and practical participation, quizzes, final exam
    Course Staff

    Course Coordinator: Professor Vivienne Moore

    Phone: +61 8313 0116
    Location: Level 1, Helen Mayo North Building

    Course Timetable

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

    Timetable details are located on MyUni.
  • Learning Outcomes
    Course Learning Outcomes

    Understand the role of epidemiology as a science

    Understand sources of epidemiological data

    Understand and calculate measures of disease occurrence and measures of effect

    Understand how a variety of experimental and observational study designs are used in epidemiological research

    Understand and identify sources of bias in epidemiological research

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

    Understand the principles of hypothesis testing and apply basic statistical techniques in statistical software


    Use epidemiological knowledge to critique the quality of evidence provided in published studies

    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)

    Attribute 1: Deep discipline knowledge and intellectual breadth

    Graduates have comprehensive knowledge and understanding of their subject area, the ability to engage with different traditions of thought, and the ability to apply their knowledge in practice including in multi-disciplinary or multi-professional contexts.


    Attribute 2: Creative and critical thinking, and problem solving

    Graduates are effective problems-solvers, able to apply critical, creative and evidence-based thinking to conceive innovative responses to future challenges.

    3, 4, 5, 7, 8

    Attribute 3: Teamwork and communication skills

    Graduates convey ideas and information effectively to a range of audiences for a variety of purposes and contribute in a positive and collaborative manner to achieving common goals.


    Attribute 4: Professionalism and leadership readiness

    Graduates engage in professional behaviour and have the potential to be entrepreneurial and take leadership roles in their chosen occupations or careers and communities.


    Attribute 5: Intercultural and ethical competency

    Graduates are responsible and effective global citizens whose personal values and practices are consistent with their roles as responsible members of society.


    Attribute 6: Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultural competency

    Graduates have an understanding of, and respect for, Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander values, culture and knowledge.


    Attribute 7: Digital capabilities

    Graduates are well prepared for living, learning and working in a digital society.


    Attribute 8: Self-awareness and emotional intelligence

    Graduates are self-aware and reflective; they are flexible and resilient and have the capacity to accept and give constructive feedback; they act with integrity and take responsibility for their actions.

  • Learning Resources
    Required Resources
    There are two required resources for this course. Access to other supporting materials will be provided throughout the course.
    Recommended Resources
    The following two texts are used in this course.  Electronic access is available through the University of Adelaide library.

    Buttner P, Muller R.  Epidemiology.  (2nd edition)  Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2015.

    Bland M.  An introduction to medical statistics.  (3rd edition)  Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2000.

    [If students wish to purchase a copy of the Bland text, we recommend the 4th edition published in 2015.  Most of the sections to be read in this course are identical.]
    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
    • Lectures will introduce the key concepts supported by the readings and will provide opportunities for interaction, discussion and questions.   
    • Practicals will provide opportunities for hands-on skill development and problem solving related to the concepts introduced in the lectures, and will be largely computer-based.   
    • Interactive tutorials will help to further develop and clarify topics covered in the lectures. These will generally be problem-solving  sessions designed to develop capacity for critical thinking and clarify uncertainties in a supportive environment. 

    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 lecture, a practical, and a tutorial.  In general, students should expect to prepare for the lectures, the tutorials and for some practicals (from 1 to 3 hours), and spend another 5 to 6 hours on  independent learning that may involve completing assignments and revision. 

    There will also be quizzes that aid student learning and provide feedback on knowledge and skill development but are not part of the formal assessment.

    Learning Activities Summary
    In this course there are five areas of focus, emphasising evidenced-based practice in health care and health promotion:

    1.       Surveys and sampling – what is important for results of a survey to be trustworthy?
    2.       Registries – what sorts of information about health do they provide?
    3.       Randomized controlled trials – how can the risk of bias be reduced?
    4.       Descriptive and inferential statistics – how are they useful in epidemiology?
    5.       Observational studies – how are they designed and interpreted?

    Specific Course Requirements
  • 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 and tutorial participation and quizzes




    Assignment 1




    Assignment 2








    Assessment Related Requirements

    Participation in practicals and tutorials and quizzes are worth 15% of the marks for the course.

    Assignment 1 worth 25% of the marks will focus on use and interpretation of epidemiological data. 

    Assignment 2 worth 30% of the marks will focus on understanding, producing and interpreting epidemiological research.

    A 2-hour exam worth 30% of the marks will draw on material from across the course, including lectures, readings, practicals, and tutorials.

    Full details of the assessments are available on MyUni.

    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.