PUB HLTH 3010 - Practical Epidemiology in Health Sciences

North Terrace Campus - Semester 1 - 2024

This course focuses on the implementation and interpretation of epidemiological concepts and measures, and the essential role of epidemiology in (i) understanding the health of populations and (ii) evaluating public health initiatives. To achieve that, students will deepen their knowledge of the biostatistical concepts that underpin epidemiological analyses. The course will also extend students' practical skills and ability to locate, access, manipulate, analyse, and present data through hands-on use of statistical software. Emphasis will be placed on the principles of epidemiological reasoning and interpretation of findings. At the end of this course students will be able to apply quantitative approaches to address population health challenges, interpret epidemiological information contained in scientific literature, communicate these interpretations to both lay and professional audiences, and think critically about the strengths and limitations of different approaches.

  • General Course Information
    Course Details
    Course Code PUB HLTH 3010
    Course Practical Epidemiology in Health Sciences
    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
    Prerequisites PUB HLTH 2007 or MEDIC ST 1000B
    Incompatible PUB HLTH 3501
    Assessment Assignments, workshop participation, final exam
    Course Staff

    Course Coordinator: Professor Lyle Palmer

    Course Coordinator: Professor Lyle Palmer
    Phone: +61 8313 2158
    Location: Level 4, Rundle Mall Plaza, North Terrace
    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
    1 Understand the role of different epidemiological approaches in enabling and evaluating public health policy and practice
    2 Identify key issues in the interpretation of study findings
    3 Explore and describe relationships between variables
    4 Conduct analyses using statistical software
    5 Interpret results from statistical analyses and present findings in an appropriate manner
    6 Critically appraise published scientific literature
    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.

    1, 5, 6

    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 is no set textbook for this course. All resources, including links to journal articles and reading lists, will be disseminated via MyUni. Outside of workshop 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, with recordings 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 workshops developing material covered in seminars.

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

    Teaching in Practical Epidemiology in Health Sciences begins with the assumption that students are active participants in the learning process. We assume that you are willing and able to prepare fully for classes, to participate in discussions and workshops, and to carry out your tasks.

    As a general rule, in any university course you will need to allow a three to four study hours for every hour undertaken in formal class work contact. This means that you will have to set aside at least a further nine to twelve hours per week for reading around topics, preparation for class activities, and work on assignments. There will be 3 contact hours each week for 12 teaching weeks.
    Learning Activities Summary


    Confounding, selection and measurement error


    Multivariable analyses

    Critical appraisal

    Contested evidence

    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
    Assessment Task Task Type Weighting Learning Outcome
    Practical preparation and participation Summative 10% 1-6
    Assignment 1 Summative 20% 1-2
    Assignment 2 Summative 35% 3-6
    Exam Summative 35% 1-6

    Assessment Detail
    Workshop/practical participation (10%): students engage in interaction in class activities and the cooperative sharing of materials and information.

    Assignment 1 (20%): Short answer assignment in which students will justify and critique epidemiological approaches.

    Assignment 2 (35%): Short answer assignment in which students will conduct and present analyses of supplied data sets, interpret results, and critique findings.

    Exam (35%): a 2-hour exam to be held at the end of semester.
    Extensions: 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. 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.

    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.

    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 by 10% (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. 

    Resubmission: 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 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 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.