UWA Handbook 2017

Unit details

PUBH4403 Epidemiology I

Credit 6 points
(see Timetable)
Semester 1UWA (Perth)Face to face
Semester 1OnlineOnline
Details for undergraduate courses
  • Honours core unit in Population Health [Bachelor of Science (Honours)]
  • Honours option in Aboriginal Health and Wellbeing [Bachelor of Science (Honours)]
Content This unit covers the principles and methods of epidemiological research. It introduces the principles of epidemiology as well as higher-level coverage of the major study designs (intervention, cohort and case-control studies); the causes and control of bias, confounding, and effect-modification; screening; outbreak investigation; and causation of disease. In addition, it provides an introduction to the newer study designs (e.g. case-crossover). Emphasis is placed on the critical appraisal of published articles in order to enable the student to take an evidence based approach to health policy and practice.
Outcomes Students are able to (1) describe and contrast the characteristics of the key epidemiologic study designs; (2) explain the relative strengths and limitations of the various study designs; (3) interpret and calculate measures of disease frequency; (4) interpret and calculate measures of association; (5) identify and describe bias, chance, effect modification and confounding in epidemiological research and methods to reduce or manage these issues; (6) differentiate between association and causation in disease models; (7) evaluate the strength and nature of possible causal relationships; and (8) evaluate the appropriateness of screening programs.
Assessment Typically this unit is assessed in the following ways: (1) mid-semester tests; (2) an assignment (consists short-answer questions); and (3) a final examination. Formative quizzes are provided online and tutorial activities mimic the assessment. Further information is available in the unit outline.

Supplementary assessment is not available in this unit.
Unit Coordinator(s) Associate Professor Tom Briffa
Contact hours lectures: 2 hours per week; tutorials: 1 hour per week (for face to face mode only)
Unit Outlinehttp://www.unitoutlines.meddent.uwa.edu.au/Units/PUBH4403/SEM-1/2017

Rothman K. J. Epidemiology: an Introduction, 2nd edn: OUP 2012


Gordis L. Epidemiology, 5th edn: WB Saunders 2014


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  • Books and other material wherever listed may be subject to change. Book lists relating to 'Preliminary reading', 'Recommended reading' and 'Textbooks' are, in most cases, available at the University Co-operative Bookshop (from early January) and appropriate administrative offices for students to consult. Where texts are listed in the unit description above, an asterisk (*) indicates that the book is available in paperback.