Studying online

There are now 2 possible online modes for units:

Units with modes Online timetabled and Online flexible are available for any student to self-enrol and study online.

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Unit Overview


This unit introduces students to the use of epidemiology and biostatistics as tools in understanding health. The main epidemiological research designs and related statistical analyses are described and evaluated. Discussion focuses on how health and disease are measured and compared across populations and how researchers measure associations between exposures and health outcomes. Analytical skills are developed using statistical computer software (SPSS) for analysis of research data as well as the critical appraisal of epidemiological studies, which incorporates understanding of the roles of bias, chance and confounding in interpreting study results. The implications of epidemiologic research findings for public policy are also illustrated.

6 points
(see Timetable)
Semester 2UWA (Perth)Face to face
Details for undergraduate courses
  • Level 2 core unit in the Public Health; Aboriginal Health and Wellbeing major sequences
  • Level 2 elective

Students are able to (1) identify the research question in published literature; (2) explain the basic statistical concepts of estimation and hypothesis testing; (3) compute measures of health and disease frequency; (4) generate data summaries relevant to epidemiological research

; (5) interpret the results of epidemiological research; (6) interpret statistical methods commonly used in epidemiological studies; (7) describe the major epidemiologic study designs; and (8) Evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of epidemiological studies.


Indicative assessments in this unit are as follows: (1) assignments; (2) short online quizzes; and (3) tutorial participation. Further information is available in the unit outline.

Student may be offered supplementary assessment in this unit if they meet the eligibility criteria.

Unit Coordinator(s)
Dr Charley Budgeon
Unit rules
Successful completion of any one
PUBH1101 Health and Illness in Human Populations
or PUBH1102 Health and Globalisation
or ANHB1101 Human Biology I: Becoming Human
or ANHX1101 Human Biology 1 (Becoming Human)
or ANHB1102 Human Biology II: Being Human
or ANHX1102 Human Biology 2 (Being Human)
or ANTH1001 Being Human: Culture, Identity and Society
or ANTH1002 Global Change, Local Responses
or PUBH2209 Plagues, Pox and Pandemics: the History of Death and Disease
or SCOM1101 Communicating Science
or SCOX1101 Communicating Science
or BIOL1130 Frontiers in Biology
or BIOL1131 Plant and Animal Biology
Enrolment in
MJD-ABHWB Aboriginal Health and Wellbeing and either ( INDG1150 Aboriginal Encounters: Strangers in our Backyard
or INDG1160 Boodjar Moort Katitjin: Introduction to Indigenous Heritage and Knowledge

and AHEA2201 Aboriginal Health and Wellbeing )
IMED2003 Medical Sciences Research Methodologies (ID 5971)
Advisable prior study
knowledge of basic algebra, familiarity with hand-held calculators and familiarity with computing in the Windows environment
Contact hours
lectures: 2 hours per week
tutorials: 2 hours per week

Gordis, L. Epidemiology, 5th edn: Saunders Elsevier 2014
  • The availability of units in Semester 1, 2, etc. was correct at the time of publication but may be subject to change.
  • All students are responsible for identifying when they need assistance to improve their academic learning, research, English language and numeracy skills; seeking out the services and resources available to help them; and applying what they learn. Students are encouraged to register for free online support through GETSmart; to help themselves to the extensive range of resources on UWA's STUDYSmarter website; and to participate in WRITESmart and (ma+hs)Smart drop-ins and workshops.
  • Unit readings, including any essential textbooks, are listed in the unit outline for each unit, one week prior the commencement of study. The unit outline will be available via the LMS and the UWA Handbook one week prior the commencement of study. Reading lists and essential textbooks are subject to change each semester. Information on essential textbooks will also be made available on the Essential Textbooks. This website is updated regularly in the lead up to semester so content may change. It is recommended that students purchase essential textbooks for convenience due to the frequency with which they will be required during the unit. A limited number of textbooks will be made available from the Library in print and will also be made available online wherever possible. Essential textbooks can be purchased from the commercial vendors to secure the best deal. The Student Guild can provide assistance on where to purchase books if required. Books can be purchased second hand at the Guild Secondhand bookshop (second floor, Guild Village), which is located on campus.
  • Contact hours provide an indication of the type and extent of in-class activities this unit may contain. The total amount of student work (including contact hours, assessment time, and self-study) will approximate 150 hours per 6 credit points.