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.

Click on an offering mode for more details.

Unit Overview


This unit deals with the principles of epidemiology with specific reference to communicable diseases including, measures of disease frequency (prevalence and incidence), measures of association (e.g. odds ratio, relative risk) and measures of disease transmission dynamics (e.g. basic reproductive number, secondary attack rate). It relates the epidemiology of infectious diseases to their modes of transmission, their pathogenesis, in addition to describing the host–parasite relationship and the importance of vectors. Methods for infectious disease control are also discussed in detail, including the roles of vaccination, antimicrobials and public health measures. Topics also include the principles of data collection and the investigation of outbreaks, measures of disease surveillance, and government regulations.

6 points
(see Timetable)
Semester 2OnlineOnline flexible
Semester 2OnlineOnline timetabled

Students are able to (1) apply a conceptual framework in which to accurately understand and describe processes of infectious disease transmission; (2) calculate key epidemiological measures of association, disease transmission dynamics and disease frequency in the context of communicable diseases; (3) interpret key epidemiological measures in the context of communicable diseases; (4) apply the key principles of communicable disease outbreak investigations and disease prevention, management and control; (5) apply key epidemiological study designs to the investigation and control of communicable diseases; and (6) outline the role of notification and surveillance systems in the monitoring and control of communicable diseases.


Indicative assessments in this unit are as follows: (1) online case study; (2) end of semester online examination; and (3) mid-semester online quiz. 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 Barbara Nattabi
Unit rules
Advisable prior study
PUBH5749 Foundations of Public Health, PUBH4403 Epidemiology I
Contact hours
online tuition: 3 hours per week
  • 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.