University of Technology, Sydney

Staff directory | Webmail | Maps | Newsroom | What's on

92296 Epidemiology and Population Health

Warning: The information on this page is indicative. The subject outline for a particular session, location and mode of offering is the authoritative source of all information about the subject for that offering. Required texts, recommended texts and references in particular are likely to change. Students will be provided with a subject outline once they enrol in the subject.

Subject handbook information prior to 2019 is available in the Archives.

UTS: Health
Credit points: 6 cp
Result type: Grade and marks

There are course requisites for this subject. See access conditions.

Description

This subject covers the essential knowledge that clinicians, project officers, health service managers and planners, and public health practitioners need concerning epidemiology and population health. It enables students to apply analytical strategies of epidemiology to the health service and public health environment, and to assess, interpret and critically appraise the quality of evidence of health service studies. Topics covered include epidemiological methods and concepts, understanding epidemiological evidence and its limitations, using population health data, and how findings are used to support public health and health services planning and management decisions. Students also have an opportunity to calculate and interpret measures of disease frequency, association and impact. An emphasis is placed on linking epidemiological theory population health with application in public health and health services settings and decision making.

Subject learning objectives (SLOs)

Upon successful completion of this subject students should be able to:
A. Evaluate and appropriately select major techniques in epidemiological and population health research, including study design, measures of disease frequency and measures of association and impact;
B. Recommend rigorous and appropriate approaches to the collection, storage, interpretation and use of epidemiological and other population health data;
C. Discover the main sources of bias in epidemiological research and propose how these should be accounted for and addressed;
D. Explain the roles, strengths and weaknesses of randomised controlled trials and the common observational designs
E. Create a variety of ways in which complex epidemiological and population health data and issues can be effectively communicated for a variety of target audiences;
F. Devise a basic critical appraisal of an epidemiological study

Course intended learning outcomes (CILOs)

This subject also contributes specifically to the following graduate attributes:

  • Demonstrate reflective critical thinking to enable critical appraisal of current practice, policy and research with the aim to enhance health care and healthcare outcomes, and transform health (1.0)
  • Critique, interpret and synthesise data and research findings to inform the surveillance, management, prevention of disease and illness and promotion of health for the complex issues inherent in public health (1.1)
  • Apply research methods to a variety of public health problems (1.2)
  • Communicate and collaborate to provide optimal outcomes in public health practice and research (4.1)

Teaching and learning strategies

In this subject students will participate in a number of teaching and learning activities that are designed to actively engage students to develop learning in Epidemiology and Population Health principles and scholarship. On-campus learning activities will include small group collaboration in case studies; seminars and oral presentations; round table discussions and problem based learning activities. On-campus activities are supported by online preparatory work and follow-up activities including podcasts, multimedia resources and selected readings. The online activities will take 2-3 hours per week, to prepare students for the assessment tasks in a phased and iterative manner. Early feedback will be provided on moderated discussion board activities and assessment will be explained in the face-to-face workshops as well as via the discussion board.

Content (topics)

  • Introduction to epidemiology and population health
  • Measures of frequency and association
  • Causation, confounding, effect modification
  • Bias
  • Epidemiological study design
  • Using epidemiological data to inform policy decisions, in health services planning and public health
  • Critical appraisal and systematic reviews

Assessment

Assessment task 1: Online quizzes (Two)

Intent:

The purpose of this assessment item is to determine how well students understand fundamental epidemiological and population health concepts, including study design, bias, measures of disease frequency and association, as well as demonstrate an ability to interpret epidemiological and other population health data.

Objective(s):

This assessment task addresses subject learning objective(s):

A, C and E

This assessment task contributes to the development of graduate attribute(s):

1.0 and 1.1

Type: Quiz/test
Groupwork: Individual
Weight: 20%
Length:

Two online quizzes, each involving 10 multiple choice questions. Students will be given two attempts at each quiz, with a maximum of 60 minutes at each attempt to complete the quiz. The quizzes will be delivered in Canvas. The highest mark of the two attempts will be recorded.

Criteria:
  • 30% Judges the accuracy of techniques from the presented range of information and possibilities.
  • 30% Judges the currency of predicted solutions to hypotheses based on making inferences about evidence from a range of possibilities .
  • 40% Judges the quality of solutions to hypotheses based on making inferences about evidence from a range of possibilities.

Assessment task 2: Epidemiological Data Analysis

Intent:

This assessment item focusses on how to conduct and present analyses of epidemiological datasets

Objective(s):

This assessment task addresses subject learning objective(s):

A, B and E

This assessment task contributes to the development of graduate attribute(s):

1.1, 1.2 and 4.1

Groupwork: Individual
Weight: 30%
Length:

There will be a number of short answer questions that you will be required to complete.

Assessment task 3: Basic Critical Appraisal of a Journal Article (group)

Intent:

This assessment item focusses on critical appraisal of an epidemiological study published in a peer-reviewed journal article. The purpose of this assessment item is to give students an introduction to the appraisal of epidemiological studies.

Objective(s):

This assessment task addresses subject learning objective(s):

C, D, E and F

This assessment task contributes to the development of graduate attribute(s):

1.1, 1.2 and 4.1

Type: Report
Groupwork: Group, group assessed
Weight: 25%
Length:

2 A4 pages

Assessment task 4: Basic Critical Appraisal of a Journal Article (individual)

Intent:

This assessment item focusses on critical appraisal of an epidemiological study published in a peer-reviewed journal article. The purpose of this assessment item is to give students a deeper understanding of the appraisal of epidemiological studies.

Objective(s):

This assessment task addresses subject learning objective(s):

C, D, E and F

This assessment task contributes to the development of graduate attribute(s):

1.1, 1.2 and 4.1

Type: Report
Groupwork: Individual
Weight: 25%
Length:

2 A4 pages

Required texts

Webb, P., Bain, C., & Page, A. 2017 Essential Epidemiology: An Introduction for Students and Health Professionals, 3rd edn, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge.

An electronic copy of the whole book is available as an e-book in the e-library at UTS Library.

Recommended texts

Rothman, K.J. 2012, Epidemiology: an introduction, 2nd edn, Oxford University Press, Oxford.

Bonita, R., Beaglehole, R., Kjellstrom, T. 2006, Basic epidemiology, 2nd edn, World Health Organisation, Geneva.

An electronic copy of the whole book is available as an e-book in the e-library at UTS Library.

Additional texts
Australian Institute of Health and Welfare. 2016, Australia’s health 2016. Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, Canberra.

Beuttner, P. & Muller, R. 2011, Epidemiology, Oxford University Press, Sydney.

Friis, R.H. 2010, Epidemiology 101, Jones & Bartlett Learning, Sudbury MA.

Law, G.R. & Pascoe, S.W. 2013, Statistical Epidemiology, CABI, Oxfordshire.

Merrill, R.M. 2009, Introduction to epidemiology, 5th edn, Jones & Bartlett Learning, Sudbury MA.

Rothman, K.J., Greenland, S., and Lash, T.L. 2008, Modern epidemiology, 3rd edn, Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Philadelphia PA.

Szklo, M. & Nieto, J. 2012, Epidemiology: beyond the basics, 3rd edn, Jones & Bartlett Learning, Burlington MA.

References

There is a list of books and articles in the "Subject Documents" section of UTSOnline that may provide students with useful references to help in research for assignments. A list of journals, websites and other online references are also provided on UTS online.

Other resources

UTS Student Centre
Building 10
Monday to Friday: 9am - 5pm
Tel: 1300 ASK UTS (1300 275 887)

Details for student centres: www.uts.edu.au/current-students/contacts/general-contacts
For other resources/information refer to the Faculty of Health website (www.uts.edu.au/about/faculty-health), the Health Student Guide (www.uts.edu.au/sites/default/files/uts-health-student-guide.pdf) and UTSOnline at: https://online.uts.edu.au/webapps/login/

UTS Library
The Library has a wide range of resources, facilities and services to support you including textbooks, subject readings, old exam papers, academic writing guides, health literature databases, workshops, a gaming room and bookable group study rooms. There is also a team of librarians to help you with all your questions.
W: lib.uts.edu.au, Facebook: utslibrary, Twitter: @utslibrary Tel: (02) 9514 3666

Improve your academic and English language skills
Marks for all assessment tasks such as assignments and examinations are given not only for what you write but also for how you write. If you would like the opportunity to improve your academic and English language skills, make an appointment with the HELPS (Higher Education Language & Presentation Support) Service in Student Services.

HELPS (Higher Education Language & Presentation Support)
HELPS provides assistance with English language proficiency and academic language. Students who need to develop their written and/or spoken English should make use of the free services offered by HELPS, including academic language workshops, vacation intensive courses, drop-in consultations, individual appointments and Conversations@UTS (www.ssu.uts.edu.au/helps). HELPS staff are also available for drop-in consultations at the UTS Library. Phone (02) 9514 9733

Please see www.uts.edu.au for additional information on other resources provided to students by UTS.