University of Technology Sydney

91330 Epidemiology and Public Health Microbiology

6cp; 3 x 2hrs practical per week over 5 weeks (15 sessions in all), 1hr lecture and 1hr tutorial
Requisite(s): 91161 Cell Biology and Genetics


Infectious diseases have had an enormous impact on human civilisation, killing more people than all wars combined. The current COVID-19 pandemic is having a profound impact upon our society and the way we interact. Maintaining public health is a major challenge for governments. Everything from social distancing, deciding what organisms to vaccinate against, to providing safe food and drinking water falls under the purview of public health. Epidemiology is the study of such diseases in populations.

In this subject students learn about microbes of public health importance and basic epidemiological principles. The subject covers how microbes have affected human population development, from pandemics to the common cold. It examines a range of pathogens of public health interest including food, water and airborne diseases and the importance of public health measures including vaccinations. The subject develops skills in measuring and identifying bacterial contamination of food and water. Students learn basic epidemiological principles such as tracing disease outbreaks, measures of disease frequency (rates and risk factors) and the impact of control measures and interventions such as hygiene, sanitation and vaccination programs.

Typical availability

Spring session, City campus

Detailed subject description.

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