University of Technology Sydney

92591 Communicable Disease Prevention and Control

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 2024 is available in the Archives.

UTS: Health
Credit points: 6 cp

Subject level:


Result type: Grade and marks


Communicable diseases are a major contributor to the global burden of disease posing a significant public health challenge. The expansion of the human-animal interface coupled with the speed and scale of national and international travel present an ever-changing risk of emerging and re-emerging communicable diseases. With the last three decades seeing a significant increase in outbreaks, the need for better understanding transmission dynamics and management of communicable diseases is timely and relevant. This subject provides students underpinning knowledge, principles and skills in communicable diseases prevention and control.

Students gain an understanding of communicable diseases epidemiology, and its relationship to communicable disease prevention and management. The contribution and application of surveillance and other public health strategies on communicable diseases control are elaborated. Using case studies in Australia and low- and middle-income countries, students gain deeper insights on factors that have contributed to successes on public health action towards communicable diseases control, challenges and opportunities for better addressing these. The need for integrating a multifaceted and a coordinated approach that goes beyond a biomedical model including building coalitions, policy advocacy, cooperation between different sectors and dissemination of health information are discussed.

Subject learning objectives (SLOs)

Upon successful completion of this subject students should be able to:
A. Describe the chain of infection and explain its relationship to prevention and control of communicable diseases
B. Recognise and analyse factors that make some population groups at a greater risk of communicable diseases
C. Describe epidemiological principles underpinning communicable disease prevention and control; and consider their application within a variety of settings
D. Collaborate and communicate with peers in planning and developing public health responses to selected examples of communicable diseases in Australia
E. Discuss and critically analyse public health strategies used in the prevention and control of communicable diseases
F. Demonstrate understanding of the importance of collaborative and coordinated approaches to communicable disease prevention and control

Course intended learning outcomes (CILOs)

This subject also contributes specifically to the following graduate attributes:

  • Respect and respond to the needs of diverse groups to improve health outcomes (1.2)
  • Evaluate the effectiveness and efficiency of health projects and programs (2.1)
  • Develop creative and innovative responses to health issues (2.2)
  • Identify and use culturally sensitive and appropriate communication techniques aimed at improving health in diverse populations (3.1)
  • Translate and communicate knowledge and research effectively to various audiences (3.3)
  • Reflects on the ethical implications for public health research and practice (4.1)
  • Translate research and evaluation into social and professional practice through critical thinking and knowledge integration (5.0)
  • Critically reflect upon the ongoing impact of colonisation and its pervasive discourse on Indigenous Australians and their health and wellbeing (6.2)

Teaching and learning strategies

Strategy 1: Independent learning (by way of preparation)
Students take responsibility for their preparation for lectures and tutorials which helps develop appropriate professional self-management skills. Through completion of readings and/or tasks before lectures and tutorials (as outlined on UTS Online), by watching videos (loaded onto UTS Online) prior to class, students will develop knowledge of key concepts and develop skills underpinning communicable disease management that they will then practise and develop further during tutorials.

Strategy 2: Lectures
Students listen to an hour of lectures presented each week (except for Week 1). These lectures bring together the essential principles and core knowledge on communicable disease management that is analysed and applied during tutorial sessions and the assessment tasks.

Strategy 3: Tutorial participation
By participating in weekly two hour tutorials, students will test their knowledge on communicable disease prevention and control; and develop and refine their critical analysis skills around emerging issues on communicable disease management. The tutorials will offer an opportunity for a more interactive and practical approach to the learning that occurs in the lectures. The tutorials are designed to be an interactive forum for facilitating authentic learning, collaboration between peers, presentation and debating of ideas and for more personalised and in-depth discussion on communicable disease management. Active participation will be essential in achieving the learning objectives for each session. Feedback will be provided throughout to further augment student learning.

Strategy 4: Guest lecturers
Experts in the field of communicable disease prevention and control will be invited to present exposing students to real-world life experiences from the field and build important connections between what they are learning and the real world.

Content (topics)

Topic 1: Concepts of disease occurrence

  • Introduction to communicable diseases
  • Introduction to basic concepts in the epidemiology and control of communicable/infectious diseases
  • Social determinants of health and communicable diseases

Topic 2: Communicable disease control principles and methods

  • Communicable disease surveillance
  • Outbreak investigation
  • Preventive and control strategies
  • Infection control – health care facilities
  • Health promotion - raising awareness and promoting behaviour change - health education, health communication(messaging)

Topic 3: Key issues in communicable disease prevention and control

  • Communicable/infectious disease prevention and control in LMICs – HIV, malaria and TB as examples
  • One Health – Working at the human- animal- environment interface
  • Public health action on communicable disease control in Australia - successes, challenges and opportunities


Assessment task 1: Online quizzes


To determine how well students understand fundamental concepts on communicable disease taxonomy, transmission modes and epidemiology; and their application to communicable disease prevention and control.


This assessment task addresses subject learning objective(s):

A, B and C

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

.5 and 2.1

Weight: 30%

Two online quizzes with 15 questions per quiz. 90 minutes to complete each quiz.

Assessment task 2: Investigation of an outbreak- Group presentations


Students develop skills in conducting field investigation and consolidate and apply their knowledge of communicable disease transmission, epidemiology, surveillance and management. Students will also gain presentation, communication and teamwork skills.


This assessment task addresses subject learning objective(s):

A, B, C, D, E and F

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

2.2 and 3.3

Weight: 30%

This assessment will comprise of two components: group presentations and a reflective piece.The allocated time for the presentations is 30 min per group (20 minutes for the presentation and 10 minutes for discussion). The reflective piece length is a maximum of 500 words.

Assessment task 3: A public health response to an outbreak using a health promotion approach a consultation report


Students acquire skills in developing evidence-informed solutions reflecting in-depth knowledge of the interplay between social determinants of health and communicable diseases. Students recognise the public health needs of population subgroups; and translate research and evaluation on public health strategies used in the prevention and control of communicable diseases into professional practice through critical thinking and knowledge integration.


This assessment task addresses subject learning objective(s):

B, E and F

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

1.2, 2.1, 3.1, 4.1, 5.0 and 6.2

Weight: 40%

Report length is a maximum of 1800 words and should contain 15 references maximum.

Other resources

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

Details for student centres:

For other resources/ information refer to the Faculty of Health website ( and UTSOnline at:

UTS Library
The Library has a wide range of resources, facilities and services to support you including textbooks, subject readings, health literature databases, workshops and bookable study rooms. There is also a team of librarians to help you with your questions available via online chat, phone and in person. W:, 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 ( HELPS staff are also available for drop-in consultations at the UTS Library. Phone (02) 9514 9733.

Please see for additional information on other resources provided to students by UTS.