Course Outline

PUB210 Concepts of Epidemiology

Course Coordinator:Rachel Cole ( School:School of Health - Public Health

2023Semester 2

UniSC Sunshine Coast

Blended learning Most of your course is on campus but you may be able to do some components of this course online.

Please go to for up to date information on the
teaching sessions and campuses where this course is usually offered.

What is this course about?


This course explores the science of epidemiology which is about understanding the distribution, patterns and determinants of health and wellbeing, and disease in populations. Knowledge gained from epidemiology is used to inform research, policy and practice decisions to protect and promote the health and wellbeing of the population. You will develop your knowledge about epidemiological concepts and study designs, and apply epidemiology skills to current and emerging public health issues.

How will this course be delivered?

Activity Hours Beginning Week Frequency
Blended learning
Learning materials – 2 hours of independent structured learning materials 2hrs Week 1 13 times
Tutorial/Workshop 1 – 2-hour workshop - on-campus 2hrs Week 1 13 times
Seminar – 1-hour seminars in Week 2 and Week 10 1hr Week 2 2 times

Course Topics

Introduction to epidemiological concepts

Measuring and interpreting disease occurrence and associations between exposures and disease

Epidemiological study designs, bias, confounding and concepts of causation

Appriasing and interpreting epidemiological literature

Applying epidemiological concepts to health surveillance and disease prevention activities

What level is this course?

200 Level (Developing)

Building on and expanding the scope of introductory knowledge and skills, developing breadth or depth and applying knowledge and skills in a new context. May require pre-requisites where discipline specific introductory knowledge or skills is necessary. Normally, undertaken in the second or third full-time year of an undergraduate programs.

What is the unit value of this course?

12 units

How does this course contribute to my learning?

Course Learning Outcomes On successful completion of this course, you should be able to... Graduate Qualities Mapping Completing these tasks successfully will contribute to you becoming... Professional Standard Mapping * International Union for Health Promotion and Education
1 Calculate and interpret epidemiologic measures of occurrence and association used to assess public health impact. Empowered
B.3, B.8, 6.3, 6.4, 9.4
2 Identify and critique epidemiological study designs. Creative and critical thinker
B.3, B.8, 6.4, 9.1
3 Appraise and communicate epidemiological evidence to inform health policy decision making. Creative and critical thinker
4.1, 4.2

* Competencies by Professional Body

International Union for Health Promotion and Education
B.3 The determinants of health and their implications for health promotion action
B.8 The evidence base and research methods, including qualitative and quantitative methods, required to inform and evaluate health promotion action
4.1 Use effective communication skills including written, verbal, non­verbal, and listening skills
4.2 Use information technology and other media to receive and disseminate health promotion information
6.3 Collect, review and appraise relevant data, information and literature to inform health promotion action
6.4 Identify the determinants of health which impact on health promotion action
9.1 Identify and use appropriate health promotion evaluation tools and research methods
9.4 Use research and evidence-based strategies to inform practice

Am I eligible to enrol in this course?

Refer to the UniSC Glossary of terms for definitions of “pre-requisites, co-requisites and anti-requisites”.


Not applicable


Not applicable


Not applicable

Specific assumed prior knowledge and skills (where applicable)

Not applicable

How am I going to be assessed?

Grading Scale

Standard Grading (GRD)

High Distinction (HD), Distinction (DN), Credit (CR), Pass (PS), Fail (FL).

Details of early feedback on progress

Weekly in-class practice activities will be used to provide you with early feedback to support your preparation for all tasks.

Assessment tasks

Delivery mode Task No. Assessment Product Individual or Group Weighting % What is the duration / length? When should I submit? Where should I submit it?
All 1 Artefact - Technical and Scientific Individual 20%
10 multiple choice; 5 short answer questions
Week 6 Online Submission
All 2 Artefact - Professional, and Written Piece Individual 40%
Written critique (completion of a template)
Week 10 Online Assignment Submission with plagiarism check
All 3 Artefact - Professional, and Written Piece Individual 40%
Written professional brief (completion of a template)
Week 13 Online Assignment Submission with plagiarism check
All - Assessment Task 1:Multiple choice and short answer questions
To apply your skills in epidemiology to deconstruct extracts, assess epidemiological research designs, perform calculations related to disease occurrence and measures of association, and identify foundational epidemiological concepts.
Product: Artefact - Technical and Scientific
Multiple choice and short answer questions related to the application of core epidemiological concepts. Further details on how to approach and complete the multiple choice and short answer questions will be available on Canvas.
No. Learning Outcome assessed
Application of epidemiological concepts, including the strengths and weaknesses of
different study designs.
1 2
Accuracy of routine epidemiological calculations.
Accuracy of interpretation of epidemiological data and study findings.
2 3
All - Assessment Task 2:Article critique
To apply your knowledge and skills in epidemiology to critique an epidemiological study published in the peer-reviewed literature.
Product: Artefact - Professional, and Written Piece
Individually, you will use the knowledge and skills gained throughout the course to critically assess an 
allocated published peer-reviewed epidemiological article. The critical appraisal checklist and template, as well as further details on how to approach and complete the article critique will be available on Canvas.
No. Learning Outcome assessed
Accuracy of the identification of the epidemiological characteristics of a study.
1 2
Application of epidemiological concepts to assess and interpret epidemiological studies including the effects of potential bias, confounding and error.
Quality of communication of the findings of an article critique.
All - Assessment Task 3:Policy brief
To demonstrate your knowledge and skills in professional communication of epidemiological findings to inform evidence-based public health approaches.
Product: Artefact - Professional, and Written Piece
Individually you will develop a written professional policy brief demonstrating your understanding of epidemiological concepts and evidence to ensure public heath action is based on the best available evidence. The written professional brief template and further details on how to approach and complete the policy brief will be available on Canvas.
No. Learning Outcome assessed
Application of epidemiological principles to develop the brief.
1 3
Integration of epidemiological concepts and data to develop the argument.
2 3
Relevance and integration of epidemiological research and data to support arguments presented.
Appropriateness of recommendations made.
Adherence to policy brief genre.

Directed study hours

A 12-unit course will have total of 150 learning hours which will include directed study hours (including online if required), self-directed learning and completion of assessable tasks. Student workload is calculated at 12.5 learning hours per one unit.

What resources do I need to undertake this course?

Please note: Course information, including specific information of recommended readings, learning activities, resources, weekly readings, etc. are available on the course Canvas site– Please log in as soon as possible.

Prescribed text(s) or course reader

Please note that you need to have regular access to the resource(s) listed below. Resources may be required or recommended.

Required? Author Year Title Edition Publisher
Required Penelope Webb, Chris Bain, Andrew Page 2019 Essential Epidemiology An Introduction for Students and Health Professionals 4 n/a

Specific requirements

Not applicable

How are risks managed in this course?

Health and safety risks for this course have been assessed as low. It is your responsibility to review course material, search online, discuss with lecturers and peers and understand the health and safety risks associated with your specific course of study and to familiarise yourself with the University’s general health and safety principles by reviewing the online induction training for students, and following the instructions of the University staff.

What administrative information is relevant to this course?

Assessment: Academic Integrity

Academic integrity is the ethical standard of university participation.  It ensures that students graduate as a result of proving they are competent in their discipline.  This is integral in maintaining the value of academic qualifications. Each industry has expectations and standards of the skills and knowledge within that discipline and these are reflected in assessment.

Academic integrity means that you do not engage in any activity that is considered to be academic fraud; including plagiarism, collusion or outsourcing any part of any assessment item to any other person.  You are expected to be honest and ethical by completing all work yourself and indicating in your work which ideas and information were developed by you and which were taken from others. You cannot provide your assessment work to others. You are also expected to provide evidence of wide and critical reading, usually by using appropriate academic references.

In order to minimise incidents of academic fraud, this course may require that some of its assessment tasks, when submitted to Canvas, are electronically checked through Turnitin.  This software allows for text comparisons to be made between your submitted assessment item and all other work to which Turnitin has access.

Assessment: Additional Requirements

Your eligibility for supplementary assessment in a course is dependent of the following conditions applying:

The final mark is in the percentage range 47% to 49.4%
The course is graded using the Standard Grading scale
You have not failed an assessment task in the course due to academic misconduct

Assessment: Submission penalties

Late submission of assessment tasks may be penalised at the following maximum rate: 
- 5% (of the assessment task's identified value) per day for the first two days from the date identified as the due date for the assessment task. 
- 10% (of the assessment task's identified value) for the third day - 20% (of the assessment task's identified value) for the fourth day and subsequent days up to and including seven days from the date identified as the due date for the assessment task. 
- A result of zero is awarded for an assessment task submitted after seven days from the date identified as the due date for the assessment task. Weekdays and weekends are included in the calculation of days late. To request an extension you must contact your course coordinator to negotiate an outcome.


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For help with course-specific advice, for example what information to include in your assessment, you should first contact your tutor, then your course coordinator, if needed.

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