3 x 2.5-hour independent studies weekly
2 x 1-hour on-line exercises weekly
1 x 1-hour on-line tutorial weekly
Enrolment not permitted
PHCA9527 has been successfully completed
Assumed knowledge
Basic numeracy skills.
Assignment(s); Test(s)
Topic description

This topic is intended to meet the needs of those researchers wishing to gain knowledge of the study of epidemiology, casual inference, study design and a range of quantitative measures commonly used in Epidemiological research. It is also designed to assist in meeting the core competencies for the Australasian Faculty of Public Health Medicine (AFPHM) for clinicians wishing to become Public Health Physicians.

Educational aims

This topic aims to:

  • Provide Public Health researchers with the key concepts used in the study of Epidemiology including cause and effect
  • Teach the key measures of association used in epidemiology
  • Cover the key aspects of the main types of epidemiological study design
  • Understand the concepts of bias, confounding and effect modification, and the various possible ways that might be used to control for them
  • Assist in meeting the entrance requirements for Domain 3 (Information, Research and Evaluation) of the Australasian Faculty of Public Health Medicine (AFPHM) core competencies for clinicians wishing to become Public Health Physicians.
Expected learning outcomes
On completion of this topic you will be expected to be able to:

  1. Understand the key principles and study of modern epidemiology, including the concept of casual inference
  2. Understand when and how to calculate measures of frequency (prevalence, incidence, and incidence rates) and common measures of association (absolute risk, relative risk, odds ratios and number needed to treat) used in epidemiology
  3. Recognise the main types of study design used in epidemiolog, their limitations, the rationale behind their use and when each might be employed. Describe the characteristics of cross-sectional studies, case-control studies, cohort studies and meta-analyses. Be familiar with the Cochrane Collaboration and the PRISMA statement for meta-analyses
  4. Explain the purpose of standardisation and when it is used. Understand how to perform direct and indirect standardisation, when each would be used and why
  5. Understand the rationale of screening and diagnostic tests used to assess the presence of disease. Use appropriate measures to assess the accuracy of screening tests including sensitivity, specificity, positive predictive value and negative predictive value
  6. Be able to describe the purpose and types of public health surveillance, identify indicators that may be used for evaluating public health programs and discuss the role of epidemiological data in informing public health policy