The University of Newcastle, Australia
Available in 2021
Course code



10 units


6000 level

Course handbook


Introduces students to the basic concepts of epidemiology. Epidemiology is the study of the distribution and determinants of disease in specific populations and the application of this knowledge to the evaluation and control of health problems in the community.



  • Semester 1 - 2021
  • Semester 2 - 2021

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of the course students will be able to:

1. Recall common population health/social indicators and calculate common measures of disease/death frequency, and crude, specific and standardised rates.

2. Recall the range of sampling strategies and determine which is optimal to recruit subjects for a particular study.

3. Differentiate between the types of descriptive studies, and identify their importance and limitations.

4. Distinguish between association and causation, and identify the errors that can weaken the demonstration of a causative link.

5. Apply the Bradford Hill criteria of causation to an association to evaluate if this is likely to be causal.

6. Construct and use a 2X2 table to calculate and interpret measures of effect from cross-sectional studies, case control studies, cohort studies, and randomised controlled trials.

7. Interpret a forest plot, pooled effect size, and measures of heterogeneity and publication bias from a systematic review and meta-analysis.

8. Identify strengths and limitations related to the quality of a case control study, cohort study, randomised controlled trial and/or systematic review and meta-analysis.


Learning modules covered in this course include:

Module 1: Descriptive epidemiology

Module 2: Analytic observational studies

Module 3: Error

Module 4: Systematic review and meta-analysis

Assessment items

Quiz: Online Quiz 1 - 25%

Quiz: Online Quiz 2 - 25%

Quiz: Online Quiz 3 - 25%

Quiz: Online Quiz 4 - 25%

Contact hours


Online Activity

Online 2 hour(s) per Week for Full Term

Contact hours are an indication only.

Self-Directed Learning

Online 8 hour(s) per Week for Full Term

Contact hours are an indication only