PBHL12001 - Communicable Diseases and Public Health

General Information

Unit Synopsis

The prevention of disease is recognised internationally as being of fundamental importance to quality of life and is a core skillset for any public health professional. This unit covers the important public health topic of communicable diseases and their control. Students will learn the value of participation by engaging in team activities and tutorial activities. They will learn about prevention by exploring the aetiologies, risk factors, epidemiological trends and underlying issues relating to a wide range of communicable diseases. Students will critique the public health literature and public health campaigns to discover the importance of partnerships in the effective control of communicable diseases. Topics will include the aetiology, transmission, epidemiological trends and control strategies relating to a range of communicable diseases, including enteric, vaccine preventable and sexually transmitted infections. The impact of communicable disease upon individual and population health will be explored, with particular emphasis on the indigenous community and global context. Students will develop skills in disease surveillance and/or the prevention or management of disease outbreaks. Residential school will be compulsory for Environmental Health students but optional for Health Promotion and other students.


Level Undergraduate
Unit Level 2
Credit Points 6
Student Contribution Band 2
Fraction of Full-Time Student Load 0.125
Pre-requisites or Co-requisites

48 credit points

Class Timetable View Unit Timetable
Residential School Compulsory Residential School
View Unit Residential School

Unit Availabilities from Term 1 - 2018

Term 1 - 2018 Profile
Mixed Mode
Term 1 - 2019 Profile
Mixed Mode

Attendance Requirements

All on-campus students are expected to attend scheduled classes – in some units, these classes are identified as a mandatory (pass/fail) component and attendance is compulsory. International students, on a student visa, must maintain a full time study load and meet both attendance and academic progress requirements in each study period (satisfactory attendance for International students is defined as maintaining at least an 80% attendance record).

Assessment Overview

Recommended Student Time Commitment

Each 6-credit Undergraduate unit at CQUniversity requires an overall time commitment of an average of 12.5 hours of study per week, making a total of 150 hours for the unit.

Assessment Tasks

Assessment Task Weighting
1. Online Test 15%
2. Online Test 15%
3. Online Test 15%
4. Written Assessment 55%

This is a graded unit: your overall grade will be calculated from the marks or grades for each assessment task, based on the relative weightings shown in the table above. You must obtain an overall mark for the unit of at least 50%, or an overall grade of ‘pass’ in order to pass the unit. If any ‘pass/fail’ tasks are shown in the table above they must also be completed successfully (‘pass’ grade). You must also meet any minimum mark requirements specified for a particular assessment task, as detailed in the ‘assessment task’ section (note that in some instances, the minimum mark for a task may be greater than 50%).

Consult the University’s Grades and Results Procedures for more details of interim results and final grades

Past Exams

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Previous Feedback

Term 1 - 2018 : The overall satisfaction for students in the last offering of this course was 4.5 (on a 5 point Likert scale), based on a 59.09% response rate.

Feedback, Recommendations and Responses

Every unit is reviewed for enhancement each year. At the most recent review, the following staff and student feedback items were identified and recommendations were made.

Source: Discussion and reflection by teaching staff
Quiz weightings could be reduced
More discussion about this to determine specifics.
Action Taken
After more discussion, the current weightings were considered appropriate and have not been changed.
Source: Unit evaluation
Residential School was the main topic discussed in the Unit evaluation. Responses were overwhelmingly positive however a number were tempered by suggesting that it would have been good to get out of the classroom and some activities could have been delivered via Zoom.
* Incorporate site visit to Water Treatment Plant in 2019 to support disease outbreak investigation activity. * Consider delivering sessions on epidemiological statistics via Zoom prior to residential school with only a short refresher face to face.
Action Taken
Source: Unit evaluation and personal observation
IT problems during residential school
Prior to the next use of the space, some work needs to be undertaken to ensure the facilities are working correctly (particularly the monitors on the student tables).
Action Taken
Unit learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this unit, you will be able to:

  1. Describe risk factors and aetiology for a range of communicable diseases important to public health.
  2. Explain the impact of communicable diseases in the context of individual and population health.
  3. Identify and analyse primary, secondary and tertiary approaches for the prevention and control of communicable diseases.
  4. Evaluate the social and cultural impact of notifiable diseases.
  5. Explain the methods of measurement, monitoring, prioritisation and surveillance of communicable disease and how they are used to safeguard public health.

The learning outcomes of this unit relate to the enHealth Skills and Knowledge Matrix:

Part 1- all generic attributes

Part 2- underpinning skills and knowledge in the areas of

  • Science
    • basic human anatomy and physiology related to identifying disease causation and exposure pathways
    • microorganisms of significance for human health
    • transmission mechanisms and likely carriers
    • infective dose levels
  • Public & Environmental Health Concepts
    • The points of impact to influence environmental health determinants and related methods of impact
  • Research methods
    • Effective design and implementation of studies, policies and programs to protect public and environmental health and minimise risks

Part 3- Applied Skills and Knowledge

  • Prevention and control of notifiable and communicable conditions.

Alignment of Assessment Tasks to Learning Outcomes
Assessment Tasks Learning Outcomes
1 2 3 4 5
1 - Online Test
2 - Online Test
3 - Online Test
4 - Written Assessment
Alignment of Graduate Attributes to Learning Outcomes
Introductory Level
Intermediate Level
Graduate Level
Graduate Attributes Learning Outcomes
1 2 3 4 5
1 - Communication
2 - Problem Solving
3 - Critical Thinking
4 - Information Literacy
6 - Information Technology Competence
7 - Cross Cultural Competence
8 - Ethical practice
Alignment of Assessment Tasks to Graduate Attributes
Introductory Level
Intermediate Level
Graduate Level
Assessment Tasks Graduate Attributes
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9
1 - Online Test
2 - Online Test
3 - Online Test
4 - Written Assessment