PBHL20003 - Epidemiology and Statistics

General Information

Unit Synopsis

This foundation subject introduces you to essential knowledge required in your career as clinician, community health worker, health service administrator or public health practitioner. It introduces epidemiology and statistics concepts and skills that are the cornerstone of public health and evidence-based policy. Epidemiology is the study of the distribution and determinants of health-related states or events in specified populations, and the application of this study to control of health conditions. It addresses the 5Ws: what, who, where, when and why of of health-related states (not just diseases!) in populations. We examine health states/events (what), people (who), place/s (where), time (when), and causes, risk factors, and modes of transmission (why/how). The unit provides a foundation for the analysis and interpretation of public health quantitative data and literature. You will learn essential statistical procedures to help understand the nature of disease incidence and prevalence, which forms the basis for public health practice and policy. Data and statistics related to the social determinants of health will be examined, with a focus on ethical principles related to Indigenous Data Sovereignty. You will be introduced to knowledge translation frameworks, and consider their utility in guiding the effective dissemination of epidemiological findings to guide policy and improve health outcomes. Developing these skills will support your future work, whether in clinical, public health, community or policy settings.


Level Postgraduate
Unit Level 8
Credit Points 6
Student Contribution Band SCA Band 2
Fraction of Full-Time Student Load 0.125
Pre-requisites or Co-requisites There are no pre-requisites for the unit.

Important note: Students enrolled in a subsequent unit who failed their pre-requisite unit, should drop the subsequent unit before the census date or within 10 working days of Fail grade notification. Students who do not drop the unit in this timeframe cannot later drop the unit without academic and financial liability. See details in the Assessment Policy and Procedure (Higher Education Coursework).

Class Timetable View Unit Timetable
Residential School No Residential School

Unit Availabilities from Term 2 - 2023

Term 1 - 2024 Profile

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 Postgraduate 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 Quiz(zes) 20%
2. Written Assessment 40%
3. Written Assessment 40%

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 Policy for more details of interim results and final grades

Past Exams

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Previous Feedback

Term 1 - 2023 : The overall satisfaction for students in the last offering of this course was 83.58% (`Agree` and `Strongly Agree` responses), based on a 27.63% 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: Unit coordinator reflection
(T1 2022) Separate tutorials for on-campus and off-shore/distance students
It is recommended to implement separate tutorials for on-campus and (Zoom-hosted) off-shore/distance students to better support student engagement and individual support.
Action Taken
Separate tutorials for on-campus and off-shore students implemented for T1 2023.
Source: SUTE
(T1 2022) Use more examples or elaboration
It is recommended to incorporate more real world public health-specific examples into the course content.
Action Taken
Ongoing review of course content, with strengthened public-health-specific examples in weekly activities and assessments.
Source: SUTE
(T1 2022) Useful feedback
In addition to existing feedback process, add drop-in sessions for students to review asssessment.
Action Taken
Drop-in zoom sesssions offered both at a group level, and also individual sessions for any student who did not pass.
Source: Unit Coordinator
Assessment structure
Recommended revision of the Assessment structure has been implemented to a) replace the current summative A1 with a formative quiz assessment including substantial feedback; and a structured report requirement for A3 (replacing the current literature review) to focus on current issues in Epidemiology and Statistics.
Action Taken
Source: Unit coordinator
Strengthened contextualisation of epidemiology and statistics within public health.
Recommend to increase class activity work to address this, in addition to existing course content.
Action Taken
Unit learning Outcomes

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

  1. Demonstrate a foundation level knowledge of epidemiology and statistics and their application in public health.
  2. Explain and apply the range of basic statistics essential in epidemiology to understand the patterns of the occurrence of disease, including prevalence and incidence and their use in public health contexts.
  3. Critically appraise epidemiological studies at a foundational level, demonstrating an ability to critique study designs, interpret study methods, results and conclusions.
  4. Distinguish social epidemiology from traditional epidemiology to understand and explain its contribution to public health practice by focusing on social determinants of health.
  5. Apply ethical principles related to Indigenous Data Sovereignty that reflects an awareness of the rights and different ways of knowing of First Nations Peoples when using, collecting, analysing and interpreting epidemiological data.
  6. Evaluate and interpret routinely used data in epidemiology and their relevance in the context of public health policy and practice.

Not applicable

Alignment of Assessment Tasks to Learning Outcomes
Assessment Tasks Learning Outcomes
1 2 3 4 5 6
1 - Online Quiz(zes)
2 - Written Assessment
3 - Written Assessment
Alignment of Graduate Attributes to Learning Outcomes
Advanced Level
Professional Level
Graduate Attributes Learning Outcomes
1 2 3 4 5 6
1 - Knowledge
2 - Communication
3 - Cognitive, technical and creative skills
4 - Research
5 - Self-management
6 - Ethical and Professional Responsibility
7 - Leadership
Alignment of Assessment Tasks to Graduate Attributes
Advanced Level
Professional Level
Assessment Tasks Graduate Attributes
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8