• Offered by National Ctre for Epidemiology & Population Health
  • ANU College ANU Joint Colleges of Science
  • Classification Specialist
  • Course subject Population Health
  • Academic career PGRD
  • Course convener
    • Dr Emily Fearnley
  • Mode of delivery In Person
  • Offered in First Semester 2016
    See Future Offerings
  • Do you have an interest in how outbreaks of communicable diseases are investigated and controlled?

  • Do you currently work or want to work in the area of outbreak investigation?

  • Do you want to learn from experienced practitioners in the field?

This course is designed to equip participants with the theoretical knowledge and practical skills required to undertake investigation and control of outbreaks in the field.  Through the course, the emphasis will be on applying  knowledge and concepts to scenarios based on real-life outbreaks.  Teaching will be through case studies, lectures and small group tutorials.

Topics will include:

  • The fundamental steps in investigating an outbreak

  • Study designs used in outbreak investigations

  • Analysis of data from outbreak investigations using Epi Info

  • Specific considerations of investigating outbreaks of foodborne, waterborne and respiratory disease

  • Social and ecological factors in outbreak emergence and control

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion, students will have the knowledge and skills to:

On satisfying the requirements of this course, students will have the knowledge and skills to:

1.      Devise and execute the necessary steps in a simple outbreak investigation, and be able to support a more complex one

2.      Compile a line listing, formulate a case definition and draw an epi curve

3.      Design and appraise analytical studies used in outbreak investigations

4.      Analyse and interpret outbreak investigation data using Epi Info

5.      Communicate outbreak investigation findings to a  scientific audience

6.      Identify appropriate outbreak control measures for important diseases at a local, national and international level

7.      Describe key pieces of public health legislation and guidelines relevant to outbreak investigation

8.      Recognise indicators of a potential disease outbreak

Other Information

Students enrolled in this course are required to have completed an undergraduate degree and Masters level courses on Epidemiology and/or Biostatistics from a recognised School of Public Health (either in Australia or internationally), or completion of Fundamentals of Epidemiology and Fundamentals of Biostatistics short courses held at the ANU. Students wishing to do these subjects, but do not have these prerequisites should contact the convener.

Indicative Assessment

Assessment will be through a combination of written assignments (70%), online assessment (20%), and participation (10%). 

The ANU uses Turnitin to enhance student citation and referencing techniques, and to assess assignment submissions as a component of the University's approach to managing Academic Integrity. While the use of Turnitin is not mandatory, the ANU highly recommends Turnitin is used by both teaching staff and students. For additional information regarding Turnitin please visit the ANU Online website.


Attendance and participation at a four day intensive program (3-6 March, approx 32 hours ), participation in  online teaching sessions over the semester plus additional time spent on pre-reading, self-directed study and completing assessment requirements as per a 6-unit course load.

Requisite and Incompatibility

You are not able to enrol in this course if you have completed POPH8916

You will need to contact the National Ctre for Epidemiology & Population Health to request a permission code to enrol in this course.

Prescribed Texts

Michael Gregg (ed). Field Epidemiology. 3rd Edition. Oxford University Press, New York 2008. ISBN: 978-0-19-531380-2


Tuition fees are for the academic year indicated at the top of the page.  

If you are a domestic graduate coursework or international student you will be required to pay tuition fees. Tuition fees are indexed annually. Further information for domestic and international students about tuition and other fees can be found at Fees.

Student Contribution Band:
Unit value:
6 units

If you are an undergraduate student and have been offered a Commonwealth supported place, your fees are set by the Australian Government for each course. At ANU 1 EFTSL is 48 units (normally 8 x 6-unit courses). You can find your student contribution amount for each course at Fees.  Where there is a unit range displayed for this course, not all unit options below may be available.

6.00 0.12500
Domestic fee paying students
Year Fee
2016 $3894
International fee paying students
Year Fee
2016 $5190
Note: Please note that fee information is for current year only.

Offerings, Dates and Class Summary Links

ANU utilises MyTimetable to enable students to view the timetable for their enrolled courses, browse, then self-allocate to small teaching activities / tutorials so they can better plan their time. Find out more on the Timetable webpage.

The list of offerings for future years is indicative only.
Class summaries, if available, can be accessed by clicking on the View link for the relevant class number.

First Semester

Class number Class start date Last day to enrol Census date Class end date Mode Of Delivery Class Summary
3405 15 Feb 2016 26 Feb 2016 31 Mar 2016 27 May 2016 In Person N/A

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