• 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 Kerri Viney
  • Mode of delivery In Person
  • Co-taught Course
  • Offered in First Semester 2016
    See Future Offerings

Surveillance is the collection, analysis and interpretation of health or related data for public health action. This course aims to teach students about public health surveillance in four domains: establishment, maintenance, reporting, and evaluation of surveillance systems.

Topics will include:

  1. Introduction to surveillance: Why do we have it?; Different types and uses
  2. Legislation and guidelines for public health surveillance
  3. Surveillance in Australia
  4. Establishment of surveillance and how it can be enhanced surveillance
  5. Analysis and reviewing outputs
  6. Communicating results
  7. Evaluating surveillance systems
  8. Surveillance in special situations and populations, such as: humanitarian crises, public health emergencies, and mass gatherings.

The course will rely on understanding these concepts and skills by applying them to real-life surveillance settings managed by the course staff and invited guest lecturers. Teaching will be through case studies, lectures and small group tutorials.

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.         Describe why public health authorities conduct surveillance.

2.         Identify the main types of surveillance and their uses in Australia.

3.         Describe how surveillance is managed and systems are established.

4.         Analyze surveillance data and communicate results.

5.         Formulate a plan to evaluate a surveillance system.

6.         Describe the use of surveillance in special situations, such as public health emergencies.

Indicative Assessment

Course participation (10%)

Short assignments x 2 (30% and 40%)

In class assessment (20%)

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 (approx 32 hours) and additional face-to-face and on-line teaching sessions throughout the semester. Students will be required to spend time on pre-reading, self-directed study and completing the 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 POPH8917

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

Prescribed Texts

Lee LM, Teutsch SM, Thacker SB, St Louis ME. Principles and Practice of Public Health Surveillance (3rd Ed.) Oxford University Press Ltd, New York, 2010

Assumed Knowledge

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/or 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.

POPH8100 Fundamentals of Epidemiology
POPH8101 Biostatistics in Population Health
POPH8313 Analysis of public health data
POPH8316 Outbreak
POPH8315 Methods in Applied Epidemiological Research


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
3397 15 Feb 2016 26 Feb 2016 31 Mar 2016 27 May 2016 In Person N/A

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