• Class Number 2407
  • Term Code 2930
  • Class Info
  • Unit Value 6 units
  • Mode of Delivery In Person
    • Dr Isabelle Ferru
    • Dr Isabelle Ferru
  • Class Dates
  • Class Start Date 25/02/2019
  • Class End Date 31/05/2019
  • Census Date 31/03/2019
  • Last Date to Enrol 04/03/2019
SELT Survey Results

This course explores the biological bases for human diseases and how they have affected individuals and communities. It explores biological, ecological, socio-political, cultural and economic aspects of infectious and lifestyle-associated diseases, along with strategies used for their control. The impact of disease on human populations will be considered, with emphasis on critical examination of the relative importance of modern medicine, public health, economic development and other factors. The role of scientific inquiry in the improvement of human health will be discussed. Themes include the effects of urbanisation and ecological changes on health, natural selection, the dynamic of host-pathogen interactions and the setting of research priorities. Principles are illustrated with case studies which may include parasitic diseases such as malaria, other infectious diseases including influenza, tuberculosis and AIDS, reproductive health, degenerative, lifestyle and immunological diseases such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes and asthma. In addition, this unit will provide students with a sense of how ecological, economic, cultural, social and political factors influence the patterns of health and disease. This course also provides the opportunity to undertake a research project, on a relevant topic, as a member of a small group.

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. Understand select human diseases in their biological, historical and social context.
  2. Describe and contrast important current human infectious diseases and chronic degenerative diseases.
  3. Appraise the impacts of important human diseases (both infectious and degenerative diseases) on human’s societies.
  4. Independently, and in a small group, research current topics in health and disease using published books, original papers, electronic resources and other materials.
  5. Work in small cooperative groups on a research project on a current topic in health and disease.
  6. Prepare reports and an oral presentation on a current topic in health and disease.
  7. Develop and apply critical and argumentative thinking to broad issues in health and disease.

Research-Led Teaching

As part of this course, you will undertake a small group literature research project including a group report and an individual literature research project on a topic of current interest in health and disease. In addition, you will present your findings to your peers during a seminar session. 

Field Trips

No field trip

Additional Course Costs

There is no additional cost to this course.

Examination Material or equipment

Final examination: written 2 hours examination on the whole course content, 50%.

A grade of pass (50%) (or higher) in both semester assessments (and all assessments must be handed in) and exam components is required to pass the course. If your combined mark for the semester assessments and exam is less than 50% but above 45%, you will be offered a supplementary exam. If your combined mark is below 45% you will fail (N) the course. To pass the supplementary exam, you must achieve a minimum of 50% in that examination.

Required Resources


Prescribed text: Nil

For most lecture topics, there are required readings that you are expected to do, for some others there are optional readings that you may like to do. The readings consist of scientific journal articles and reviews. You can find most of the readings under the reading link of the Wattle course site.

Staff Feedback

Students will be given feedback in the following forms in this course:

  • written form e.g. on assessments
  • verbal e.g. during class tutorials

Student Feedback

ANU is committed to the demonstration of educational excellence and regularly seeks feedback from students. Students are encouraged to offer feedback directly to their Course Convener or through their College and Course representatives (if applicable). The feedback given in these surveys is anonymous and provides the Colleges, University Education Committee and Academic Board with opportunities to recognise excellent teaching, and opportunities for improvement. The Surveys and Evaluation website provides more information on student surveys at ANU and reports on the feedback provided on ANU courses.

Other Information

Assessment will be based on:

-         Your knowledge and understanding of the material introduced in lectures and workshops.

-         The quality of your written work and oral presentation.

-         The quality of your group work.

-         Your attendance in the workshop sessions.

-         Evidence of effective research, critical thinking, careful argument and intellectual maturity in the work that you present for assessment.

Class Schedule

Week/Session Summary of Activities Assessment
1 Lectures: Introduction to the course and General Introduction Workshop: none None
2 Lectures: Discussing course's assignments and Concepts in Epidemiology Workshop: working on group project introduction None
3 Lectures: Human Impacts on Health and Diseases Workshop: working on group project None
4 Lectures: Plague and Smallpox Workshop: Finalise group introduction Group introduction due Friday 5pm in BTLC assignment box
5 Lectures: Tuberculosis and Malaria Workshop: working on individual abstract None
6 Lectures: AIDS Workshop: finalise individual abstract Individual Abstract due Friday via Turnitin 11pm
7 Lectures: Influenza and Health Transition Workshop: work on oral presentation None
8 Lectures: Corpulence and Obesity Workshop: work on oral presentation None
9 Lectures: Corpulence an Obesity and Diabetes Workshop: none but in your own time work on your oral presentation None
10 Lectures: Diabetes and Vascular Diseases Workshop: running oral presentations Oral Presentations
11 Lectures: Cancer Workshop: running oral presentations Oral Presentations
12 Lecture: exam preparation Workshop: none None

Assessment Summary

Assessment task Value Due Date Return of assessment Learning Outcomes
Group Project Introduction 15 % 22/03/2019 01/04/2019 4,5,6,7
Individual Abstract 15 % 05/04/2019 29/04/2019 4,5,6,7
Oral Presentation 20 % 17/05/2019 31/05/2019 4,5,6,7
End of Semester exam 50 % 06/06/2019 04/07/2019 1,2,3,4,5,

* If the Due Date and Return of Assessment date are blank, see the Assessment Tab for specific Assessment Task details


ANU has educational policies, procedures and guidelines, which are designed to ensure that staff and students are aware of the University’s academic standards, and implement them. Students are expected to have read the Academic Misconduct Rule before the commencement of their course. Other key policies and guidelines include:

Assessment Requirements

The ANU is using 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. For additional information regarding Turnitin please visit the ANU Online website. Students may choose not to submit assessment items through Turnitin. In this instance you will be required to submit, alongside the assessment item itself, hard copies of all references included in the assessment item.

Moderation of Assessment

Marks that are allocated during Semester are to be considered provisional until formalised by the College examiners meeting at the end of each Semester. If appropriate, some moderation of marks might be applied prior to final results being released.


Attendance to workshops is compulsory. Marks will be taken off the individual project when students are not attending a workshop session for no valid reason: 5 marks per session missed and, if 3 workshop sessions have not been attended, the course's requirements will not be met and will result in a NCN. It is extremely important for students to attend their workshop sessions as, when missing some, it not only affects one student but the other group members. If you have to miss a workshop session, you must warn Isabelle or your demonstrator and provide a genuine reason for not being present (i.e. medical certificate).


Final examination: written 2 hours examination on the whole course content, 50%.

Assessment Task 1

Value: 15 %
Due Date: 22/03/2019
Return of Assessment: 01/04/2019
Learning Outcomes: 4,5,6,7

Group Project Introduction

group introduction on the selected topic. Detail on this assessment will be delivered during our week 2 first lecture.

Assessment Task 2

Value: 15 %
Due Date: 05/04/2019
Return of Assessment: 29/04/2019
Learning Outcomes: 4,5,6,7

Individual Abstract

individual abstract on a selected aspect of the group’s topic. Detail on this assessment will be delivered during our week 2 first lecture

Assessment Task 3

Value: 20 %
Due Date: 17/05/2019
Return of Assessment: 31/05/2019
Learning Outcomes: 4,5,6,7

Oral Presentation

individual oral presentation on a selected aspect of the group’s topic. Detail on this assessment will be delivered during our week 2 first lecture.

Assessment Task 4

Value: 50 %
Due Date: 06/06/2019
Return of Assessment: 04/07/2019
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,3,4,5,

End of Semester exam

Final examination: written 2 hours examination on the whole course content, 50%.

A grade of pass (50%) (or higher) in both semester assessments (and all assessments must be handed in) and exam components is required to pass the course. If your combined mark for the semester assessments and exam is less than 50% but above 45%, you will be offered a supplementary exam. If your combined mark is below 45% you will fail (N) the course. To pass the supplementary exam, you must achieve a minimum of 50% in that examination.

Please check the ANU final Examination Timetable to confirm the date, time and location of the end of semester exam.

Academic Integrity

Academic integrity is a core part of our culture as a community of scholars. At its heart, academic integrity is about behaving ethically. This means that all members of the community commit to honest and responsible scholarly practice and to upholding these values with respect and fairness. The Australian National University commits to embedding the values of academic integrity in our teaching and learning. We ensure that all members of our community understand how to engage in academic work in ways that are consistent with, and actively support academic integrity. The ANU expects staff and students to uphold high standards of academic integrity and act ethically and honestly, to ensure the quality and value of the qualification that you will graduate with. The University has policies and procedures in place to promote academic integrity and manage academic misconduct. Visit the following Academic honesty & plagiarism website for more information about academic integrity and what the ANU considers academic misconduct. The ANU offers a number of services to assist students with their assignments, examinations, and other learning activities. The Academic Skills and Learning Centre offers a number of workshops and seminars that you may find useful for your studies.

Online Submission

You will be required to electronically sign a declaration as part of the submission of your assignment. Please keep a copy of the assignment for your records. Unless an exemption has been approved by the Associate Dean (Education) as submission must be through Turnitin.

Hardcopy Submission

A hard copy submission of the group project introduction will be asked. Hard copy submissions must utilise the Assignment Cover Sheet. Please keep a copy of tasks completed for your records.

Late Submission

Late submission of assessment tasks without an extension are penalised at the rate of 5% of the possible marks available per working day or part thereof. Late submission of assessment tasks is not accepted after 10 working days after the due date, or on or after the date specified in the course outline for the return of the assessment item. Late submission is not accepted for take-home examinations.

Referencing Requirements

Accepted academic practice for referencing sources that you use in presentations can be found via the links on the Wattle site, under the file named “ANU and College Policies, Program Information, Student Support Services and Assessment”. Alternatively, you can seek help through the Students Learning Development website.

Returning Assignments

Assignments will be available for collection from BTLC Office (except for the abstract as feedback will delivered via Turnitin), Room 102 Gould Building 116. The exact return date will be posted on Wattle. You will require to bring the University ID card when picking up the assignment.

Extensions and Penalties

Extensions and late submission of assessment pieces are covered by the Student Assessment (Coursework) Policy and Procedure. The Course Convener may grant extensions for assessment pieces that are not examinations or take-home examinations. If you need an extension, you must request an extension in writing on or before the due date. If you have documented and appropriate medical evidence that demonstrates you were not able to request an extension on or before the due date, you may be able to request it after the due date.

Resubmission of Assignments

Assignments cannot be re-submitted.

Privacy Notice

The ANU has made a number of third party, online, databases available for students to use. Use of each online database is conditional on student end users first agreeing to the database licensor’s terms of service and/or privacy policy. Students should read these carefully. In some cases student end users will be required to register an account with the database licensor and submit personal information, including their: first name; last name; ANU email address; and other information.
In cases where student end users are asked to submit ‘content’ to a database, such as an assignment or short answers, the database licensor may only use the student’s ‘content’ in accordance with the terms of service – including any (copyright) licence the student grants to the database licensor. Any personal information or content a student submits may be stored by the licensor, potentially offshore, and will be used to process the database service in accordance with the licensors terms of service and/or privacy policy.
If any student chooses not to agree to the database licensor’s terms of service or privacy policy, the student will not be able to access and use the database. In these circumstances students should contact their lecturer to enquire about alternative arrangements that are available.

Distribution of grades policy

Academic Quality Assurance Committee monitors the performance of students, including attrition, further study and employment rates and grade distribution, and College reports on quality assurance processes for assessment activities, including alignment with national and international disciplinary and interdisciplinary standards, as well as qualification type learning outcomes.

Since first semester 1994, ANU uses a grading scale for all courses. This grading scale is used by all academic areas of the University.

Support for students

The University offers students support through several different services. You may contact the services listed below directly or seek advice from your Course Convener, Student Administrators, or your College and Course representatives (if applicable).

Dr Isabelle Ferru

Research Interests

Parasitology and Medical and Health Sciences

Dr Isabelle Ferru

Tuesday 10:00 11:00
Dr Isabelle Ferru

Research Interests

Dr Isabelle Ferru

Tuesday 10:00 11:00

Responsible Officer: Registrar, Student Administration / Page Contact: Website Administrator / Frequently Asked Questions