• Offered by Research School of Population Health
  • ANU College ANU Joint Colleges of Science
  • Course subject Population Health
  • Areas of interest Population Studies, Public Health, Health
  • Academic career UGRD
  • Course convener
    • Dr Richard Burns
  • Mode of delivery In Person
  • Offered in Second Semester 2020
    See Future Offerings

All activities that form part of this course will be delivered remotely in Sem 2 2020.

The course will help students gain a broad understanding of the overarching principles of population health, and the role of the discipline in improving health and reducing health inequities. This course will provoke interest in undergraduates around population health and will introduce the subject to students interested in pursuing a career path in public health at the graduate level. It will also lead to an appreciation of population health within the context of other health sciences, thus broadening the foundation for students in other cognate disciplines. This course therefore covers community assessment, health systems in Australia, point of care data collection, preventive strategies, and population level health interventions.

Learning Outcomes

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

  1. Define and explain basic principles and concepts of epidemiology.
  2. Calculate and interpret rudimentary measures of risk.
  3. Describe basic epidemiologic study designs and explain the advantages and disadvantages of each design to identify cause and effect relationships between exposures and health outcomes.
  4. Judge the quality of evidence in primary research from the epidemiologic literature.
  5. Critically evaluate population level interventions in action to a problem/scenario that aims to prevent future disease, potential epidemics, reduce mortality or lead to health gains.
  6. Evaluate the scientific basis for policy recommendations to a major public health issue and develop and propose a policy recommendation to that major public health issue within an Australian context.

Indicative Assessment

  1. Tutorial Oral Presentation (10) [LO 4,5]
  2. Mid-Semester Online Quiz (25) [LO 1,2,3]
  3. End-of-Semester Exam (25) [LO 1,4,5]
  4. Written Assignment – A literature review of a public health initiative in action (2000 words) (40) [LO 1,3,4,5,6]

In response to COVID-19: Please note that Semester 2 Class Summary information (available under the classes tab) is as up to date as possible. Changes to Class Summaries not captured by this publication will be available to enrolled students via Wattle. 

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.


The expected workload will consist of approximately 130 hours throughout the semester including:

  • Face-to face component which may consist of 1 x 2 hour seminar, 1 x 1 hour tutorial plus 1 hour of recorded online lecture material per week.
  • Approximately 82 hours of self-study which will include preparation for lectures, presentations and other assessment tasks.

Inherent Requirements

To be determined

Requisite and Incompatibility

To enrol in this course you must have completed 72 units towards a degree program

Prescribed Texts


Preliminary Reading

1. Cibula DA, Novick LF, Morrow CB, Sutphen SM. Community health assessment. Am J
Prev Med. 2003 May;24(4 Suppl):118-23. PubMed PMID: 12744991.
2. Shmueli, Amir, and Elizabeth Savage. "Private and public patients in public hospitals in Australia." Health policy 115.2 (2014): 189-195.
3. Boxall, Anne-Marie. "The future of Medicare: what's in store?." Australian Health Review 38.2 (2014): 123-124.
4. Lofgren, Hans. "The Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme and the shifting paradigm of welfare policy." Australian Health Review 21.2 (1998): 111-123.
5. Miller, Megge, et al. "Evaluation of Australia's National Notifiable Disease Surveillance System." (2004): 311.
6. Aung, Eindra, Chalapati Rao, and Sue Walker. "Teaching cause-of-death certification: lessons from international experience." Postgraduate medical journal 86.1013 (2010): 143-152.
7. Patterson, C., and L. W. Chambers. Preventive health care. The Lancet 345.8965 (1995): 1611-1615.
8. Beaton, Angela. Prevention of cardiovascular disease, diabetes and chronic kidney disease. Chapter 3: Population-level prevention initiatives and interventions. aihw.gov.au 11 Dec 2009


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
2020 $4200
International fee paying students
Year Fee
2020 $6000
Note: Please note that fee information is for current year only.

Offerings, Dates and Class Summary Links

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.

Second Semester

Class number Class start date Last day to enrol Census date Class end date Mode Of Delivery Class Summary
8886 27 Jul 2020 03 Aug 2020 31 Aug 2020 30 Oct 2020 In Person View

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