• Offered by Nat Centre for Epidemiology and Population Health
  • ANU College ANU Joint Colleges of Science
  • Classification Specialist
  • Course subject Population Health

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:

  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

  1. Online assessment (20) [LO null]
  2. Assignment 1 (30) [LO null]
  3. Assignment 2 (50) [LO null]

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The course is delivered face to face only.

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

•    Weekly face to face lectures and tutorials (2-3 hours per week face-to-face component).

•    Self study which will include preparation for assignments.

Students are expected to actively participate and contribute towards discussions based on the lectures via the online discussion forum and in the tutorials.

Inherent Requirements

To be determined.

Requisite and Incompatibility

You are not able to enrol in this course if you have completed POPH8917

You will need to contact the Nat Centre for Epidemiology and 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.  

Commonwealth Support (CSP) Students
If you 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). More information about your student contribution amount for each course at Fees

Student Contribution Band:
Unit value:
6 units

If you are a domestic graduate coursework student with a Domestic Tuition Fee (DTF) place or international student you will be required to pay course tuition fees (see below). Course tuition fees are indexed annually. Further information for domestic and international students about tuition and other fees can be found 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
2023 $4320
International fee paying students
Year Fee
2023 $6180
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.

Second Semester

Class number Class start date Last day to enrol Census date Class end date Mode Of Delivery Class Summary
8601 22 Jul 2024 29 Jul 2024 31 Aug 2024 25 Oct 2024 In Person View

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