• Offered by Nat Centre for Epidemiology and Population Health
  • ANU College ANU Joint Colleges of Science
  • Course subject Population Health
  • Areas of interest Public Health
  • Academic career PGRD
  • Course convener
    • Dr Amy Parry
  • Mode of delivery In Person
  • Offered in Second Semester 2024
    See Future Offerings
  • STEM Course

Public 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 online quizzes and activities.

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 quiz (20) [LO 1,2,3,4,6]
  2. Assignment 1 (30) [LO 1,4]
  3. Assignment 2 (50) [LO 2,4,5]

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:

  • Weekly online lectures and face-to-face tutorials (2-3 hours per week).
  • Approximately 94 hours of self directed 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

No specific inherent requirements have been identified for this course.

Requisite and Incompatibility

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

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 recommended 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 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 Research Design and Methods


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
2024 $4440
International fee paying students
Year Fee
2024 $6360
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 N/A

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