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Infectious Diseases Modelling (POPH90271)

Graduate courseworkPoints: 12.5On Campus (Parkville)

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Year of offer2019
Subject levelGraduate coursework
Subject codePOPH90271
Semester 2
FeesSubject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date

Faced with the rising cost of vaccines and increasing drug resistance, public health decision makers increasingly rely on epidemiological models of infectious disease transmission to predict the impact, and define optimal implementation of, intervention strategies. Such considerations are particularly critical in resource-constrained settings.

This subject introduces students to the concepts of infectious diseases modeling required to interpret modeling papers relevant to the public health context. By considering real world examples of the use of models to support practice, they will learn to distinguish between different types of modeling frameworks, and understand their relevance to alternative questions and settings. Building on their strengths in infectious diseases epidemiology, students will develop confidence in assessing whether model frameworks incorporate all relevant knowledge and are ‘fit for purpose’ to support decision making.

Intended learning outcomes

On completion of this subject, students will be able to:

  • Describe the basic concepts underlying the susceptible-infectious-recovered modeling paradigm;
  • Identify data sources of relevance to inform model structure and parameters;
  • Differentiate between alternative modeling frameworks and approaches, and identify which are most relevant to specific infectious disease policy questions;
  • Understand the concepts of uncertainty and sensitivity in model outputs;
  • Provide summary reports of modeling papers for a non-expert audience, such as public health policy makers or the public;
  • Critically appraise modeling outputs, and their relevance to public health decision making for infectious disease control and surveillance.

Generic skills

After completing this subject, students will develop skills in:

  • Finding, evaluating and using diverse sources of evidence;
  • Critical thinking and analysis;
  • Problem-solving;
  • Written and verbal communication;
  • Decision making.

Last updated: 24 August 2019