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HSYP8101 – Introduction to Epidemiology and Biostatistics

2020 – Session 1, Weekday attendance, North Ryde

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Update

Due to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, any references to assessment tasks and on-campus delivery may no longer be up-to-date on this page.

Students should consult iLearn for revised unit information.

Find out more about the Coronavirus (COVID-19) and potential impacts on staff and students

General Information

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Unit convenor and teaching staff Unit convenor and teaching staff Unit Convenor
Janaki Amin
Contact via janaki.amin@mq.edu.au
75 Talavera Rd
By appointment onl
Credit points Credit points
Prerequisites Prerequisites
Admission to MPH or MPH(Res)
Corequisites Corequisites
Co-badged status Co-badged status
Unit description Unit description

This unit introduces students to the skills of scientific inquiry and appraising evidence which are fundamental to public health research and practice. You will engage in integrated learning about reporting data, study design, data analysis and interpretation, and critical appraisal of research papers in public health. Learning activities will include lectures, tutorials, and online activities. By completing this unit, you will gain knowledge and skills which will enable you to locate, produce and appraise evidence in the field of public health.

Important Academic Dates

Information about important academic dates including deadlines for withdrawing from units are available at https://students.mq.edu.au/important-dates

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this unit, you will be able to:

  • ULO1: Identify and explain data commonly used to report on health at a population level
  • ULO2: Calculate and interpret the epidemiologic measures of occurrence and association in order to assess public health impact
  • ULO3: Characterise study designs used in public health and evaluate their strengths and limitations
  • ULO4: Critically appraise public health research papers using an epidemiological framework

Assessment Tasks

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Update

Assessment details are no longer provided here as a result of changes due to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

Students should consult iLearn for revised unit information.

Find out more about the Coronavirus (COVID-19) and potential impacts on staff and students

General Assessment Information

Information concerning Macquarie University's assessment policy is available at https://staff.mq.edu.au/work/strategy-planning-and-governance/university-policies-and-procedures/policies/assessment. Grade descriptors and other information concerning grading requirements are contained in Schedule 1 of the Macquarie University Assessment Policy.

To pass this unit, students must demonstrate sufficient evidence of achievement of the learning outcomes and attempt all assessment tasks.

Further details for each assessment task will be available on iLearn, including marking rubrics.

All final grades in the department of Health Systems and Populations are determined by a grading committee and are not the sole responsibility of the Unit Convenor.

Students will be awarded one of these grades plus a Standardised Numerical Grade (SNG). The SNG is not necessarily a summation of the individual assessment components. The final grade and SNG that are awarded reflect the corresponding grade descriptor in Schedule 1 of the Assessment Policy.


Extensions for Assessment tasks

Applications for assessment task extensions must be submitted via www.ask.mq.edu.au. For further details please refer to the Disruption to Studies Policy available at https://staff.mq.edu.au/work/strategy-planning-and-governance/university-policies-and-procedures/policies/disruption-to-studies.


Late Submission of Work

All assignments which are officially received after the due date, and where no extension has been granted by the course convenor or tutor, will incur a deduction of 5% for the first day including the actual day on which the work is received, and 5% for each subsequent day. Weekends and public holidays are included. Late penalty is capped at 50%. For example:

Due date


Days late


Raw mark

Final mark

Friday 14th

Saturday 15th





Friday 14th

Monday 17th





Friday 14th

Tuesday 25th


50% (capped)



Delivery and Resources

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Update

Any references to on-campus delivery below may no longer be relevant due to COVID-19.

Please check here for updated delivery information: https://ask.mq.edu.au/account/pub/display/unit_status

Unit Organisation

This is a ten credit point unit run over a 13 week session.  There are lectures, tutorials and full day workshops.  Further information is available via the HSYP8101 online Learning Management System (LMS) iLearn http://ilearn.mq.edu.au



All lectures and tutorials are scheduled in your individual timetable. In most cases lectures are recorded however, attendance is expected at both lectures and tutorials, as this is where the majority of learning occurs. Failure to attend may impact your final results. It is the responsibility of the student to contact their tutor by email to inform tutors if they are going to be absent. The timetable for classes can be found on the University web site at: http://www.timetables.mq.edu.au/.


Prescribed Textbooks 

Essential Epidemiology: An Introduction for Students and Health Professionals

3rd Revised Edition


Penny Webb, Queensland Institute of Medical Research

Chris Bain, University of Queensland

ISBN: 9781107529151

Copies will be held in library reserve.


The following book is recommended and available online through Library Leganto system:

Essential Medical Statistics


Betty R. Kirkwood MA MSc DIC, Hon MFPHM, FMedSci

Jonathan A.C. Sterne MA MSc PhD

Blackwell Publishing Ltd, 9600 Garsington Road, Oxford, OX4 2DQ, UK

First published 1988

Second edition 2003, 2  2006

ISBN 0–86542–871–9



The readings for each week will be listed in ilearn using the Leganto system. Leganto is a new reading list management system, which you can access through your iLearn unit. For further information to understand and navigate your unit reading lists in Leganto, check this guide:  http://libguides.mq.edu.au/leganto

Readings marked as 'required' are those that are essential to be completed for that week. Some readings may be included within a weeks readings that are marked as 'recommended' or 'secondary sources'. These are there for your recommended reading or for where we have sourced additional material that may be of interest to you. Please use these at your discretion.


Technology and equipment


Teaching rooms are equipped with state of art audio-visual and ICT equipment including iPads, internet connection, high quality video cameras and multiple LCD screens. 


To study optimally when off campus you will need to have access to a reliable internet connection to retrieve unit information & at times to submit assessment tasks via iLearn.

Policies and Procedures

Macquarie University policies and procedures are accessible from Policy Central (https://staff.mq.edu.au/work/strategy-planning-and-governance/university-policies-and-procedures/policy-central). Students should be aware of the following policies in particular with regard to Learning and Teaching:

Students seeking more policy resources can visit the Student Policy Gateway (https://students.mq.edu.au/support/study/student-policy-gateway). It is your one-stop-shop for the key policies you need to know about throughout your undergraduate student journey.

If you would like to see all the policies relevant to Learning and Teaching visit Policy Central (https://staff.mq.edu.au/work/strategy-planning-and-governance/university-policies-and-procedures/policy-central).

Student Code of Conduct

Macquarie University students have a responsibility to be familiar with the Student Code of Conduct: https://students.mq.edu.au/study/getting-started/student-conduct​


Results published on platform other than eStudent, (eg. iLearn, Coursera etc.) or released directly by your Unit Convenor, are not confirmed as they are subject to final approval by the University. Once approved, final results will be sent to your student email address and will be made available in eStudent. For more information visit ask.mq.edu.au or if you are a Global MBA student contact globalmba.support@mq.edu.au

Student Support

Macquarie University provides a range of support services for students. For details, visit http://students.mq.edu.au/support/

Learning Skills

Learning Skills (mq.edu.au/learningskills) provides academic writing resources and study strategies to help you improve your marks and take control of your study.

The Library provides online and face to face support to help you find and use relevant information resources. 

Student Enquiry Service

For all student enquiries, visit Student Connect at ask.mq.edu.au

If you are a Global MBA student contact globalmba.support@mq.edu.au

Equity Support

Students with a disability are encouraged to contact the Disability Service who can provide appropriate help with any issues that arise during their studies.

IT Help

For help with University computer systems and technology, visit http://www.mq.edu.au/about_us/offices_and_units/information_technology/help/

When using the University's IT, you must adhere to the Acceptable Use of IT Resources Policy. The policy applies to all who connect to the MQ network including students.