School of Public Health and Community Medicine

Outbreak Investigation (PHCM9731)

image - Outbreak Investigation


The focus of this course is on understanding disease outbreaks and the application of methods for their investigation and control in resource limited and developed settings. The course explores a number of outbreaks from around the world in case studies, lectures, discussion forums, webinars and readings to teach principles of outbreak detection, verification, investigation, communication and control. You will learn about outbreak data analysis and interpretation, outbreaks in vulnerable populations as well as the role of the laboratory. The Infectious Diseases Intelligence course takes the concepts taught in this course to a more advanced level, and should be taken together with Outbreak Investigation by students interested in a career in epidemic response.

Credit points

This course is an elective course in the Master of Health Management, Master of Public Health, Master of International Public Health and Master of Infectious Diseases Intelligence programs (and associated dual degrees) comprising six units of credit towards the total required for completion of the study program.

Mode of study

External (Distance) and Internal (Face-to-Face) classes on campus.

Course aim

This course aims to give you the skills to rigorously investigate and control infectious diseases outbreaks.

Course Outcomes
At the conclusion of this course you should be able to:
  • Recognise the role of disease surveillance in outbreak detection and investigation.
  • Describe best practice principles of outbreak investigations in diverse global settings.
  • Determine prevention and control measures for an outbreak response.
  • Analyse outbreak data to inform decision making.
  • Develop outbreak communications materials for various stakeholder audiences including health professionals and the general public.

Assessment Task 1 - Case Studies
Weighting: 20%

Assessment Task 2 - Quiz
Weighting: 16%

Assessment Task 3 - Written tasks
Weighting: 30%

Assessment Task 4 - Written tasks
Weighting: 30%

Assessment Task 5 - Questions on readings
Weighting: 4%

Reading and resources

Learning resources for this course are found in Moodle and include:

  • Readings (links)
  • Lectures slides (downloadable)
  • Video lectures (embedded)
  • Case studies (embedded)
  • Supplementary resources such as videos, etc.