School of Public Health and Community Medicine

Tropical Disease Control (PHCM9784)

image - Tropical Disease Control

This is a PLuS Alliance course offered through UNSW. Students at UNSW, Arizona State University and Kings College London who are in a PLuS Alliance program can enrol into this course.


This course aims to equip candidates with an insight into the realities and challenges of the prevention and control of tropical diseases, and the promotion of health in developing, remote and resource poor countries, as well as a wide range of appropriate strategies to manage such challenges. The course will be based on real case scenarios and examples, presented by a wide range of public health expertise with direct practical experience.

Credit points

This course is an elective course that can be taken by students in all stages of the Master of Public Health, Master of International Public Health and Master of Health Management programs. It is also a core course of the Master of Infectious Diseases Intelligence program. This course comprises 6 units of credit towards the total required for completion of the study program. It can be taken by students doing other programs at UNSW or students studying at other institutions, on application.

Mode of study

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

Course Outcomes

By the end of this course you should be able to:

  • Identify the main types of tropical diseases common in developing countries
  • Analyse the causation and transmission mechanisms of tropical diseases and conditions
  • Critically analyse the key issues and challenges in the control of tropical diseases in resource poor settings
  • Assist in the development and implementation of prevention and control strategies for tropical diseases in resource poor settings
Learning and teaching rationale

This course will introduce you to tropical diseases control in resource poor countries and the application for evidence based control measures in resource poor settings. This course will involve input from international experts in the field but you will also be expected to play an active part in sessions and group assignments. The course is based on a model of adult learning where all students are responsible for actively contributing to the course and drawing on and sharing their depth of knowledge on their own health contexts.

Teaching strategies

Internal students: The format of the course consists of 12 weekly two-hour face-to-face lecture presentations given by tropical disease experts with experience in international settings. Each week the lecture will be followed by a one-hour face-to-face informal tutorial discussion with the presenter who has given that week's lecture.

External students: The format of the course consists of 12 weekly two-hour lecture presentations given by tropical disease experts with experience in international settings. These lectures will be recorded using Echo360 and will be made available on Moodle for external students to access within a few hours following the lecture. Online discussions will take the place of the tutorials that occur weekly for internal students.


In this course, you will not be assessed on your ability to merely recite facts or reproduce information from other sources. Instead, you will be assessed on your ability to critically evaluate information and to demonstrate a depth of understanding on the topic.

Assessment 1 - Summary 2 Pages
Weighting: 35%

Assessment 2 - Essay
Weighting: 65%
Length: 2500 words

Learning resources

Learning resources for this course consist of the following:

  1. Course notes and readings
  2. Lectures slides (posted in Moodle)
  3. Lecture recordings (available in Moodle)
Recommended resources
Background reading material related to the lectures can be accessed through the course reading list available on Moodle.