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Unit information: Health protection: infectious disease epidemiology and control in 2021/22

Unit name Health protection: infectious disease epidemiology and control
Unit code BRMSM0003
Credit points 10
Level of study M/7
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 2 (weeks 13 - 24)
Unit director Dr. Christensen
Open unit status Not open




School/department Bristol Medical School
Faculty Faculty of Health Sciences


This unit aims to equip you with an understanding of the fundamental concepts in the epidemiology and control of infectious diseases. You will gain knowledge of infectious diseases of public health importance and how surveillance is critical for health protection. Through lectures and problem-based learning exercises you will learn methods for infectious disease control, including outbreak investigation, and understand the current and possible future threats in this area. You will learn about techniques for the analysis of infectious disease data, including statistical methods and mathematical modelling. You will be considering communicable diseases and their control in Europe and globally, as well as in the UK.

Intended learning outcomes

By the end of this unit students will be able to

  1. Describe key infectious disease epidemiological concepts and the epidemiology of diseases of public health significance
  2. Explain the principles, use and role of surveillance in health protection
  3. Describe methods of infectious disease control, critically evaluate vaccination strategies and explain how mathematical modelling can inform decision making
  4. Summarise the steps and management of outbreak investigations, appraise measures used for outbreak control and apply statistical and epidemiological methods to describe an outbreak and identify risk factors associated with illness

Teaching details

There will be 10 teaching weeks. Teaching will include learning activities set by the tutor including lectures (synchronous and asynchronous), small group work, discussions, individual tasks, and practical activities (face to face or online).

Directed and self-directed learning will include activities such as reading, accessing web-based supplementary materials, critical analysis, and completion of assessments.

Assessment Details

Student learning will be supported through the use of informal assessments built into teaching sessions and will include approaches such as the use of exercises, interactive quizzes/multiple choice questions, feedback from discussion and strategic questioning.

The unit is assessed by two pieces of coursework consisting of short answer style questions. These will cover problem-based questions, results interpretation, and/or critical appraisal. Coursework 1 contributes 30% of the unit mark and addresses ILOs 1-3. Coursework 2 contributes 70% of the unit mark and addresses ILOs 1-.4.

An overall score of 50% will be required to pass the unit.


If this unit has a Resource List, you will normally find a link to it in the Blackboard area for the unit. Sometimes there will be a separate link for each weekly topic.

If you are unable to access a list through Blackboard, you can also find it via the Resource Lists homepage. Search for the list by the unit name or code (e.g. BRMSM0003).