Module Catalogue 2024/25

HSC8058 : Applications of Epidemiology to Public Health

HSC8058 : Applications of Epidemiology to Public Health

  • Offered for Year: 2024/25
  • Module Leader(s): Dr Richard McNally
  • Lecturer: Mr Graham Kirkwood, Dr Sarah Sowden, Dr Malcolm Moffat, Dr Dexter Canoy
  • Owning School: Population Health Sciences
  • Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus

Your programme is made up of credits, the total differs on programme to programme.

Semester 2 Credit Value: 10
ECTS Credits: 5.0
European Credit Transfer System

Modules you must have done previously to study this module

Pre Requisite Comment



Modules you need to take at the same time

Co Requisite Comment



To understand ways of using routine information and applying epidemiological principles to practical public health problems. Content includes routine data sources, interpreting health information, uses of population and health related data for public health and health service planning, screening and basic principles of demography.

Outline Of Syllabus

Health Surveillance; Health Information; Demography; Disease Registers; Health Needs Assessment; Screening.

Learning Outcomes

Intended Knowledge Outcomes

By the end of this module students will be able to:

• Explain the basic principles of demography, and how population, census and vital statistics are produced and used to inform public health practice, including the use of life table analysis
• List the key sources of health and health service routine data and, for each, give examples of potential uses and discuss limitations
• Describe the principles of screening and critically appraise its role in health improvement
• Critically appraise current approaches to the use of information to identify public
health priorities, plan population level programmes and evaluate the health impact of interventions at a population level

Intended Skill Outcomes

By the end of this module students will be able to:
• Access, present and interpret health and population routine data
• Critically appraise the value and limitations of such data
• Calculate and interpret parameters of screening tests and evaluate a screening programme
• Use epidemiological methods to address practical problems in public health
• Design a needs assessment project

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion161:0016:00Essay
Structured Guided LearningLecture materials13:003:00Non-synchronous online pre-recorded materials
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesSmall group teaching43:0012:00Present in person: Interactive sessions including exercises, discussion and group work
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study691:0069:00N/A
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

Teaching includes a mixture of presentation of information, to enable students to meet knowledge outcomes, together with interactive practical exercises and discussion. Small group teaching includes direct dialogue between students and provides the opportunity to discuss in depth the sources and uses of epidemiological data, thus embedding and reinforcing the knowledge outcomes and facilitating achievement of the intended skills outcomes. Most of the students have significant experience of working in the health service, and the interactive nature of the learning methods enables them to discuss their experience and to relate that to the concepts and ideas being taught, thus aiding their knowledge and understanding of the subject area.

Reading Lists

Assessment Methods

The format of resits will be determined by the Board of Examiners

Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Essay2M1002,000 words maximum
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

The assignment will assess data interpretation, knowledge and understanding will be assessed. Skills in accessing routine data, and in formulating and addressing health needs assessment problems will also be assessed by the assignment.


Past Exam Papers

General Notes


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The information contained within the Module Catalogue relates to the 2024 academic year.

In accordance with University Terms and Conditions, the University makes all reasonable efforts to deliver the modules as described.

Modules may be amended on an annual basis to take account of changing staff expertise, developments in the discipline, the requirements of external bodies and partners, and student feedback. Module information for the 2025/26 entry will be published here in early-April 2025. Queries about information in the Module Catalogue should in the first instance be addressed to your School Office.