MPH Public Health (Web-based Learning)

Year of entry: 2022

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Course unit details:
Communicable Disease Control

Course unit fact file
Unit code POPH62051
Credit rating 15
Unit level FHEQ level 7 – master's degree or fourth year of an integrated master's degree
Teaching period(s) Semester 1
Offered by
Available as a free choice unit? No


This unit covers the key principles of communicable disease control. This unit has been designed to be relevant and interesting, to clinicians (including intercalating medical students), researchers and/or those currently in public health roles in all countries.

This course will explore the general principles of communicable disease control, so is applicable for students from both the UK and elsewhere. We will include essential sections on infectious disease, disease surveillance, and outbreak management. We will draw on examples of a broad range of important diseases, including TB, influenza, diarrhoeal disease and HIV/AIDS. In addition, certain themes will run throughout this unit including the importance of understanding evidence and the importance of application in your own context.

This is an interactive online course. Students must work through the online course material. Students are encouraged to use the Blackboard discussion boards to ask questions and check their understanding of the course material.


This unit is mandatory for the Communicable Disease Prevention and Control stream.


This unit aims for students to gain an understanding of the principles of communicable disease control and their application in a range of situations.

Learning outcomes

  • Demonstrate an understanding of the determinants, scope and control of infectious disease.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of surveillance as applied to infectious diseases.
  • Apply epidemiological principles to interpret communicable disease related evidence.


  • Students will explore the relationship between infectious disease agents, modes of transmission and hosts.
  • Students will explore surveillance systems at local, national and international levels
  • Students will investigate the principles of control measures and outbreak detection, monitoring and management.
  • Students will learn about a simple modelling framework for the transmission of infections to understand the dynamics of how infections spread through populations.
  • Infectious disease control programmes - here students will look at the steps involved in developing and evaluating programmes. The role of strategy will be assessed and how this is then translated into operational management. Case studies of key conditions will be used throughout including; malaria, influenza, diarrhoeal disease, HIV, TB and haemorrhagic fevers.

Teaching and learning methods

This course involves working through course notes provided online, linked references and other sources of information. The course notes include relevant case studies and are supported by videos, podcasts and webinars. This is an interactive online course. Students must work through the online course material. Students are encouraged to use the Blackboard discussion boards to ask questions and check their understanding of the course material.

Employability skills

Analytical skills
Students will apply epidemiological skills to communicable disease control.
Project management
Students will interpret communicable disease related evidence, develop and evaluate control programmes, and examine the role of national and international organisations in managing disease control.

Assessment methods

Assessment task


Weighting within Unit

Written assignment or equivalent

3000 words or equivalent



Feedback methods

Students will be provided with personalised feedback for their mid-term and final summative assignments, within 15 working days for mid-term assignments and 20 working days for final submission.

Recommended reading


Study hours

Independent study hours
Independent study 150

Teaching staff

Staff member Role
Anjana Sahu Unit coordinator

Additional notes

For further information, please watch this video from our Course Unit Leader.

If you have any questions about the content of this unit, please contact the course unit leader, Anjana Sahu, via email on If you have any other queries, please contact the PGT programme administrators via email on

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