Communicable Disease Control

Globally, emerging and re-emerging infectious diseases are major causes of morbidity and mortality, socioeconomic disruption and economic instability. Expert knowledge and input are essential for governments to effectively anticipate, control or reduce the impact of future epidemic infections. This fully online course aims to provide students with an understanding of the burden of communicable diseases of public health significance in Australia, as well as the biology, epidemiology, surveillance and control of those communicable diseases.

By the end of this unit, the student will have the theoretical background to take up a position as a member of a Communicable Diseases section of a Commonwealth or State Health Department or Public Health Unit. The subject aims to produce graduates who have the knowledge and understanding to work effectively in communicable disease control, under supervision, in a regional public health unit or a state (provincial) or national health agency. For clinical health practitioners, the subject aims to provide knowledge of the role and relevance of public health in day-to-day clinical practice, including the value of working in close contact with local public health units.

Learning objectives

  1. Understand and be able to compile data on the global and national burden of communicable diseases
  2. Understand the biology, transmission, epidemiology and classification of communicable diseases
  3. Understand the purpose of surveillance for communicable diseases and be able to outline an effective surveillance system for a specified communicable disease
  4. Be able to recognize an outbreak of communicable disease in a defined population and outline a plan for its investigation and management
  5. Be able to outline an effective control plan in a defined population for specific examples of the communicable diseases, as covered by each of modules 2 to 6


Six modules will be covered:

  1. Overview & introduction to communicable diseases
  2. Respiratory tract diseases
  3. Food-borne, water-borne and vector-borne diseases
  4. Vaccine preventable diseases
  5. Sexually transmitted, HIV & blood-borne diseases
  6. Emerging infectious diseases, zoonotic diseases & bioterrorism