Epidemiology and Biostatistics


Epidemiology is the study of the causes and distribution of disease and disability in human populations. It addresses issues such as: who is at risk of developing diabetes; the usefulness of a diagnostic or screening test for breast cancer; the effectiveness of drugs for lowering blood pressure; the harmful effects of smoking; the causes of cancer; future projections of the AIDS epidemic and many other health issues facing society today. The subject is underpinned by clinical science and by analyses of statistical information on patterns of behaviour and occurrence of disease in populations.

Areas of study

The Section of Epidemiology and Biostatistics conducts research in many areas including heart disease, injury, diabetes, diet, and contributes extensively to postgraduate programmes in public health. Epidemiology is the study of the occurrence of health-related events in populations, while biostatistics is the science of summarising and analysing health data. Together they have applications across public health, clinical practice and biomedical sciences.

You can study Epidemiology and Biostatistics in the following programmes:

What you will learn

Studying epidemiology and biostatistics will help you understand many health-related issues, eg, the environmental and genetic causes of disease; the effectiveness of treatments; the risk of developing disease; the usefulness of diagnostic or screening tests; projections of epidemics and the health service needs of populations.

Career opportunities

These courses are foundations for further study at masters or PhD level. Moreover, with the increasing demands for health professionals to generate and critique health information, epidemiology and biostatistics are becoming foundation skills for the whole health workforce.

More information

Epidemiology and Biostatistics at the School of Population Health