PATH 477/SPPH 401

PATH 477/SPPH 401 Basic Epidemiology for Infection Control (3 credits)

Course Outline:

PATH 477/SPPH 401 is designed to explore fundamental concepts in epidemiology, biostatistics for epidemiology, study design and analysis and outbreak investigation as it applies to institutional infection control. The entire course will be delivered online in a problem-based learning format. The course contents are, including, but not limited to,

  • Introduction to Epidemiologic Thinking and Measurement
  • Study Designs
  • Statistical Language for Surveillance and Outbreak Investigation
  • Surveillance of Nosocomial Infections
  • Outbreak Investigation
  • Infection Control Continuum – Acute Care to the Community
  • Critical Evaluation of the Medical Literature


Students who complete the course will:

  • have a basic understanding of epidemiological and biostatistical principles;
  • be able to apply this knowledge to analysis of common infection control problems;
  • be able to communicate their ideas in a written format;
  • become adept at retrieving and assimilating information from a variety of electronic and text sources;
  • learn to solve problems as a group.


Assessment will be accomplished at the end of each on-line lesson by an evaluation of the quality of the answers presented to the instructors and the level of participation by the student. The course grade is based on participation in the group discussion of the lesson material and the case assignments.

  • In-group discussion / participation = 30%
  • Case assignments = 70%


Readings including textbooks will be provided through the course web site, and you are not required to purchase any textbooks as these are available through the UBC Library. If you wish to purchase a textbook, you can purchase either:

Lautenbach, E., Malani, P., N, Woeltje, K., F, Han, J., H, Shuman, E., K, Marschall, J. (2018). Practical healthcare epidemiology (Fourth ed.). New York, NY;Cambridge, United Kingdom; Cambridge University Press.


Celentano, D. D., Szklo, M. (2019). Gordis epidemiology (6th ed.). Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier.


PATH 427 (for PATH 477) or instructor permission (for SPPH 401).


Offered in Winter Term 1 (September-December); 13 weeks.

Technical Requirements for the Course:

This is an online course. Click here for more information about Canvas.


The course outline is subject to change. The official outline for this course can be found within the course site.