PUBH 7028 Surveillance and Disaster Planning

Credit Points 10

Legacy Code 400847

Coordinator Richard Thomas Opens in new window

Description As the world responds to climate change and increased globalisation, the human population is becoming increasingly vulnerable to natural and human disasters. This subject equips students with skills in disaster preparedness and public health surveillance. It addresses the psychosocial and mental health aspects of disaster management, the systems of disaster response and how these aspects are relevant across the all-hazard approach to Prevention, Preparation, Response and Recovery (PPRR). Using current evidence and understanding of this field, students will gain knowledge, skills and experience in leadership and management across the PPRR spectrum and the public health, clinical and other coordination in terms of impact and outcome. Australian requirements and systems in relation to surveillance and disaster planning will be analysed as will international and Australian roles in the region.

School Health Sciences

Discipline Public Health, Not Elsewhere Classified.

Student Contribution Band HECS Band 2 10cp

Check your fees via the Fees page.

Level Postgraduate Coursework Level 7 subject


Students must be enrolled in a postgraduate program

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this subject, students should be able to:

  1. Analyse environmental, social, cultural, and animal welfare factors in public health disaster planning.
  2. Appraise responses to disasters to provide evidence-based recommendations for surveillance and response improvements.
  3. Interpret data to establish the epidemiology of disaster and identify public health needs of communities for disaster planning.
  4. Formulate responses to potential or occurring public health emergencies to minimise the impacts to affected communities and build community resilience.

Subject Content

1.Basic concepts and classification of disasters, including terminology
2.Psychosocial aspects of disasters focusing particularly on vulnerable groups
3.Risk and protective factors in disasters and their relevance for prevention and intervention at population and individual level
4.Disaster management frameworks and response systems
5.The mental health effects of disasters
6.Management principles and strategies to support affected individuals and groups during disasters
7.Psychosocial management strategies in disasters
8.Public health and refugee health in disasters
9.The key public health concepts, issues and management in a disaster context
10.Epidemiology and surveillance in disasters


The following table summarises the standard assessment tasks for this subject. Please note this is a guide only. Assessment tasks are regularly updated, where there is a difference your Learning Guide takes precedence.

Type Length Percent Threshold Individual/Group Task
Essay 1,000 words 20 N Individual
Professional Task 1,500 words 40 N Individual
Professional Task 1,500 words 40 N Individual

Prescribed Texts

  • Clements, B. & Casani, J. (2016). Disasters and Public Health. Butterworth-Heinemann.
  • Clements, B. & Casani, J. (2016). Disasters and Public Health (2nd Edition). Butterworth-Heinemann

Teaching Periods

Spring (2024)



Subject Contact Richard Thomas Opens in new window

View timetable Opens in new window

Parramatta - Victoria Rd


Subject Contact Richard Thomas Opens in new window

View timetable Opens in new window