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Unit information: Non-communicable Disease Epidemiology in 2021/22

Unit name Non-communicable Disease Epidemiology
Unit code BRMSM0012
Credit points 20
Level of study M/7
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 1 (weeks 1 - 12)
Unit director Dr. Theresa Redaniel
Open unit status Not open




School/department Bristol Medical School
Faculty Faculty of Health Sciences

Description including Unit Aims

The aims of this unit are to:

  • Give students an appreciation of the distribution and trends of non-communicable diseases in the UK and globally
  • Convey an understanding of the risk factors for non-communicable diseases, and appropriate control and prevention strategies
  • Enable students to describe major challenges in studying non-communicable diseases

The unit will cover both risk-factor epidemiology (e.g. social epidemiology, life course epidemiology), and outcome-based epidemiology (including cardiovascular disease, cancer and mental health).

Intended Learning Outcomes

By the end of this unit, students should be able to:

  1. Analyse the distribution and trends in non-communicable diseases in the UK and globally
  2. Investigate distribution, trends and risk factors for common non-communicable diseases
  3. Apply appropriate research designs to study the distribution, trends and risk factors for non-communicable diseases
  4. Apply appropriate study designs to evaluate interventions to prevent non-communicable diseases
  5. Critically appraise published studies of non-communicable disease epidemiology

Teaching Information

Teaching will include learning activities set by the tutor including lectures, small group work, discussions, individual tasks, and practical activities.

Directed and self-directed learning will include activities such as reading, accessing web-based supplementary materials, critical analysis and completion of assessments

Assessment Information

Formative assessment: Informal questioning, quizzes and group exercises in lectures, tutorials and homework. These form an assessment for learning and will not contribute to the final unit mark. Students will be given the opportunity to work through a progress test comprised of short answer questions to prepare students for the summative assessment.

Summative assessment: The unit is assessed by two pieces of coursework:

  • Presentation and short written report highlighting the distribution, trends and risk factors for a non-communicable disease, and an evaluation of the interventions to control the disease (ILOs 1-5; 50% of total mark).
  • Coursework (50%): Individual assignment consisting of short answer style questions based on problem solving or interpretation of hypothetical scenarios and/or real data from published studies and/or elements of critical appraisal (ILOs 1-5; 50% of total mark;)

An average mark of 50% across the two assessments is required to pass the unit.


If this unit has a Resource List, you will normally find a link to it in the Blackboard area for the unit. Sometimes there will be a separate link for each weekly topic.

If you are unable to access a list through Blackboard, you can also find it via the Resource Lists homepage. Search for the list by the unit name or code (e.g. BRMSM0012).

How much time the unit requires
Each credit equates to 10 hours of total student input. For example a 20 credit unit will take you 200 hours of study to complete. Your total learning time is made up of contact time, directed learning tasks, independent learning and assessment activity.

See the Faculty workload statement relating to this unit for more information.

The Board of Examiners will consider all cases where students have failed or not completed the assessments required for credit. The Board considers each student's outcomes across all the units which contribute to each year's programme of study. If you have self-certificated your absence from an assessment, you will normally be required to complete it the next time it runs (this is usually in the next assessment period).
The Board of Examiners will take into account any extenuating circumstances and operates within the Regulations and Code of Practice for Taught Programmes.