• Griffith University logo

Plagues, Pestilence and Pandemics: Are You Ready?

Explore the current and emerging threat of global health pandemics and how we can respond to them effectively.

19,183 enrolled on this course

Plagues, Pestilence and Pandemics: Are You Ready?
  • Duration

    2 weeks
  • Weekly study

    3 hours
  • Digital upgrade


Learn how to contain disease and fight future pandemics

Plagues may seem like an occurrence of the past, but outbreaks of infectious disease exist all over the world today. This online course will look at the current and emerging threat of global health pandemics and our response to them.

You’ll explore the science of infection and the spread of infectious diseases, identifying how microorganisms spread and manifest in the body. You’ll discover the challenges that re-emerging epidemics and bacterial resistance pose to disease prevention in diverse communities. And you’ll determine how to contain disease effectively and prevent future pandemics.

This course is part of our Study with Australia collection, with free upgrades and digital certificates supported by the Australian Trade and Investment Commission until 31st July, 2020. Explore more courses from leading Australian education providers.

Download video: standard or HD

Skip to 0 minutes and 11 seconds Humans, infection, disease. The interaction between humans and infectious disease is prominent in the history of our species. In the Middle Ages, the bubonic plague killed 1/3 of the world’s population, wiping out villages and towns. In 1918, influenza infected 1/3 of the world’s population, killing nearly 50 million people. In the 20th century, polio paralysed hundreds of thousands of children every year. Humans contribute to the spread of and exposure to infectious diseases across the world through travel, deforestation, agricultural practises, population growth and movement, and disputes. This has brought us global threats such as SARS, H1N1, malaria, MERS, and Ebola. Until recently, antibiotics were the magic bullet for bacterial infections.

Skip to 1 minute and 15 seconds However, anti-microbial resistance threatens our ability to treat an ever increasing range of infectious diseases.

Skip to 1 minute and 24 seconds [MONITORS BEEPING]

Skip to 1 minute and 28 seconds The drugs just aren’t working. Humans don’t exist in isolation from our environment, and there really is only one health. Human health is interconnected to the health of animals and the environment. In this course, we look at the current and emerging threats of infectious diseases and our response to them. Griffith University is a leader in infection prevention and control education. Our expert educators are affiliated with international bodies, such as the World Health Organisation. So join us, and together we will explore how you can be better prepared for plagues, pestilence, and pandemics, and make a difference to global health.

What topics will you cover?

  • The science of infection and disease and the distinction between the two. Not all infections cause disease and not all diseases may be due to infection.
  • Microorganisms: how they spread, and how they manifest in the body to cause disease.
  • Emerging and re-emerging infectious diseases: emerging infections are those that have newly appeared in a population whereas re-emerging infections are those that existed in the past (SARS, EBOLA) but have reappeared.
  • A discussion of bacterial resistance, how bacteria evolve to become resistant to things that are meant to kill them.
  • Contemporary communicable diseases and healthcare-associated infections at a global, regional, national and local level.
  • Outbreak responses, identifying and breaking the chain of infection through good hygiene and standard precautions.
  • You have a role to play: practical containment and prevention strategies.

When would you like to start?

  • Date to be announced

Add to Wishlist to be emailed when new dates are announced

Learning on this course

You can take this self-guided course and learn at your own pace. On every step of the course you can meet other learners, share your ideas and join in with active discussions in the comments.

What will you achieve?

By the end of the course, you‘ll be able to...

  • Explain the science of infection and infectious diseases
  • Describe emerging and re-emerging diseases
  • Identify the various challenges in the prevention of infectious diseases in diverse healthcare and community settings
  • Discuss the basic principles of effective containment and prevention of infectious diseases

Who is the course for?

This course is designed for healthcare workers, particularly student healthcare workers, student nurses, policy makers and dentists.

Who will you learn with?

An internationally respected clinician, educator and researcher in infection prevention and control. Experience includes GOARN, WHO, AusAID, ADB, SPC. Faculty Griffith University Graduate IPC program.

A/Professor (Dr) Thea van de Mortel is a RN and scientist who teaches microbiology and infection prevention and control in the Griffith University Graduate Infection Prevention and Control program.

Who developed the course?

Griffith University

Griffith University was created to be a different kind of university—challenging conventions, responding to trends and pioneering solutions through innovative teaching and research.

  • Established

  • Location

    Queensland, Australia
  • World ranking

    Top 210Source: Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2021

What's included?

Griffith University are offering everyone who joins this course a free digital upgrade, so that you can experience the full benefits of studying online for free. This means that you get:

  • Unlimited access to this course
  • Includes any articles, videos, peer reviews and quizzes
  • A PDF Certificate of Achievement to prove your success when you’re eligible
  • Learning on FutureLearn

    Your learning, your rules

    • Courses are split into weeks, activities, and steps, but you can complete them as quickly or slowly as you like
    • Learn through a mix of bite-sized videos, long- and short-form articles, audio, and practical activities
    • Stay motivated by using the Progress page to keep track of your step completion and assessment scores

    Join a global classroom

    • Experience the power of social learning, and get inspired by an international network of learners
    • Share ideas with your peers and course educators on every step of the course
    • Join the conversation by reading, @ing, liking, bookmarking, and replying to comments from others

    Map your progress

    • As you work through the course, use notifications and the Progress page to guide your learning
    • Whenever you’re ready, mark each step as complete, you’re in control
    • Complete 90% of course steps and all of the assessments to earn your certificate

    Want to know more about learning on FutureLearn? Using FutureLearn

    Learner reviews

    Learner reviews cannot be loaded due to your cookie settings. Please and refresh the page to view this content.

    Do you know someone who'd love this course? Tell them about it...

    You can use the hashtag #FLpandemicready to talk about this course on social media.