ASSIGNMENT 3/ Epidemiology of Non-Communicable Diseases (401174)

This assignment is based on the learning objectives and concepts as described in the Unit Learning Guide. There are a total of 100 marks and this assignment will contribute 60% towards the total assessment for this subject. The marking matrix that will be used for this assignment is also attached.

This assignment is limited to 4 pages. See specific instructions below relating to the page formatting of Assignment 1. Assignments that do not comply with these specifications will not be marked.

Your assignment should be typed, with adequate space left between questions. Assignments should be submitted via vUWS. Be as concise as possible in your answers, and use the number of marks allocated to each question as a guide for how much to write.

Please note this is an individual exercise.
Late assignments will not be accepted without prior approval.


Complete a research protocol to address a non-communicable disease topic of your choice. Your research plan should be structured using the following headings:

1. Aims and objectives

2. Background and rationale

3. Research plan
Study design and rationale for its choice
Outcome measure
Exposure measure or Intervention
Study population/Participants, including sample selection and sample size
Analytic strategy to evaluate impact, and proposed statistical approach

5. Anticipated outcomes and significance

6. Proposed timeline

You may choose any topic area and geographic context you wish, as long as you can justify the public health importance of the health outcome as part of your proposal. You may choose to continue working on the same (or similar) topic area that you addressed in Assignments 1 and/or 2, but this is not imperative. In order to keep the scope and scale of the proposal realistic, you need to ensure that the project can be completed within 3 years.


This assignment is limited to 4 pages based on the formatting below. As indicated above, there are page limits for this Assignment. Please note, this does not include a reference list, which can be appended separately to your final document.

Please ensure that your assignment complies with the following formatting specifications. Assignments that do not comply with these specifications will not be marked.

Format: A single Word document file

Page Limits: As indicated for each question (see questions above)

Paper Size: Standard A4 (210 x 297mm)

Margins: All margins at least 2.0cm.

Font At least 12 point and Times New Roman only

Line spacing: Must be set to single or greater.

Character spacing: Spacing must be set to normal. Scale must be set to 100%.

Web Links: Links to additional information on any website must not be included in your assignment

Graphics: Graphics (pictures, diagrams etc) may be included in the response if contained within the page limits provided.

Tables: Tabulated information may be included if contained within the page limits provided.

References: Harvard or Vancouver style. Attach references as a separate page at the end of your Assignment. Reference list is not included within page limits


Not for dissemination Not publishable, but could be an internal report Publishable with substantial revisions after re-review Publishable with some significant revisions Publishable after minor revisions
Criteria F (0-49) P (50-64) C (65-74) D (75-84) HD (85-100)
Structure and Organisation

10% Assignment is unstructured or over structured with mostly lists. Information is poorly organized and does not flow logically. Assignment has some structure. Some information is poorly organized and at times does not flow logically.
Assignment structure is generally good. Most information is well organized and generally logical. Assignment has a good structure. Information is well organized and logical. Assignment is very well structured. Flow of the assignment is logical.
Similar to published work.
evidence and argument

60% Does not address the question.
Crucial omissions in information. Serious misinterpretation of data. Serious errors in deduction. Argument is weak or non-existent. No original observations. Some parts of the question are addressed.
Some major omissions in information and misinterpretation of data. Some errors in deduction. Some cohesion of argument. Few original observations.
Addresses the question.
Some minor omissions in information. Data is mostly interpreted correctly. Looks at strengths and weaknesses of data /information.
Argument is cohesive and backed up with some of the evidence provided. Some original observations.
Addresses key aspects of the question. Few omissions in information. Data is interpreted well. Argument is strong and backed up with some relevant evidence. Well synthesized and coherent argument, backed up with the evidence provided. Some novel observations and original thinking. Thoroughly addresses all aspects of the question. All relevant information is included in the assignment. Data is well analysed and interpreted correctly. Extensive critical appraisal of evidence and argument. Strong, cohesive argument backed up with evidence. Original and novel observations.
Style and Format

20% Large number of grammatical, spelling and/or punctuation errors. Assignment contains English construction that is incomprehensible.
A number of grammatical, spelling and/or punctuation errors. Many problems with English construction.
Some grammatical, spelling and/or punctuation errors. English is sound. Assignment is well written. Some minor grammatical, spelling and/or punctuation errors. Good use of English language. Assignment is cohesively written. Clear format. Very few grammatical, spelling or punctuation errors. Excellent use of English language.
Format is of publication standard.
Sources and References
10% Very few sources and references used. References come from only one source (eg websites, textbooks). Personal anecdotes without critique. Incomplete acknowledgement of work of others (plagiarism). Referencing style is very poor. A small number of sources and references used. References come from a limited number of sources. Some sources are not acknowledged. Referencing style is at times poor. A moderate number of sources and references used. Some variety in the type of references used, especially articles from peer-reviewed journals.
Sources are acknowledged. Referencing style is sound. A number of sources and references used. References come from a variety of sources. Sources are acknowledged and good use of referencing style. A large number of sources and references.
A large variety of references are used, including websites, articles, government reports, textbooks, etc.
Personal anecdotes subject to careful critique.
All sources are acknowledged and well referenced.

Mark out of 100:
Mark out of 60:

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