Introduction to Epidemiology
Introduction to Epidemiology will provide you with insights into the basic terminology and principles of epidemiology. These range from the history and design of epidemiological research to the different measures of frequency and association. We will also address the principles of bias and confounding, thereby enabling you to familiarize yourself with all key epidemiological concepts.
This is one of the online medical courses offered through the MSc Epidemiology program of the UMC Utrecht and Utrecht University, and as such is highly relevant for anyone participating in a medical education or working in healthcare. It will also provide you with a good basis for further research into specialized areas of epidemiology.
Introduction to Epidemiology is part of MSc Epidemiology Postgraduate Online; the online MSc program in Epidemiology offered by Utrecht University, University Medical Center Utrecht, MSc Epidemiology and Elevate Health
By the end of the course, you should be able to:
- Use and explain the basic terminology and principles used in epidemiology
- State important historical developments in health sciences in general, and epidemiology in particular
In particular, you should be able to:
- Distinguish between, and apply, the different measures of frequency, association and impact that are commonly used in epidemiological research
- Calculate these measures using simple numerical examples
- Tell apart and explain the different aspects of epidemiological research (causal and descriptive).
- Tell apart and state the (dis)advantages of the different study designs used in epidemiological research: cohort, case-control and cross-sectional studies.
- Read and interpret (simple) epidemiological scientific papers, and recognize in these papers which study design was used
- Apply the correct measures of frequency and association belonging to the different epidemiological study designs
- Explain the meaning of the terms ‘bias’ and ‘confounding’ and distinguish between them
- What is epidemiology?
- Measuring diseases
- Design of data collection
- Cohort studies
- Case-control studies
- Cross-sectional studies
- Bias and confounding
The whole course will take place online, apart from the final exam. The following learning methods will be used:
- Web lectures and screen casts
- Group discussions
Sunday before start date - introduce yourself
Friday – hand in individual assignment I and II
Sunday – complete Learning Unit 1 and 2
Tuesday – peer feedback individual assignment I and II
Friday – hand in individual assignment III
Sunday – complete Learning Unit 3 and 4
Tuesday – review and provide feedback on individual assignment III
Sunday – complete Learning Unit 5
Monday – final exam
This Introduction to Epidemiology course includes a closed-book exam that consists of multiple-choice and essay questions, which is the only part of the course that is not online.
Examination January 2017 edition
The exam will take place on 20 February 2017 in the morning (CET). The exact time for this exam and the date of the re-examination will be announced as soon as possible.
Examination August 2017 edition
The exam will take place on 22 September 2017. The re-examination will take place on 8 December 2017. The exact time will be announced later.
If you are able and willing to take the exam in Utrecht, the Netherlands, we are available to proctor the exam for you without any costs. If you have to take the exam from a different location, you need a proctor. This proctor may ask you to pay for their expenses. Please read more about proctoring on our specific webpage.
The exam is not compulsory. However, if you want to receive the Course Certificate and the credits, it is obligatory to take the exam. You are allowed to redo the exam once if you score a minimum grade of 4/10.
As this is a university course, it is covered by academic accreditation. Upon successful completion of this course, you will receive a recognized certificate from Utrecht University and the UMC Utrecht.
To enroll in this course, you need:
- An academic (university) level of thinking
- Sufficient proficiency in English reading and writing
Compulsory study materials
‘Epidemiology – An Introduction’ by K.J. Rothman, Oxford University Press, 2nd edition, June 2012, ISBN-13: 978-0199754557.
As this is an online course, you do need access to an internet connection in order to be able to follow lectures, complete assignments and communicate with fellow participants. (The only part of the course that is not online is the examination.) This course is offered through the MSc Epidemiology program developed by the UMC Utrecht and Utrecht University.
The entire course is also available face-to-face. For more information about this option, please visit the MSc Epidemiology website.
“I would recommend this course to anyone who is involved in research because epidemiology is a broad subject that is linked to many fields of study.” Whitney Freeze