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 the 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.
• What is epidemiology?
• Measuring diseases
• Design of data collection
• Cohort studies
• Case-control studies
• Cross-sectional studies
• Bias and confounding
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
This Introduction to Epidemiology course includes a closed-book exam that consists of multiple-choice and essay questions. The exams are, by default, online using online proctoring. If you wish to take the exam on-site in Utrecht, the Netherlands, this is possible as well.
Exam edition February 2023
The exam will take place on February 24th, 2023 from 14:15 – 16:15 CET. The re-examination will take place on April 14th, 2023 from 14:15 – 16:15 CET. Note: these times might be subject to change. The exact time and place will be announced as soon as possible in the learning environment and any changes announced there will overrule the information here.
Exam edition September 2023
The exam will take place on September 22th, 2023 from 14:15 – 16:15 CET. The re-examination will take place on November 10th, 2023 from 14:15 – 16:15 CET. Note: these times might be subject to change. The exact time and place will be announced as soon as possible in the learning environment and any changes announced there will overrule the information here.
Exam edition February 2024
The exam will take place on February 23th, 2024 from 14:15 – 16:15 CET. The re-examination will take place on April 12th, 2024 from 14:15 – 16:15 CET. Note: these times might be subject to change. The exact time and place will be announced as soon as possible in the learning environment and any changes announced there will overrule the information here.
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 4.0.
It might be that, due to a force majeure situation, you cannot be present during the first exam moment.
• MSc Epidemiology Postgraduate students must then, preferably prior to the first exam option, ask the academic counsellor for permission to be absent. Please note that the academic counsellor can ask for some form of proof of your absence (e.g. in case of illness) to establish if you are applicable for authorized absence. Jaco de Fockert-Koefoed, MSc is the academic counsellor you need to turn to through firstname.lastname@example.org.
• All other participants should contact the MSc Epidemiology Office instead, through MSc-Epidemiology@umcutrecht.nl.
In short, as of now, it is no longer possible to skip the first exam option and -automatically- enroll in the second (re-sit) exam. Unauthorized absence during the first exam period results in no longer being able to finish the course that college year.
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.