Introduction to Statistics

Our Introduction to Statistics course will provide you with a basic understanding of statistics. Geared towards people studying and working in the health domain, the course will enable you to interpret research data, and to explain and use different types of variables.

Drs. C.L.J.J. (Cas) Kruitwagen
Lecturer, Utrecht University
  • 26 Sep - 14 Oct 2022
  • Academic Certificate
  • 1.5 EC
  • Online
  • English
  • Drs. C.L.J.J. Kruijtwagen
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Inschrijving sluit op 18/09/2023 171 dagen tot einde inschrijving
Course description

The aim of the course is to bring all students, irrespective of their prior knowledge, up to the necessary level to enable them to participate in other statistical courses. In order to achieve this aim, you will be tested on your statistical knowledge at the start of the course. The results will give you an insight into your own statistical strengths and weaknesses, enabling us to provide you with specific advice on how best to participate in the course.

Introduction to Statistics 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


Learning objectives

By the end of the Introduction to Statistics course, you will be able to:

• Explain and use the different types of variables: quantitative (numerical) vs. qualitative (non-numerical) with their corresponding sub-types (continuous, discrete, ordinal, non-ordinal)
• Summarize data in a graphical and numerical way, using measures of location and dispersion
In particular, you will be able to:
• Interpret data that is presented both graphically and numerically
• Calculate the different types of frequency measures: ‘absolute’, ‘relative’ and ‘cumulative’ frequency
• Calculate (standard) normal probabilities for, and apply standardization formula to, normally distributed data
• Calculate binomial probabilities
• Apply the principle of statistical inference from sample to population
• Perform simple statistical analysis in the statistical packages SPSS and R

Course topics

• Discrete outcomes
• Binomial probability distribution
• Continuous outcomes
• The normal probability distribution
• Central Limit Theorem
• Statistical inference (estimation and hypothesis testing)


This Introduction to Statistics course includes a multiple-choice exam, which is the only part of the course that is not online.

Exam edition February 2022
The exam will take place on March 18th, 2022 from 14:15 – 16:15 CET. The re-examination will take place on April 29th, 2022 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 2022
The exam will take place on October 14th, 2022 from 14:15 – 16:15 CEST. The re-examination will take place on November 25th, 2022 from 14:15 – 16:15 CEST. 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 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.

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. The re-examination date will be announced as soon as possible after the initial examination.

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
• All other participants should contact the MSc Epidemiology Office instead, through

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.

Requirements & material

To enroll in this course, you need:

• An academic (university) level of thinking
• Access to the computer programs SPSS & R
• “The Practice of Statistics in the Life Sciences” by Baldi and Moore (MacMillan publishers), 4th Edition

We will use the Introductory statistics (biometrics) e-book for the statistical theory. For extra practice material, you can use the Exercises e-book.

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