Advanced Epigenetic Epidemiology

Coronavirus (COVID-19) information

The Short Course Programme in Population Health Sciences has been temporarily suspended.


We anticipate opening bookings in late November 2020.

Information on this page relates to the last run of the course and is for reference only. 

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We may need to make responsive changes to our future programme to follow the latest Public Health, Government and University guidance on coronavirus (COVID-19).

Please be aware that all information about short courses planned for 2021 is provisional and subject to change.

Course dates

20 March 2020

Course duration

1 day (approximately 7 hours of teaching).
Registration will start at 9.00am, the course will finish by 5pm.

Course tutors

Dr Gemma SharpDr Matthew Suderman (course organisers).

Course aims 

  1. To build on the knowledge and skills acquired in 'Epigenetic Epidemiology' by introducing students to more advanced approaches in epigenetic epidemiology.
  2. To provide students with the knowledge and skills necessary to design, execute and interpret more advanced epigenetic epidemiological analyses.  

Course objectives

By the end of the course students should be able to:

  1. design, execute and interpret non-standard epigenome-wide association studies (EWAS) (e.g. of repeated measures);
  2. derive and apply epigenetic models for detecting exposure and predicting outcomes;
  3. design, execute and interpret EWAS meta-analyses;
  4. use appropriate databases and tools to interpret EWAS findings;
  5. understand the specific challenges of missing data and imputation in EWAS;
  6. estimate the contribution of epigenetic factors to trait variability and the heritability of epigenetic factors;
  7. design, execute and interpret tests of mediation by epigenetic factors.

Who the course is intended for

This course is intended for individuals engaged in population-based epigenetic studies who would like an introduction to analysis approaches to answer more advanced questions. They should therefore be very familiar with the topics presented in our 'Epigenetic Epidemiology' short course. This includes, in particular, practical knowledge of using R to analyse microarray data.

Course outline 

Topics to be covered include:

  1. non-standard EWAS: identifying variance differences, testing interactions, handling repeated epigenetic measurements;
  2. detection and prediction: uncovering exposure histories and predicting future outcomes using epigenetic profiles;
  3. meta-analysis: combining summary statistics from multiple EWAS studies to improve statistical power;
  4. biological interpretation: evaluating possible biological implications of EWAS findings;
  5. missing data: maximising EWAS power when covariates include missing values;
  6. contribution and heritability: estimating the proportion of variation explained by genetic and epigenetic profiles;
  7. mediation: evaluating the evidence that an epigenetic mark mediates a given effect.

Please note: Practical sessions of this course will be held in a computer lab, so you will not need to bring a laptop. 

The course was well structured and organised. The chosen topics were broad enough to get to know all of the important parts but also specific enough to learn how to design and interpret.

Course feedback, April 2019

Course fee


More information on course fees, fee waivers and reduced prices.

Course venue

Bristol Medical School
Canynge Hall
39 Whatley Road
United Kingdom

Map and directions

Course refreshments

We provide morning and afternoon refreshment breaks, including tea and coffee, biscuits and fresh fruit.

If you have specific dietary needs we ask that you let us know in advance.

Lunch is not included. There are a range of local cafes and supermarkets nearby for students to purchase lunch. 

Related short courses


For further information please email

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