Introduction to Epidemiology

An online short course

This course aims to provide a grounding in epidemiological study designs and measures of disease risk used in aetiological epidemiology and health services research. Participants will gain practical experience in study design and the appraisal of epidemiological literature.

Course date 22 - 26 February 2021
Course fee £1,100
Course Organisers Professor Peter Blair & Nick Turner

Prerequisites

Please ensure you meet the following prerequisites before booking:

Knowledge This course is intended for clinicians, researchers, public health specialists and other health care professionals who have only a basic understanding of epidemiology. Prior knowledge of basic medical statistics so that you understand findings published in peer-reviewed medical journals is important.

Course format

For this 5-day course sessions will be online (with live presenters).

Course objectives

By the end of the course participants should be able to:
 
  1. select the appropriate epidemiological study designs to investigate research questions;
  2. with expert advice, be able to design and undertake a case-control, cohort, ecological or cross-sectional study;
  3. list the strengths and weaknesses of randomised controlled trials (RCT) and case-control, cohort, ecological and cross-sectional studies;
  4. calculate incidence and prevalence and state which measure is most useful in a particular circumstance;
  5. calculate direct and indirect standardised mortality ratios and list advantages and disadvantages of each approach;
  6. explain confounding and interaction (effect modification);
  7. assess whether an exposure-disease association is likely to be due to chance, bias, reverse causality or confounding;
  8. explain the principles underlying sample size/power calculations; and
  9. critically appraise a published RCT, case-control, cohort, ecological or cross-sectional study.

Who the course is intended for

This course is intended for clinicians, researchers, public health specialists and other health care professionals who have only a basic understanding of epidemiology. Prior knowledge of basic medical statistics so that you understand findings published in peer-reviewed medical journals is important.

Course outline

Topics to be covered include:
 
  1. exposure measurement and measures of disease occurrence (incidence, prevalence)
  2. measures of exposure effect (risk, rate and odds ratios)
  3. study designs (cross-sectional studies, case-control studies, cohort studies, ecological studies and randomised controlled trials)
  4. bias and confounding
  5. basic regression, interaction
  6. sample size calculations
  7. causal inference
  8. epidemiology and public health policy

Recommended reading

There is no specific course book and the course notes are fairly comprehensive. However, for anyone interested in reading further in this area the following article on evidence-based medicine may be of interest:

Kell Williams, J. (2001) Understanding evidence-based medicine: A primer. Am. J. Obstet. Gynaecol. 185: 275-278

Online Course Bookings


Bookings are open for online courses running in 2021.

Standard of teaching was first class. Peter Blair presented a very clear statement of "what is epidemiology". All tutors today clearly demonstrated expertise in their field and ability to put it across.

Course feedback, February 2019

Coronavirus (COVID-19)

We may need to make responsive changes to our courses at short notice in order to follow the latest Public Health, Government and University guidance on coronavirus (COVID-19).

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