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Introduction to Epidemiology and Global Public Health



[BSc], GPH, GED, ID, PSc

Admission requirements


Course description

This course will introduce the students to basic methods and designs in epidemiology and global public health. The prevalence, incidence and main determinants of major communicable (i.e. malaria and HIV) and non-communicable diseases (i.e. cancer and cardiovascular diseases) will be addressed. By using examples of these major global public health challenges, this course teaches different study designs used in epidemiology and public health research such as for example case-control studies, cohort studies, randomized controlled trials and systematic reviews. Also, basic epidemiological and public health measures of associations will be discussed as well as potential biases and internal and external validity of epidemiological findings.

Learning objectives

At the end of this course, students will:

  • know the prevalence, incidence and main determinants of common communicable and non-communicable diseases

  • understand basic measures used in epidemiology and global public health, including the
    incidence, prevalence, and measures of association.

  • be able to recognize study designs used in epidemiology and global public health

  • be able to recognize selection bias, information bias, confounding and effect modification and indicate the major pros and cons of the various study designs

  • be able to select the most suitable study design to address a specific research question.

  • know the difference between internal and external validity.

Mode of instruction

  • Lectures

  • Journal club

  • Student presentations

Compulsory textbook

Penny Webb and Chris Bain, Essential Epidemiology: An Introduction for Students and Health Professionals. 2nd Edition. Cambridge University Press.