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Introduction to Epidemiology and Global Public Health




Admissions requirements



This course will provide students a basic understanding of the main global public health challenges. The course will address the prevalence, incidence and main determinants and risk factors of common infectious (i.e. malaria and HIV) and non-communicable diseases (i.e. cancer and cardiovascular diseases). Also, it will introduce the students to basic methods and designs in epidemiology and global public health.
By using examples of the 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 of epidemiological findings.

Course objectives

At the end of this course, students will be able to:

  • Define the epidemiology of common infectious diseases and non-communicable diseases.

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

  • Recognize study designs used in epidemiology and global public health

  • Interpret selection bias, information bias, confounding, effect modification as well as internal validity of scientific findings on public health.

  • Indicate the major pros and cons of the various study designs for specific health outcomes

  • Select the most suitable study design to address a specific research question related to a global public health issue.

  • Consider basic ethical principles in public health research.


Once available, timetables will be published here.

Mode of instruction

(Online) lectures
Journal Club (eg. critical appraisal of a specific epidemiological study).
Student Presentations
Debate (eg. on ethical considerations in human research).
Research lab (eg. microscope exercises on neglected global health issues)


In class participation: 5%
Individual essay on ethics & public health: 20%
Group assignment: Study proposal: 30% (individual performance will be reflected)
Presentation and discussion on study design: 15%
Final written exam (open questions): 30%


There will be a Blackboard site available for this course. Students will be enrolled at least one week before the start of classes.

Reading list

Penny Webb and Chris Bain, Essential Epidemiology: An Introduction for Students and Health Professionals. 2nd Edition. 2011. Cambridge University Press.

Richard Skolnik. Global Health 101. 2nd edition. 2011. Jones and Bartlett Publishers.


This course is open to LUC students and LUC exchange students. Registration is coordinated by the Curriculum Coordinator. Interested non-LUC students should contact


Dr. Jessica Kiefte-de Jong,