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Health and Environment


Admission requirements

Required course(s):


Recommended course(s):

  • Introduction to Epidemiology

  • Biology

  • Environmental Pollution


Concerns about the adverse effects of environmental agents on population health is an essential incentive for research and policy. Much of the global burden of disease is attributed to environmental exposures such as air pollution, climate change, pesticides and microorganisms. What are the current health risks of environmental factors and how can these be assessed qualitatively and quantitatively? This course deals with the basic principles of health and environment and their application in specific cases of risk evaluation and assessment. More specifically, the course will address the following topics:

  • Environmental epidemiology: conducting research in the field of Health and Environment

  • Human exposure to chemical, physical and biological agents, and pollutants

  • Risk assessment of environmental exposures.

  • Interaction with the human body: how may the human body respond and cope with these environmental exposures.

Course Objectives


  • Students can describe and classify the primary sources and types of environmental exposures that may be hazardous for health

  • Students can recognise the main vectors (air, water, soil), carriers and transport of these environmental exposures

  • Students can explain how the body reacts to environmental exposures/contamination (i.e. pollutants, radiation, hazardous waste and other hazardous biochemical agents).

  • Students can think in a scientific way about health and environment impacts


  • Students can critically interpret findings from environmental epidemiology (e.g. related to study design, basic epidemiological calculations and assessment of health effects and environmental exposures).

  • Students can write their own report of a systematic review on a particular environmental exposure and health outcome.


Timetables for courses offered at Leiden University College in 2021-2022 will be published on this page of the e-Prospectus.

Mode of instruction

(Guest) Lectures
Assignments (eg development of factsheet)
Practical exercises
Student presentations
Group assignment (systematic review)

Assessment Method

Development (and group presentation) of factsheet: 15%
Individual student presentation, 15%
Final written exam: 30%, week 8
Group assignment (systematic review): 30%, ongoing
In-class participation: 10%, ongoing

Reading list

Book: Baker and Nieuwenhuijsen. Environment Epidemiology-study Methods and Applications. Oxford University Press. 2008

Scientific articles are used in this course. The articles are listed in the different sessions and will be available on blackboard or will be handed to you during the session.


Courses offered at Leiden University College (LUC) are usually only open to LUC students and LUC exchange students. Leiden University students who participate in one of the university’s Honours tracks or programmes may register for one LUC course, if availability permits. Registration is coordinated by the Education Coordinator,


Dr. Marise Kasteleyn,