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Introduction to Epidemiology and Global Public Health




Admissions requirements



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.

Course objectives

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

  • Define the prevalence, incidence and main determinants of common communicable 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 and external validity.

  • 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.

  • Review ethical considerations in public health research.


Once available, timetables will be published here.

Mode of instruction

Journal Club
Student Presentations


In class participation: 5%
Individual assignment about ethics & public health: 20%
Group assignment: Study proposal: 30% (individual performance will be reflected)
Presentation 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. Cambridge University Press.


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,