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Study designs in the Life and Behavioral Sciences


Admission requirements



A good study design is very important as poorly designed studies may yield misleading results. In this course study designs both for experimental studies (where an investigator is actively intervening) and for observational studies are considered. Applications are in agricultural, social and bio-medical sciences. A selection of the topics included is:

  • Experimental designs

  • Optimal designs

  • Sample size calculation

  • Randomized clinical trials

  • Follow-up studies

  • Case-control studies

  • Bias and confounding

  • Survey sampling

Course objectives

Obtain knowledge on the popular study designs statisticians cope with in the life & behavioral sciences.

Mode of Instruction

Class time will consist of lectures and class discussion of assigned readings and homework problems.

Time Table

For the course days, course location and class hours check the Time Table under the
tab “Statsci Students —> Program Schedule” at

Assessment method

Written Exam.

Date information about the exam and resit can be found in the Time Table pdf document under the tab “Masters Programme” at The room and building for the exam will be announced on the electronic billboard, to be found at the opposite of the entrance, the content can also be viewed here.

Reading List

  • Friedman LM, Furberg CD, and DeMets D L. Fundamentals of Clinical Trials. Springer-Verlag, New York. 4th edition. 2010 (e-book available at university library).

  • Welham SJ, Gezan SA, Clark SJ, Mead A. Statistical Methods in Biology: Design and Analysis of Experiments and Regression. Chapman and Hall/CRC. 2014

  • Internet material provided during the course

Course Registration

Enroll in Blackboard for the course materials and course updates.

To be able to obtain a grade and the ECTS for the course, sign up for the (re-)exam in uSis ten calendar days before the actual (re-)exam will take place. Note, the student is expected to participate actively in all activities of the program and therefore uses and registers for the first exam opportunity.

Exchange and Study Abroad students, please see the Prospective students website for information on how to apply.

Contact information

s [dot] le_cessie [at] lumc [dot] nl


  • This is a compulsory course in the Master’s programme of the specialisation Statistical Science for the Life & Behavioural sciences.