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Date: 18 - 22  September 2023 (new date)

Duration: this online course runs remotely over five days.


Course directors: Jennifer Carter and Hubert Lam

​The field of epidemiology is the science underpinning public health, which centres around the study of the patterns, causes and effects of diverse health problems in the population. It provides a foundation to modern evidence-based medicine, and its application across interdisciplinary contexts is now more prominent and critical than ever.

This course is designed by experienced epidemiologists from Oxford Population Health, renowned for its large-scale observational studies and clinical trials. 

Oxford Population Health staff will need to complete a training request form and get approval from the departmental Training Committee before booking onto the course.

who is this course for?

This introductory course in epidemiology is intended for those who have little or no prior epidemiological training, but have moved into a student or staff role that requires an understanding of these epidemiological principles for their work. 

The course will take you from the basic principles of epidemiology, to the design, interpretation and appraisal of epidemiological research. No prior knowledge is required, although a background in biological sciences or medicine may help understand the topics in health. 


This course will cover

  • fundamental principles in epidemiology (including measures of disease occurrence and association)
  • bias and confounding
  • statistics (chance, power, meta-analysis)
  • different types of epidemiological study designs (descriptive, case-control, cohort, randomised control trials).

It will also apply these principles in a critical appraisal of a research paper, along with a week-long group project on a study design exercise of a current question in the field. 

The first four days of this five day online course consist of approximately two live sessions, followed by one hour of self-directed learning in the form of exercises, readings or pre-recorded videos. The final day will focus around group presentations of a week-long practical exercise. 


By the end of this course, attendees will:

  • understand key epidemiological principles
  • be familiar with the major types of epidemiological study designs and understand their strengths and weaknesses with respect to research questions
  • be able to interpret epidemiological evidence.

If you have a question about this short course please email the course team

Course fees

£90    Oxford student

£250  Oxford staff/external student

£350  External academics

£500  External industry.