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Principles of epidemiology

Module leads

Ben Cairns Ben Cairns

Hubert Lam Hubert Lam

Ben Lacey

Learning objectives:

  • To provide advanced knowledge and understanding of epidemiological principles, procedures, and their application to health;
  • To provide advanced training in critical appraisal, analysis  and interpretation of epidemiological data, study design and protocol development.


  1. Scope of epidemiology
  2. Descriptive studies and disease surveillance
  3. Measures of disease frequency
  4. Overview of study design
  5. Measures of association
  6. Measures of population impact
  7. Standardisation
  8. Sampling
  9. Bias
  10. Confounding and effect modification
  11. Validity
  12. Study design group exercise I
  13. Ecological studies
  14. Cross-sectional studies
  15. Case-control studies I
  16. Case-control studies I: Basic concepts, design and conduct of cohort studies
  17. Case-control studies II
  18. Cohort studies II: Issues in the design and analysis of cohort studies
  19. Randomised controlled trials
  20. Clinical trials in low-resource settings
  21. Study design group exercise II
  22. Causation
  23. Diagnosis and screening
  24. Design and validation of questionnaires
  25. Study conduct and management
  26. Reporting and publication
  27. Introduction to communicable disease epidemiology
  28. Study design group exercise III
  29. Future of Epidemiology
  30. Critical appraisal