Introduction to Epidemiology Course (Jennifer Carter & Hubert Lam)
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The field of epidemiology is the science underpinning public health, centering 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 introductory course in epidemiology will take you from the basic principles of epidemiology, to the design, interpretation and appraisal of epidemiological research.
The course is designed by experienced epidemiologists from the Nuffield Department of Population Health (NDPH) at the University of Oxford, renowned for its large-scale observational studies and trials.
This course will cover fundamental principles in epidemiology (measures of disease occurrence and association, bias, confounding) and statistics (chance, power, meta-analysis), and different types of epidemiological study designs (descriptive, case-control, cohort, randomized 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.
This course runs over 5 days. The first four days will 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 be focused around group presentations of a week-long practical exercise.
By the end of this course, attendees will be able to:
1. Understand key epidemiological principles
2. Be familiar with the major types of epidemiological study designs and understand their strengths and weaknesses with respect to research questions
3. Interpret epidemiological evidence
4. Appreciate the role of statistics in the application of epidemiological principles
No prior knowledge is required, although a background in biological sciences or medicine may help understand the topics in health.
This course 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.