Faculty of Health, Medicine and Life Sciences

Module Information
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EPI4920  - Introduction to Epidemiology

Period 1: from 4-9-2023 to 8-9-2023
Coordinator: Verhage, B.
ECTS credits: 1
Language of instruction: English

Publication dates timetable/results in the Student Portal

Deadline publication timetable
The date on which the timetable of this module is available: 18-8-2023

Deadline publication final result
The date on which the final grade of this module is available: 29-9-2023

Resit booking

Exam booking for a test in current academic year (resit)
You will be booked automatically for the resit in one of our resit periods. You may check our calenders to find out which modules can be retaken and when: https://intranet.maastrichtuniversity.nl/nl/fhml-studenten/studieverloop/wanneer-wat
As of one week before the resit test takes place, you can check in Student Portal if you are booked correctly: Student Portal > My Courses > More actions. The test will also be visible in your time table.

Exam booking for a test from a previous academic year (exam only)
All students who have not passed the test for this module in a previous academic year, will be booked automatically for the test during the regular block period. You will be enrolled in the new course in Canvas but not scheduled for a tutorial group and other educational activities. If you do not wish to participate in this test at the end of the regular block period please de-register via askFHML.

Though great care has been taken to assure the accuracy of the information on fhmlweb, the FHML cannot be held responsible for possible printing errors, incomplete information, or misinterpretations. Additionally, the FHML reserves the right to make changes to this information.

Course information

Description: EN:

The course is the first module in the Epidemiology and Health Sciences Research master’s programmes and will take place during a 5-day period in which the participants will be acquainted with the basic principles of epidemiological research. These include measures of disease frequency and exposure measurement, basic health measurement (clinimetrics), basic study design (including randomized controlled trials, cohort studies, case control studies, and cross-sectional studies), measures of association, validity and bias in epidemiological research, and a brief introduction of systematic literature review/meta-analysis. 

The main aims of the course are to enable the participants to appreciate the basic concepts of epidemiology and critically assess epidemiological studies (e.g., research papers or research protocols). For this, use will be made of lectures, group discussions, and small practical individual or group assignments (e.g., questions or calculations related to the topic of the preceding lecture). 

The course will be attended by students of the Epidemiology and Health Sciences Research master’s programmes. Besides these students, the course will be available as a stand-alone course for anyone who wants to become acquainted with basic epidemiological methods. 

Goals: EN:

Knowledge and understanding

The course participant:

-    Is able to distinguish between various measures of frequency of health outcomes (i.e. cumulative incidence, incidence density, point prevalence, period prevalence, life-time prevalence)

-    Has basic knowledge of and insight into the principles of classifying health and disease outcomes

-    Is able to distinguish between the various types of health measurement scales and the relevant aspects of the quality of a health measurement scale (i.e. validity, reliability, sensitivity-to-change)

-    Is able to distinguish between various measures that quantify the strength of association between determinants and health outcomes (i.e. risk difference, risk ratio, rate ratio, attributable proportion)

-    Is able to distinguish between various study designs in epidemiology (i.e. ecological studies, cross-sectional studies, cohort studies, case-control studies, and randomized controlled trials)

-    Has knowledge of and insight into relevant aspects of the design/choice of the study population (e.g., inclusion and exclusion criteria, eligibility considerations, source for selection, recruitment procedures).

-    Is able to identify the major advantages and disadvantages of the different epidemiological study designs

-    Knows the difference between internal validity and external validity of epidemiological studies

-    Appreciates the potential threat of bias (selection bias, information bias, confounding) to the internal validity of an epidemiological study.

-    Appreciates the difference between confounding and effect modification (interaction).

-    Appreciates various design measures to prevent bias or to adjust for bias in observational research (restriction, matching, standardization, stratified analysis, blinded measurement, use of independent data sources)

-    Has basic knowledge of and insight into the main principles and procedures of diagnostic test (strategy) development and evaluation

-    Is able to distinguish between the various types of literature review (e.g., narrative review, systematic review, meta-analysis) and to identify the advantages and disadvantages of these types of literature review

-    Is able to identify the subsequent steps of a systematic literature review.

Making judgments

-    The course participant is able to recognize and assess the general quality of an epidemiological study (e.g., a research protocol or a research paper)

Key words:
Literature: This is the link to Keylinks, our online reference list.  
Teaching methods:
  • Work in workgroup(s)
  • Lecture(s)
  • Problem Based Learning
Assessments methods:
  • Attendance

This page was last modified on:5-8-2020
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