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Epidemiology - HEA00013M

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  • Department: Health Sciences
  • Module co-ordinator: Dr. Tom Johnston
  • Credit value: 10 credits
  • Credit level: M
  • Academic year of delivery: 2022-23
    • See module specification for other years: 2021-22

Module summary

In this module you will be introduced to epidemiology and epidemiological research methods using a mixture of online resources, practical sessions and short lectures. We cover the basic epidemiological study designs as well as teach you how to calculate and correctly use a number of disease and risk-related measures like incidence and relative risk.

Module will run

Occurrence Teaching period
A Autumn Term 2022-23

Module aims

Students will gain an understanding of epidemiology; learn about data sources, study design and their associated strengths and weaknesses; be able to calculate and interpret basic epidemiological and demographic measures; and to critically appraise the relevant literature.

Module learning outcomes

At the end of the module, students will be able to:

  1. Demonstrate understanding of epidemiological concepts and terminology.
  2. Calculate and understand commonly used indices of health and disease, and various measures of association.
  3. Select appropriate study designs for specific research questions, and demonstrate an understanding of their strengths and limitations.
  4. Access and critically review relevant literature.

Module content


Epidemiology is the study of the distribution and determinants of disease in human populations. This module introduces students to the subject, and overviews the principles of epidemiological study design and analysis. On completion students should be able to calculate and interpret basic epidemiological measures; know how to select appropriate study designs to answer specific questions; and to access and review the literature.


The taught sessions and associated reading and exercises will cover:

  • Epidemiological concepts and terminology
  • Indices of health and disease
  • Data sources and collection
  • Study types and design, and their limitations
  • Measures of association, their calculation and interpretation
  • Assessment of cause and effect, confounding and bias
  • An introduction to screening and disease prevention
  • Chance and the role of statistics
  • Critical review of relevant literature.


We are using a flipped classroom approach where students access pre-recorded lectures and some exercises online in preparation for the in-class session where the focus will be more on discussion and practical activities to reinforce learning.


Task Length % of module mark Group
Coursework - extensions not feasible/practicable
Online MCQs
N/A 40 Default
Online Exam - 24 hrs (Centrally scheduled)
Online Exam
N/A 60 Default
Online Exam - 24 hrs (Centrally scheduled)
Online Exam 100%
N/A 100 B

Special assessment rules


Additional assessment information

Students will have opportunities to receive group feedback on formative work throughout the module. Formative work includes individual- and group-based exercises based on the lecture material and will include online multiple-choice questions.


Task Length % of module mark
Online Exam - 24 hrs (Centrally scheduled)
N/A 100

Module feedback

Collective feedback on the online MCQs will be provided to address common errors/misconceptions after the period of availability of the quiz has elapsed and within the timescales specified in the programme handbook.

Students are provided with collective exam feedback relating to their cohort, within the timescale specified in the programme handbook.

Indicative reading

  • Webb, P., Bain, C. and Page, A. (2016). Essential Epidemiology: an introduction for students and health professionals. 3rd edn. Cambridge University Press.

The information on this page is indicative of the module that is currently on offer. The University is constantly exploring ways to enhance and improve its degree programmes and therefore reserves the right to make variations to the content and method of delivery of modules, and to discontinue modules, if such action is reasonably considered to be necessary by the University. Where appropriate, the University will notify and consult with affected students in advance about any changes that are required in line with the University's policy on the Approval of Modifications to Existing Taught Programmes of Study.