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DRPS : Course Catalogue : Deanery of Molecular, Genetic and Population Health Sciences : Public Health Research

Postgraduate Course: Epidemiology of Chronic Disease (PUHR11060)

Course Outline
SchoolDeanery of Molecular, Genetic and Population Health Sciences CollegeCollege of Medicine and Veterinary Medicine
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 11 (Postgraduate)
Course typeOnline Distance Learning AvailabilityNot available to visiting students
SCQF Credits10 ECTS Credits5
SummaryThe burden of chronic diseases is growing in all parts of the world. This module will be relevant to Master students that want to understand the global burden of chronic diseases, learn about the worldwide patterns and trends, and be able to explain the role of risk factors and conduct risk predictions. Epidemiological methods beyond the ones taught at introductory level will also be discussed.
Course description Building on the summary description, a more in-depth, academic description of the learning aims, nature and context of the course.
The burden of chronic diseases is growing in all parts of the world. This module will be relevant to students that want to understand the global burden and risk factors of the main chronic diseases (including cardiovascular disease, diabetes, cancer, and chronic respiratory diseases), learn about the differences in high and low and middle income countries and understand what we mean with epidemiology transition. They will be also introduced to several applied epidemiology concepts relevant to chronic disease epidemiology (including genetic epidemiology, molecular epidemiology and risk prediction). Epidemiological methods beyond the ones taught at introductory level will also be discussed.

Outline Content
The course will explore the following concepts (more details are given in the lecture list):
Basic and advanced epidemiology concepts; Main chronic diseases, their burden and risk factors; Epidemiology transition; Multi-morbidity; Cancer registration; Risk prediction; Genetic epidemiology; Molecular Epidemiology; UK Biobank

Student Learning Experience
The course will comprise of 14 lectures, 2 tutorials and 1 online assessment. Students are expected to read background materials before the lecture(s) of each week. They are also expected to work in groups for the tutorial sessions and also work in groups for the online assessment.

1. Revision lecture on basic epidemiology concepts (including study design, measures of association, causality, bias, chance and confounding
2) Introduction to more advanced epidemiology concepts relevant to chronic disease epidemiology (including regression dilution bias and effect modification)
3) Introduction to chronic disease epidemiology
4) Epidemiology and burden of cardiovascular disease and diabetes
5) Epidemiology and burden of cancer: Examples of the cancer burden in a high income country and a low or middle income country
6) Cancer registration
7) Epidemiology and burden of chronic respiratory diseases
8) Epidemiology of mental illnesses
9) Co- and multi-morbidity in relation to chronic disease epidemiology
10) Development and validation of risk prediction models
11) Introduction to genetic epidemiology
12) Introduction to molecular epidemiology
13) UK Biobank and other large resources for conducting chronic disease epidemiology research
14) Conclusions
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2015/16, Not available to visiting students (SS1) Quota:  None
Course Start Flexible
Course Start Date 03/08/2015
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 100 ( Lecture Hours 5, Seminar/Tutorial Hours 1, Online Activities 35, Feedback/Feedforward Hours 5, Formative Assessment Hours 5, Revision Session Hours 1, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 2, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 46 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 0 %, Coursework 100 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) Written Exam 0 %, Coursework 100 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Formal summative written assessment will constitute 60% of the student's grade. Online assessment will incorporate a variety of activities and will constitute 40% of the overall course grade and is taken to represent a formative assessment of learning throughout the programme.
Feedback Not entered
No Exam Information
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Discuss the global patterns and risk factors of major chronic diseases including cardiovascular disease, diabetes, cancers, and chronic respiratory diseases.
  2. Discuss advanced study designs and epidemiological methods including the concept of risk prediction and how risk scores can be developed and validated
  3. Evaluate the contribution of inequalities to chronic diseases
  4. Discuss the roles of molecular and genetic epidemiology in understanding chronic disease aetiology
  5. To critically evaluate the literature and apply this knowledge to key topics in chronic disease epidemiology
Reading List
Individual reading lists will be provided with each lecture
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills As a result of studying this course the following generic and transferable skills are expected to be developed:
1) Generic cognitive skills
Students will learn to apply critical analysis, evaluation and synthesis to forefront issues, or issues that are informed by forefront developments in chronic diseases.
Students will learn to critically review, consolidate and extend knowledge, skills, practices and thinking in relation to chronic diseases.
Students will also learn to deal with complex issues and make informed judgements in situations in the absence of complete or consistent data/information.
2) Communication, numeracy and IT skills
Students will learn to communicate with peers, more senior colleagues and specialists in the duration of the course through the tutorials, group work and online assessment.
Students will be encouraged to use a wide range of ICT applications to support and enhance work at this level and adjust features to suit purpose.
Students will undertake critical evaluations of a wide range of numerical and graphical data through the tutorials and online assessment.
3) Autonomy, accountability and working with others
Students will be encouraged to exercise substantial autonomy and initiative in professional and equivalent activities.
Students will take responsibility for own work and/or significant responsibility for the work of others through the group work
Special Arrangements This course will be taught entirely by online distance learning, using the virtual learning environment Learn as the delivery platform. Course materials are protected by secure username and password access that will be made available to registered users.
Keywordschronic disease, epidemiology, applied epidemiology, disease burden, risk factors
Course organiserDr Evropi Theodoratou
Tel: (0131 6)50 4335
Course secretaryMiss Sarah Gordon
Tel: (0131 6)50 2679
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