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

Postgraduate Course: Intermediate Epidemiology (PUHR11067)

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 purpose of this course is to further develop the methodologic concepts underlying the science of epidemiology.
Course description Academic Description

The material covered is intended to broaden and extend the student's understanding of the elements of study design, data analysis, and inference in epidemiologic research, including issues related to causation, bias, confounding, effect modification, regression dilution bias, random and systematic errors. Concepts on health inequalities, communicable and non-communicable diseases, screening, molecular and genetic epidemiology will also be covered.

The course will explore the following concepts: study design, data analysis, causation, bias, confounding, effect modification, regression dilution bias, random and systematic errors, health inequalities, communicable and non-communicable diseases, screening, molecular epidemiology, genetic epidemiology, routine data.

Outline Content

The course will comprise of 5 lectures, 5 workshop sessions 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 workshops and online assessment sessions.

Pre-course lecture
A short pre-course lecture and quiz will be offered to the students to revisit the key concepts covered in the Epidemiology for Health Professionals course.

Course lectures
1. Lecture and workshop on health inequalities (different types, global, within countries, measurement and analytical methods, SES as an example). Effect modification.
2. Lecture and workshop on non-communicable diseases covering the concepts of regression dilution bias, and random and systematic errors.
3. Lecture and workshop on causal inference, Bradford Hill criteria.
4. Lecture and workshop on infectious diseases.
5. Lecture and workshop on genetic epidemiology. Application of genetic epidemiology for screening.

Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2016/17, Not available to visiting students (SS1) Quota:  None
Course Start Flexible
Course Start Date 01/08/2016
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 Marks and individual feedback will be returned to students via Grademark.
No Exam Information
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Discuss intermediate level epidemiological concepts including the concepts of causality, effect modification, regression dilution bias, random and systematic errors.
  2. Discuss the global patterns and risk factors of major communicable and non-communicable diseases and understand the concept, importance and main methods of the Global Burden of Disease exercise.
  3. Discuss between-country and within-country health inequalities, how to measure social determinants (individual vs area-based measures); how to compare/analyse health inequalities
  4. Discuss the roles of molecular and genetic epidemiology in understanding disease aetiology and how they can be used for targeted screening or treatment
  5. Critically evaluate the literature and apply this knowledge to key topics in 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 epidemiology. Students will learn to critically review, consolidate and extend knowledge, skills, practices and thinking in relation to epidemiology. 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.
Keywordsepidemiology,applied epidemiology,study design,data analysis,inference,causation,bias
Course organiserDr Evropi Theodoratou
Tel: (0131 6)50 4335
Course secretaryMiss Sarah Gordon
Tel: (0131 6)51 7112
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