HNE-38802 Concepts and Methods in Epidemiology


Credits 2.00

Teaching methodContact hours
Group work18
Independent study
Course coordinator(s)MSc MMGA van den Berg
JGM Brouwer
Lecturer(s)prof. dr. JM Geleijnse
prof. dr. ir. E Kampman
prof. dr. ir. P van 't Veer
prof. dr. ir. EJM Feskens
dr. SS Soedamah-Muthu
dr. FJB van Duijnhoven
Examiner(s)prof. dr. ir. E Kampman

Language of instruction:

Dutch and/or English

Assumed knowledge on:

HNE-24806 Introduction Epidemiology and Public Health; HNE-31006 Study Design and Interpretation in Epidemiology and Public Health.

Continuation courses:

MSc Thesis Nutrition and Health over the Lifecourse or MSc Thesis Nutrition and Disease.


In this capita selecta, concepts and methods in epidemiology will be thoroughly discussed in a group of 25 people (maximum) that gathers every 2 weeks. The working group comprises MSc students (specialization C Nutritional and Public Health Epidemiology), PhD-students and scientific staff of the Epidemiology group. The discussion will be based on a standard textbook of epidemiology. The aim of the course is to gain a deeper understanding of epidemiologic principles. Topics that are covered comprise: epidemiologic thinking, judging causality, epidemiologic study designs, biases and errors, confounding, interaction and basic analytic techniques that are commonly used in epidemiology. Complex issues are further elucidated by the more experienced PhD students and scientific staff.

Learning outcomes:

After the course, the student:
- is familiar with the epidemiologic way of thinking;
- is able to critically evaluate his/her own epidemiologic study, and that of others;
- is able to apply epidemiologic principles in scientific research;
- is able to distinguish between different types of epidemiologic studies and point out pitfalls and strengths of the different study designs;
- is able to identify simple statistical techniques for different types of epidemiologic data.


- a series of 16 lunch meetings of 1 hour duration, once per 2 weeks;
- self-study by reading the book.


There is no written examination.
Students are obliged to attend and actively participate in at least 10 sessions.


Webb Penny; Bain, Chris. (2010). Essential Epidemiology: An Introduction for Students and Health Professionals. 2nd ed. Cambridge University Press. 465 p. ISBN: 978-0521177313.

Restricted Optional for: MNHNutrition and HealthMScA: Epidemiology and Public Health1+2+3,4+5+6