HNE-28303 Introduction Descriptive Epidemiology and Public Health (DL)


Credits 3.00

Teaching methodContact hours
Individual Paper
Independent study
Distance Knowledge clip
Distance Tutorial
Distance group work
Distance E-learning material
Course coordinator(s)prof. dr. JM Geleijnse
dr. ir. MC Busstra
Lecturer(s)dr. ir. MC Busstra
prof. dr. JM Geleijnse
Examiner(s)prof. dr. ir. E Kampman

Language of instruction:


Continuation courses:

The DL-MSc-specializations have a fixed schedule during the pilot-phase


Note: This course has a maximum number of participants. The deadline for registration is one week earlier than usual. See Academic Year.( -> Registration for Courses.
Note: The period mentioned below is the period in which this course starts. For the exact academic weeks see the courseplanning on

The course will teach you the basic concepts, measures and study designs of descriptive epidemiology and public health. Descriptive studies investigate when, where and among whom health and disease in certain populations occur. Results of these studies can be used by policy makers in the field of public health.
Different epidemiological and public health measures are introduced to describe health, disease and mortality. You will learn when to use these measures and how to calculate them. In addition, you are introduced to some major diseases, including infectious diseases, diabetes mellitus, cancer, and cardiovascular diseases.

Learning outcomes:

After successful completion of this course students are expected to be able to:
- describe the field of epidemiology and public health and the work of scientists in this field;
- calculate basic measures used in epidemiology and public health, including:
- prevalence
- incidence rate and proportion
- DALY, Years of Life Lost, Healthy Life Expectancy.
- understand basic study designs used in descriptive epidemiology and public health and indicate the major (dis)advantages of the various study designs.
- perform standardization of public health data;
- describe the prevalence and incidence of major communicable and non-communicable diseases:
- infectious diseases;
- diabetes mellitus;
- cancer;
- cardiovascular diseases;
- mental health disorders among elderly people;
- osteoporosis.


Knowledge clips, self-study, online group discussions, calculation exercises, and individual assignments including writing an advice for a Minister of Health and making a glossary.


- Final exam: remote proctored written exam with closed questions (60%);
- Individual Health Policy assignment report (25%);
- Individual Glossary assignment report (15%);
All components need a minimum mark of 5.5 to pass.


Webb C. & Bain P. (2010). Essential epidemiology: an introduction for students and health professionals. Cambridge University Press, 2nd revised edition.

Compulsory for: MNHNutrition and HealthMScE: Nutritional Epidemiology and Public Health1DL