HNH-31006 Study Design and Interpretation in Epidemiology and Public Health

Code last year: (HNE-31006)


Credits 6.00

Teaching methodContact hours
Group work12
Course coordinator(s)dr. ir. MC Busstra
Lecturer(s)dr. ir. MC Busstra
dr. FJB van Duijnhoven
M van Zutphen
prof. dr. HC Boshuizen
prof. dr. ir. E Kampman
dr. ir. RM Winkels
Examiner(s)prof. dr. ir. E Kampman

Language of instruction:


Assumed knowledge on:

Introduction to Epidemiology and Public Health, Basic Statistics.

Continuation courses:

Analytical Epidemiology, Public Health Practice


Note: This course can not be combined in an individual programme with HNH-32403 Observational Designs and Assessment of Validity (online).

This course builds upon concepts of study designs from 'Introduction to Epidemiology and Public Health' by putting the design, conduct and interpretation of observational and intervention studies into practice. Emphasis will be placed on concepts of misclassification, bias, confounding and effect modification. In working groups under tutorial arrangements, studies will be designed for epidemiological and public health questions taking methodological as well as practical considerations into account. Existing articles will be critically reviewed during literature review. Issues discussed will involve potential misclassification of exposure and disease, selection and information bias, confounding and effect modification. Also, practical modules, partly ICT based, will be used to put these concepts into practice. Additionally, lectures will be provided focusing on advanced design variants in epidemiology, systematic literature reviews and meta-analysis, taking into account the above mentioned methodological issues.

Learning outcomes:

After successful completion of this course students are expected to be able to:
- understand the characteristics of major epidemiological study designs, including potential methodological threats with respect to validity and confounding;
- critically review and interpret epidemiological studies, reported in the literature;
- design, plan and review studies used in epidemiology and public health, taking methodological and practical considerations into account;
- understand the principles of a systematic literature review and meta-analysis.


- prepare and follow lectures;
- study prescribed written materials (book by Webb & Bain);
- conduct E-modules;
- critically review literature via self-study and response lectures;
- perform grant writing (group work).


Written exam with: multiple choice questions (25% of mark) and open questions (75% of mark).


Penny Webb, Chris Bain, Andrew Page (2017). Essential Epidemiology: An Introduction for Students and Health Professionals. Cambridge:Cambridge University Press. ISBN 978-1-107-52915-1.

Compulsory for: MNHNutrition and HealthMScA: Nutritional and Public Health Epidemiology3WD
Restricted Optional for: MNHNutrition and HealthMScD: Sensory Science3WD
MNHNutrition and HealthMScB: Nutritional Physiology and Health Status3WD