HNH-38802 Concepts and Methods in Epidemiology


Credits 2.00

Teaching methodContact hours
Group work18
Independent study0
Course coordinator(s)prof. dr. JM Geleijnse
E Cruijsen
A van Westing
Lecturer(s)prof. dr. ir. EJM Feskens
dr. ir. A Kuijsten
dr. ir. MC Busstra
prof. dr. JM Geleijnse
prof. dr. ir. P van 't Veer
dr. FJB van Duijnhoven
EM Brouwer-Brolsma
dr. ir. JCM Verhoef
prof. dr. HC Boshuizen
prof. dr. ir. E Kampman
Examiner(s)prof. dr. JM Geleijnse

Language of instruction:

NL and/or EN

Assumed knowledge on:

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

Continuation courses:

MSc Thesis Global Nutrition; MSc Thesis Nutrition and Disease.


In this course, 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 (mainly specialisation A Nutritional Epidemiology and Public Health), PhD-students and scientific staff of the Division of Human Nutrition and Health. The aim of the course is to gain a deeper understanding of epidemiologic principles. Discussions are based on a standard textbook of epidemiology and concepts are applied to the students' own MSc research projects. 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 successful completion of this course students are expected to be able to:
- understand the epidemiologic way of thinking;
- critically evaluate his/her own epidemiologic study, and that of others;
- apply epidemiologic principles in scientific research;
- distinguish between different types of epidemiologic studies and point out pitfalls and strengths of the different study designs;
- 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 epidemiological textbooks and articles;
- presentation about own thesis/research in relation to the topic of the meeting and/or a relevant news article and scientific article.


There is no written examination. Students are obliged to attend and actively participate in at least 10 sessions.
In addition, they should present their own research and/or a relevant scientific paper in relation to the topic of the meeting in at least 1 session.
Students receive pass or fail (testimonium). 


Webb Penny; Bain, Chris; Page, Andrew. (2017). Essential Epidemiology: An Introduction for Students and Health Professionals. 3rd ed. Cambridge University Press. 494 p. ISBN: 978-1-107-52915-1.

Restricted Optional for: MNHNutrition and HealthMScA: Spec. A - Nutritional and Public Health Epidemiology1,2,3,4,5,6