HAR6048: Epidemiology (online)


As one of the core disciplines of Public Health, epidemiology is concerned with the methods of studying health related states and events to control health problems. The module covers epidemiological measures, main study designs, screening and surveillance. The primary objective is to introduce students to the principles, tools and applications of epidemiology and to help develop their practical skills through a range of activities.


This module aims to equip the student with an understanding of the epidemiological principles, methods and their applications.

Learning Outcomes

By the end of the unit, a candidate will be able to:

  • Describe, apply and interpret epidemiological measures
  • Explain the use, advantages and disadvantages of the different study designs
  • Identify and assess the implications of bias, confounding and effect modification in epidemiological studies
  • Summarise the uses, strengths and weaknesses of routine data, screening and epidemiological surveillance

Teaching Methods

The teaching methods include guided independent study and moderated discussions with constructive feedback via MOLE discussion boards. The module online workbook will provide step-by-step guidance for self-study, questions to provoke critical thinking and end of session activities to allow students to consolidate their learning and address the learning outcomes.

Students are also expected to complete a number of preparation and revision tasks throughout the module, and to engage fully with the self-directed study required.


Component Weighting
Outline Epidemiology report Formative
Research Plan (900 words) 30%
Epidemiology report essay (1800 words) 70%

An outline epidemiology report will be used to assess students’ epidemiology report writing skills and ability to recognise the practicalities of applying the methods taught to develop an epidemiology report (formative)

A research plan assignment will use a real life reasearch problem to assess students ability to apply their knowledge of advantages, disadvantages and biases of the different study designs within the context of a structured grant application (900 words, 30% weighting)

A final epidemiology report will assess the students’ ability to transfer knowledge and skills acquired in the module to other areas of their work as current or future Public Health specialists. The report will require students to describe, present and interpret epidemiological data for a common cause of morbidity/mortality of their own choice and critically appraise a relevant routine data source (1800 words, 70% weighting)

The overall pass mark required to pass the module is 50%.

Students are also required to complete a number of self-directed preparation and revision tasks throughout the seminars. These are not assessed, but completion is mandatory to pass the module.