Netherlands, Middelburg

Introduction to Epidemiology

when 22 August 2016 - 26 August 2016
language English
duration 1 week
credits 2 ECTS
fee EUR 445

We can see around us how diseases can spread in a population, how difficult it is to control outbreaks, and how the public and political responses impact the measures that are taken. This makes epidemiology, the science that studies the patterns, causes, and effects of health and disease conditions in defined populations, such an important part of health education and practice. This course is a short introduction into the topic with in-class experiments, literature research and lectures. It also serves as preparation for health master programs.


The outbreak of Ebola in Africa shows in a dramatic manner how a disease can spread in a population, how difficult it is to control such an outbreak, and how the public and political response impact the measures that are taken. Another viral disease, measles, still kills 200 000 children every year. Measles can be prevented by vaccination, but when vaccination is refused by certain groups in the society, the disease can break out and cause small epidemics. These two examples highlight the importance of epidemiology, the science that studies the patterns, causes, and effects of health and disease conditions in defined populations. It is the cornerstone of public health, and informs policy decisions and evidence-based practice by identifying risk factors for disease and targets for preventive healthcare. Epidemiology does not solely deal with infectious diseases; environmental pollutants, radiation, toxic substances, food components, all can have an impact on human health and therefore fall within the realm of epidemiology.

Major areas of epidemiological study thus include disease etiology, outbreak investigation, disease surveillance and screening, biomonitoring, and comparisons of treatment effects such as in clinical trials. Epidemiologists rely on other disciplines such as biology (to better understand disease processes), statistics (for appropriate use of data and draw appropriate conclusions), the social sciences (to understand proximate and distal causes) as well as other disciplines.

This Summer Course will give a short introduction to the various aspects of epidemiology. These include respiratory diseases and infectious diseases but also pollutants and statistics. It involves in-class experiments, literature research and presentations as well as regular lectures and guest-lectures.

Course leader

Ger Rijkers, UCR

Target group

Advanced bachelors and start master students. Anyone interested in learning more about epidemiology. No pre-requisites.

Course aim

1. The students will have become acquainted with the basic principles of epidemiology which are needed for setting up, carry out, analyze and interpret clinical scientific research.
2. The student is able to apply epidemiological principles in measurements of risk, displaying public health data, and public health surveillance.
3. The student knows which steps to take in investigating an outbreak.

Credits info

2 ECTS
Certificate of attendance

Fee info

EUR 445: Course + course materials
EUR 645: Course + course materials + housing

Scholarships

Students from UCR can get a discount by sending an e-mail to summerschool@ucr.nl.

Utrecht Summer School doesn't offer scholarships for this course.

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