Please note: there may be some adjustments to the teaching arrangements published in the course catalogue for 2020-21. Given current circumstances related to the Covid-19 pandemic it is anticipated that some usual arrangements for teaching on campus will be modified to ensure the safety and wellbeing of students and staff on campus; further adjustments may also be necessary, or beneficial, during the course of the academic year as national requirements relating to management of the pandemic are revised.

Advanced Epidemiology MED5523

  • Academic Session: 2022-23
  • School: School of Health and Wellbeing
  • Credits: 20
  • Level: Level 5 (SCQF level 11)
  • Typically Offered: Semester 2
  • Available to Visiting Students: Yes
  • Available to Erasmus Students: No

Short Description

This course in advanced epidemiology is designed to move beyond the basics of epidemiology. It will build on basic understanding of epidemiology taught in the introduction to epidemiology course (or similar). The course will cover the major contemporary issues in epidemiology, issues which typically come-up when epidemiological papers are criticised in peer review, or in the scientific literature.


This course is made up of lectures and tutorials.

Requirements of Entry


Excluded Courses





Assessment 1- Written assignment - 40% - ILOs 1, 2 and 4

Assessment 2 - Written assignment - 60% - ILOs - 1, 2, 3 and 4

Course Aims

This course will introduce students to more complex epidemiological concepts and advanced methods employed in modern epidemiological research.

Intended Learning Outcomes of Course

By the end of this course students will be able to:

1. Both critique and design epidemiological research informed by an understanding of counterfactual thinking and causal diagrams, including a critical understanding of the limits of these approaches.

2. Recognise important biases and understand how these affect interpretation of findings, understand how such biases can be dealt with through study design and/or statistical analysis and have a critical understanding of the relative strengths and limitations of different methodological approaches.

3. Critically understand how quantitative methods can be used to apply effect measures to target populations, as well as the assumptions such approaches require.

4. Critically understand the major methodological issues in natural experiment studies, administrative data analyses and life-course epidemiology and relate these to major theories across the wider field (i.e. collider bias, confounding etc).

Minimum Requirement for Award of Credits

Students must submit at least 75% by weight of the components (including examinations) of the course's summative assessment.