Postgraduate taught 

Public Health MPH/PgDip/PgCert

Advanced Epidemiology MED5523

  • Academic Session: 2021-22
  • School: 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.


Eleven two-hour sessions. A lecture followed by an interactive tutorial.

Excluded Courses





Targeted critical appraisal with a focus on methods (2000-2500 words).

Main Assessment In: April/May

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.