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Course Description

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The course examines the basic concepts of health and disease in populations. Methods used in descriptive and analytic epidemiological studies, including the design, analysis and interpretation of results for observational studies and field trials are presented.

Learning Outcomes

By the end of the course, the learner should be able to:

  1. Describe the application of epidemiology to disease control, outbreak investigation, health research, and current public health, animal health, and One Health issues;
  2. Identify, define, calculate, and interpret common measures of association (risk difference, attributable risk exposed, population attributable risk, relative risk, odds ratios) and measures of disease frequency (prevalence, risks, rates) used in epidemiological research, and cite their strengths and limitations;
  3. Describe how to select appropriately sized samples from populations for surveys and observational studies;
  4. Discuss disease causation, statistical associations, and causal inference, and rank common study designs by their ability to establish causality;
  5. Discuss the use of screening tests, identify the criteria used to evaluate tests, and explain epidemiological sensitivity, specificity, predictive values, and agreement, including methods for calculating these measures;
  6. Discuss the design, methodology, and strengths and limitations of each of the common observational and experimental study types in epidemiology;
  7. Identify and discuss the potential effects of common biases observed in epidemiological research, including various selection biases, misclassification, and confounding; and
  8. Explain the concepts of incubation and latent periods; state transition models, effective, and basic reproductive numbers; and give examples of strategies to reduce the latter for disease control.

Course Topics

  • Foundations in Health & Disease Transmission
  • Bias & Causation
  • Screening & Diagnostic Testing
  • Measures of Association & Disease Frequency
  • Sampling
  • Observational Study Design
  • Intervention Studies
  • Surveillance & Outbreak Investigations
  • Interdisciplinary Approaches to Epidemiology

Additional Requirements

Prerequisite(s): (BIOL*1080 or BIOL*1090), STAT*2040

Restrictions: This is a Priority Access Course. Some restrictions may apply during some time periods. Please see the Department of Population Medicine website for more information.


Assessment Item Weight
Quizzes (10 x 2%) 20%
Headline Assignment 15%
Group Project Assignment 30%
On Campus Final Exam 35%
Total 100%

*Course details are subject to change.


Enrol Now - Select a section to enrol in

Section Title
September 05, 2019 to November 29, 2019
Contact Hours
Delivery Options
Course Fee(s)
Domestic Tuition Fee (0.5 units) $683.39 Click here to get more information
International Tuition Fee (0.5 units) $2,504.99 Click here to get more information
Available for Credit
0.5 units
Section Notes

Note:  If you are in a degree program at the University of Guelph, please DO NOT register using the link above.  You must register through WebAdvisor.

Section Materials
  • Textbook (Confirmed) (Mandatory) Epidemiology by Leon Gordis © 2018 Elsevier Saunders 6th edition ISBN 9780323552295
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