HLTH08030 2019 Applied Epidemiology

General Details

Full Title
Applied Epidemiology
Transcript Title
Applied Epidemiology
75 %
Subject Area
HLTH - Health Studies
HEAL - Health & Nutritional Sciences
08 - NFQ Level 8
05 - 05 Credits
Start Term
2019 - Full Academic Year 2019-20
End Term
9999 - The End of Time
Maire McCallion
Programme Membership
SG_SPUBL_K08 201900 Bachelor of Science (Honours) in Public Health and Health Prom SG_SHEAL_H08 201900 Bachelor of Science (Honours) in Health Science and Physical Activity

In this module the student will develop a comprehensive knowledge of modern epidemiology.  Learners will develop specific skills in epidemiological study design and the appraisal of these studies, as well as associated skills in the design of fact sheets  on the epidemiology of infectious and non-infectious diseases. Students will also address ethical issues.

Learning Outcomes

On completion of this module the learner will/should be able to;


Source epidemiological information from various data sources.


Prepare written and oral reports and presentations that communicate recent epidemiological study findings to professional audiences, policy makers and general public.


Critically appraise a range of study designs identifying potential confounding factors and biases.


Participate constructively in group discussions on validity and value of scientific papers

Teaching and Learning Strategies

Lectures will be used to introduce students to key concepts and to give relevant examples and bring meaning to the various epidemiological approaches. Short relevant exercises for students to complete will be interspersed throughout lectures.

Workshops will involve active participation of students in searching for data/ studies relevant to assignment. Students will be encourage to source peer reviewed studies which will assist their situational assessments conducted in other modules. Students will be given responsibility to lead sessions on journal articles which may of interest to the class.

Students will be given feedback from lecturer and also from peers where relevant. Presentations will be video recorded and students will be encouraged to review their own performance and set goals for further development and learning.

Module Assessment Strategies

A variety of assessment method linked to the learning outcomes are used within this module which is 100% continuous assessment.

Assessment strategies include assessment of individual skills to access and present relevant epidemiological  information for health professionals. Also assessment of the ability  to  source a paper and summarise the paper and assessment in an exam situation of critical appraisal skills. 

The module will link with Applied Statistics for Public Health with statistical tests introduced in that modules that are relevant to the study designs in Applied Epidemiology.  Students will be assessed on the critical appraisal skills through appraising a previously unseen article. This article will also be used for an assessment in the module Applied Statistics for Public Health. Students will also compile a fact sheet and deliver a workshop on a paper of their choice

Repeat Assessments

Repeat Continuous Assessments will be designed. 

Module Dependencies


Indicative Syllabus

Epidemiology - Past, Present and Future

Searching for epidemiological data - search strategies and PICO's 

Communication of Epidemiological Data - Design of Fact Sheets

Epidemiological Study Designs and Critical Appraisal

Case- studies/ cohorts/ RCT's and Systematic Reviews and Meta- Analysis

Types of Bias in Epidemiological Studies 

Critical Appraisal Tools

Ethical Issues

Coursework & Assessment Breakdown

Coursework & Continuous Assessment
100 %

Coursework Assessment

Title Type Form Percent Week Learning Outcomes Assessed
1 Review of epidemiological papers. Contribution to class discussions Formative UNKNOWN - % OnGoing 2,3,4
2 Development of epidemiological fact sheet on specific topic Continuous Assessment Individual Project 25 % Week 5 1,2
3 Oral Presentation of Epidemiological paper Continuous Assessment Group Project 25 % OnGoing 1,4
4 Class Exam Critical Appraisal of research paper Continuous Assessment Open Book Exam 50 % Week 13 3

Full Time Mode Workload

Type Location Description Hours Frequency Avg Workload
Independent Learning UNKNOWN Self Study 5 Weekly 5.00
Tutorial Tiered Classroom Lecture 2 Weekly 2.00
Problem Based Learning Problem Based Learning Room Workshop 1 Weekly 1.00
Total Full Time Average Weekly Learner Contact Time 3.00 Hours

Required & Recommended Book List

Required Reading
2011-09-01 Introduction To Epidemiology McGraw-Hill Education (UK)
ISBN 9780335244614 ISBN-13 0335244610

This popular book examines the underlying concepts and applications of epidemiology.

Required Reading
2016-11-30 Essential Epidemiology Cambridge University Press
ISBN 9781107529151 ISBN-13 1107529158

Taking a practical view with examples from all areas of health, the third edition of this textbook provides a clear, contemporary introduction to epidemiology.

Recommended Reading
21/08/2019 Quantitative methods for health research : a practical interactive guide to epidemiology and statistics Wiley

Recommended Reading
2014-01 Epidemiology Saunders
ISBN 145573733X ISBN-13 9781455737338

Epidemiology, by award-winning educator and epidemiologist Leon Gordis, is a best-selling introduction to this complex science. Dr. Gordis leverages his vast experience teaching this subject in the classroom to introduce the basic principles and concepts of epidemiology in a clear, uniquely memorable way. He guides you from an explanation of the epidemiologic approach to disease and intervention, through the use of epidemiologic principles to identify the causes of disease, to a discussion of how epidemiology should be used to improve evaluation and public policy. It's your best choice for an accessible yet rich understanding of epidemiology! Gain a solid foundation of basic epidemiologic principles as well as practical applications in public health and clinical practice. Visualize concepts vividly through abundant full-color figures, graphs, and charts. Check your understanding of essential information with 320 multiple-choice epidemiology self-assessment questions (120 inside the book plus 200 more online). Access the complete contents online at Student Consult, including over 200 additional multiple-choice epidemiology self-assessment questions not found in the book, with answers to all questions as well as full rationales explaining why every answer is correct or incorrect. Master the latest nuances in epidemiology thanks to a wealth of new and updated illustrations, examples, and epidemiologic data.

Required Reading
2017-03-02 Critical Appraisal of Epidemiological Studies and Clinical Trials Oxford University Press
ISBN 9780199682898 ISBN-13 0199682895

Since publication of the first three editions of this hugely successful book, systematic methods of critical appraisal have been accepted as central to healthcare provision, both in critical applications and in a wider health services and community perspective. This new edition builds on thework of the previous editions by presenting a fully updated and accessible system of critical appraisal applicable to clinical, epidemiological, and public health studies, and related fields.The book outlines the systematic review process for the establishment of causal effect within single and multiple studies. Focusing primarily on study design, it covers randomized and non-randomized trials, cohort studies, case-control studies, and surveys, showing the presentation of resultsincluding person-time and survival analysis, and issues in the selection of subjects. It then describes the process of detection and assessment of selection biases, observation bias, confounding, chance variation, and how to determine internal validity and external validity (generalizability).Statistical methods are presented in an accessible way, illustrating applications to each study design. Positive features of causation including strength, dose-response, and consistency are also discussed. The final chapters provide six examples of critical appraisals of major studies, encompassing randomized trials, prospective and retrospective cohort studies, and case-control studies. Statistical issues are explained clearly without complex mathematics, and the most useful methods are summarized inthe appendix, each with a worked example. Each main chapter includes self-test questions, with answers provided, making the book ideally suited to readers with no prior epidemiological or statistical knowledge.Developed over four editions, Critical Appraisal of Epidemiological Studies and Clinical Trials is an invaluable aid to the effective assessment of new studies in epidemiology, public health, research methods, evidence-based methods, clinical medicine, and environmental health; making it essentialreading for postgraduates, practitioners, and policymakers in these fields.

Recommended Reading
2002-08-30 Making Sense of Critical Appraisal CRC Press
ISBN 0340808128 ISBN-13 9780340808122

Module Resources

Non ISBN Literary Resources

Greenhalgh, T. (2014) How to read a paper - the basics of evidence based medicine ( 5th  Ed.). BMJ Books, Blackwell Publishing. Greenhalgh, http://www.mazums.ac.ir/Dorsapax/Data/Sub_30/File/Read%20papers.pdf 

Journal Resources

The British Medical Journal 

The Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health

BMC Public Health

URL Resources

The National Collaborating Centre for Methods and Tools - https://www.nccmt.ca/learningcentre/EN/index.php#main2.html

The Institute of Public Health - www.publichealth.ie


Other Resources

PC access for searching for data and papers 

Additional Information