Online Course: Clinical Epidemiology


Program Description


Clinical Epidemiology

This course focuses on the principles and practice of clinical epidemiology and elaborates on examples from relevant literature. The aim is to provide you with the knowledge to evaluate and assess applied clinical research and data analyses and give you sufficient scientific and methodological background information to actively participate in clinical studies. During the course, you will focus on questions of diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, and etiology. Several research options are available to help you address these questions, including intervention trials and case-control studies using data obtained in a clinical setting. Clinical Epidemiology is one of the online medical courses of the MSc Epidemiology Postgraduate Online; the online MSc program in Epidemiology offered by Utrecht University, University Medical Center Utrecht, MSc Epidemiology and Elevate Health.

Learning Objectives

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

Define, explain and apply the basic terminology and principles specific to clinical epidemiology
Differentiate between the different aspects of clinical epidemiological research (diagnostic/etiologic/prognostic/therapeutic) In particular, you should be able to:

Construct a clinical research question that includes outcome, determinants, and domain
Characterize different data collection designs used in clinical epidemiology
Design a clinical epidemiological study
Name and identify the data analysis techniques that are used for the different types of clinical epidemiological studies
Interpret the basic data analysis results of a clinical epidemiological study
Explain the concepts of bias, and the issues concerning confounding bias
Read and explain clinical epidemiological scientific papers and identify, in these papers, which design of data collection and data analysis were used

Course topics

Principles of applied clinical research
Study design and analysis of diagnostic and prognostic research
Study design and analysis of comparative (clinical) experimental and non-experimental studies

Learning methods

The whole course will take place online.

The following learning methods will be used:
(Interactive) lectures
Computer assignments
Individual and group assignments
Online debates

Course Deadlines

Week 0
Sunday before start date - introduce yourself

Week 1
Sunday – complete Learning Unit 1 and 2
Friday – submit assignment 1.6
Saturday – submit assignment 2.9

Week 2
Sunday – complete Learning Unit 3 and 4
Monday – submit peer-feedback on Learning Unit 1.6 and 2.9
Tuesday – rate peer-feedback
Thursday – submit assignment 3.7
Saturday – submit assignment 4.4

Week 3
Sunday – complete Learning Unit 5
Monday – submit peer-feedback on 3.7 and 4.4
Monday – hand in neutral summary (per group)
Tuesday – rate peer-feedback
Wednesday – formulate argument (per sub-group)
Friday – respond (per group)
Sunday – finalize for feedback (per group)

Week 4
Monday – final exam
Tuesday – give peer feedback (individual)
Wednesday – rate peer feedback (individual) Final exam


This course includes a closed-book exam that consists of multiple-choice and essay questions, which is the only part of the course that is not online.

You can find more information about the exam dates on the Elevate website.

If you are able and willing to take the exam in Utrecht, the Netherlands, we are available to proctor the exam for you without any costs. If you have to take the exam from a different location, you need a proctor.

This proctor may ask you to pay for their expenses. Please read more about proctoring on our specific webpage. The exam is not compulsory. However, if you want to receive the Course Certificate and the credits, it is obligatory to take the exam. You are allowed to redo the exam once. The re-examination date will be announced as soon as possible.


As this is a university course, it is covered by academic accreditation. Upon passing the final exam, you will receive a recognized certificate from Utrecht University and the UMC Utrecht.

Entry requirements

To enroll in this course, you need:
A BSc degree in biomedical sciences, pharmaceutical sciences, medical education or veterinary medicine, or a comparable degree
Basic knowledge about epidemiology and statistical data analysis. Elevate courses offering this knowledge include Introduction to Epidemiology and Introduction to Statistics
Sufficient proficiency in English reading and writing

Compulsory study materials
For this course, you'll need the course book 'Principles and Methods of Clinical Epidemiology' by Diederick E. Grobbee and Arno W. Hoes, Jones and Bartlett Publishers, 2014, ISBN-10: 1449674321 | ISBN-13: 978-1449674328.

Please note that you'll need to have access to this book and study material before the course starts. You can order the book, among others, at Amazon or

Please note
This is an online course, so you need access to an internet connection in order to be able to follow lectures, complete assignments and communicate with fellow participants. The only part of the course that is not online is the final examination. This course is offered through the MSc Epidemiology program developed by the UMC Utrecht and Utrecht University.

Course is offered by Course101 As part of the following program: MSc-Epidemiology-Postgraduate-Online

Last updated Jul 2018

About the School

Elevate Health offers a comprehensive range of online medical courses for researchers and healthcare professionals. Courses can be studied exclusively online, or as part of a blended plan that feature ... Read More

Elevate Health offers a comprehensive range of online medical courses for researchers and healthcare professionals. Courses can be studied exclusively online, or as part of a blended plan that features face-to-face sessions in addition to distance learning. However you choose to study, you do so at your own, wherever you are in the world -- all you need is an internet connection. Read less
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