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Epidemiology 1: Planning a study

Graduate School of Health and Medical Sciences at University of Copenhagen

Aim and content

This course is free of charge for PhD students at Danish universities (except Copenhagen Business School). All other participants must pay the course fee.
Anyone can apply for the course, but if you are not a PhD student, you will be placed on the waiting list for the course until enrollment deadline. After the deadline of enrollment, available seats will be allocated to students on the waiting list..

Learning objectives
A student who has met the objectives of the course will be able to:

1. Knowledge: Identify an epidemiological problem to be investigated using relevant epidemiological and statistical methods.
2. Skills: Define and design studies, collect and store epidemiological data in a database and evaluate data quality. Develop a research protocol using relevant epidemiological methods.
3. Competences: Collaborate scientifically with epidemiologists, statisticians and other relevant scientists on epidemiological investigations. Evaluate the validity and reliability of an epidemiological study and generalise study results to other populations than just the study population.

The course introduces the concepts associated with basic epidemiology, e.g. study objectives and hypotheses, study design, nature of data, data management and measures of frequency and association. The focus is on practical application of the concepts, through discussions with peers and by writing a protocol describing the plans for conduct of an observational epidemiological study, as well as practical data management using R.

After an introduction with self-studies and eLectures in an eLearning environment, there is one week on-campus training with lectures, discussions and exercises. During this week, basics for the protocol are laid down. During the following eLearning weeks, the protocol is developed step-by-step using the principles taught in the course. The protocol is handed in one week prior to examination and forms the basis for an oral examination.
Describe the course curriculum in terms of scientific topics covered.

The course is relevant to PhD students and other working with epidemiological studies. Knowledge of basic epidemiological terminology is required. This knowledge can be acquired during the pre-course introductory weeks via self-studies within the eLearning environment

Relevance to graduate programmes
The course is relevant to PhD students from the following graduate programmes at the Graduate School of Health and Medical Sciences, UCPH:

All graduate programmes


The course is the first of two modules in Epidemiology. This first module of the course is based on blended learning, including both eLearning and on-site lectures, plenum discussions and exercises.

Course director
Søren Saxmose Nielsen, Professor, Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences, University of Copenhagen,

Søren Saxmose Nielsen, Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences, University of Copenhagen
Matthew Denwood, Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences, University of Copenhagen

eLearning: 30 July – 12 October 2018. Weekly assignments should be expected. Flexibility with regards to handing in assignments in first half of August can be arranged
On-campus: 20 to 23 August 2018
Examination: 30 minutes within the period 28 September - 5 October 2018

Course location
eLearning: KU-system ‘Absalon’. Requires that you have access to internet with a relatively stable internet connection
On-campus: University of Copenhagen, Frederiksberg Campus (Bülowsvej 17, DK-1870 Frederiksberg C)

Please register before 15 June 2018

Seats to PhD students from other Danish universities will be allocated on a first-come, first-served basis and according to the applicable rules.
Applications from other participants will be considered after the last day of enrolment.

Note: All applicants are asked to submit invoice details in case of no-show, late cancellation or obligation to pay the course fee (typically non-PhD students). If you are a PhD student, your participation in the course must be in agreement with your principal supervisor.


Course dates
30 July 2018 - 12 October 2018
Søren Saxmose Nielsen

6 points

If you have any questions about this site, please contact Danske Universiteter via mail: dkuni @