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Conceptual Foundation of Epidemiologic Study Design [ESP38]

Course highlights

EC points


Start date

13 August 2018

End date

17 August 2018

Course days

Monday to Friday (5 mornings)

Course time

From 8:45 till 11:45


Prof. Kenneth Rothman

Course fee

€ 790


Erasmus MC, Rotterdam NL




An interest in the conceptual foundations of epidemiologic research.


  • Epidemiology
  • Methodology

Course Materials

Online, download instructions will be sent in August by e-mail.

Required text (book): Epidemiology, An Introduction, Rothman KJ, 2nd edition.

ISBN-10: 0199754551

ISBN-13: 978-0199754557

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Detailed information about this course:


Faculty: Prof. Kenneth Rothman, DrPH

This course elaborates the fundamental principles of epidemiologic study design. It begins with an introduction to the basic principles of epidemiologic inference, including concepts of causation, causal inference and the measurement of disease occurrence and causal effects. With this foundation, attention shifts to the principles of study design and discussion of the major types of epidemiologic study, primarily cohort and case-control studies. The utility and consequences of matching in subject selection is also addressed. The course concludes with a presentation of the underlying principles of epidemiologic data analysis.


  • Participants will be conversant with the concepts of causation and causal inference in epidemiology, as well as the basic epidemiologic measures, especially risk and rate measures, and effect measures based on them.
  • Participants will understand and be able to explain the conceptual similarities and differences between cohort and case-control studies.
  • Participants will be able to define and describe confounding and discuss the primary ways in which it can be controlled, and articulate why matching of subjects may be inadequate as a means to prevent confounding.

Participant profile

This course is intended for those who are new to epidemiology who wish to focus on the conceptual foundation, or those with a similar interest who already have some familiarity with epidemiology.