Erasmus Summer Programme Courses

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Social Epidemiology [ESP61]

Course highlights

EC points


Start date

22 August 2022

End date

26 August 2022

Course days

Monday to Friday (5 afternoons)

Course time

From 13:00 till 16:00 CEST


Prof. Frank van Lenthe

Course fee

€ 490


Erasmus MC, Rotterdam NL






  • Epidemiology
  • Public Health

Course Materials

Digitally, download instructions will be sent before the start of the course, by e-mail.

Recommended book: Berkman, Kawachi & Glymour (eds.). Social epidemiology (2nd edition). Oxford University Press, 2014.

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Detailed information about this course:


Faculty: Prof. Frank van Lenthe, PhD

The unequal health consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic show the stubbornness of health inequalities, and the need for epidemiologists and public health experts with the skills to apply an equity perspective to public health challenges. In this course, I introduce and illustrate modern research methods in social epidemiology, i.e. the study of the social determinants and social outcomes of health. The three main areas to be covered are: the measurement of health inequalities, the explanation of health inequalities, and the evaluation of interventions and policies to reduce health inequalities. Application of the research methods will be illustrated with historical landmark studies as well as recent examples from the international literature.

The programme consists of lectures, hands-on exercises, and group discussions. The focus will be on socioeconomic inequalities in health, but the role of other social factors (such as migration background and marital status) will also be discussed.


After the end of the course, the student is able to

  • Interpret commonly used measures of health inequalities
  • Describe explanations of health inequalities and the methods used to investigate explanations
  • Understand the tools to investigate the reduction of health inequalities
  • Discuss actual themes in social epidemiology on the basis of recent research findings

Participant profile

Epidemiologists and public health researchers with a specific interest in health inequalities.