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MSc Clinical Rheumatology & Musculoskeletal Medicine

Year of entry: 2020

Course unit details:
Epidemiology of Rheumatism (33RH)

Unit code BIOL61222
Credit rating 15
Unit level FHEQ level 7 – master's degree or fourth year of an integrated master's degree
Teaching period(s) Semester 2
Offered by School of Biological Sciences
Available as a free choice unit? No


To facilitate students in acquiring  knowledge and understanding of the principles of epidemiological methods.


To facilitate students in acquiring

(a) knowledge and understanding of:

-the principles of epidemiological methods with particular reference to chronic disease

-the epidemiology of some common musculoskeletal disorders.

-the principles of genetic epidemiology

-the principles of health economic evaluation

(b) knowledge and understanding of the principles of clinical research methods including clinical trials, the development of measurement tools and the design and conduct of observational studies, and the skills necessary to undertake epidemiological research under supervision.

Learning outcomes

By the end of the module, the student will be able to: 

1.   Define common epidemiological terms.

2.   Design a simple clinical trial.

3.   Perform a critique of a published clinical trial.

4.   Assess the validity and reliability of a clinical measurement tool.

5.   Describe the characteristics of case-control and cohort studies.

6.   Describe the process whereby genetic studies may add to the understanding of rheumatic diseases.

               7.    Describe the incidence, prevalence, risk factors for and prognostic factors of rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, systemic lupus erythematosus and osteoporosis.

Teaching and learning methods

Seminars/lectures and interactive teaching sessions.

Assessment methods

Method Weight
Other 30%
Written exam 70%

A paper critique

Feedback methods

Feedback is an essential aspect of how the unit is organised and is a two way process.

Students' progress during this course unit is monitored by the module co-ordinator, and in the case of project work, by the project supervisor. Issues of concern relating to progress are discussed with the Programme Director and with other members of the academic staff as appropriate.

Students will be asked to complete a feedback questionnaire on this course unit, the aim of which is to provide feedback for the module co-ordinators. This feedback is taken into account when preparing the following year's programme. In addition, students are also asked by the University to complete a unit evaluation questionnaire.

Students are informed of their examination results in writing or by e-mail in accordance with the University's central Feedback policy. Students have the opportunity to discuss their examination results with the co-ordinator of this course unit.

A student representative is appointed at the beginning of the programme each year. One of their roles is to ensure that the views of students are relayed to the teachers and organisers of the programme. He/she will attend the meetings of the Programme Teaching Committee which take place every two months. The student representative also meets with the co-ordinator of each module at the beginning and end of each module to discuss student related issues


Study hours

Scheduled activity hours
Lectures 36
Independent study hours
Independent study 114

Teaching staff

Staff member Role
James Gwinnutt Unit coordinator
Jennifer Humphreys Unit coordinator

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