MSc Occupational Hygiene

Year of entry: 2024

Course unit details:
Applied Epidemiology

Course unit fact file
Unit code POPH60112
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
Available as a free choice unit? No


Knowledge of epidemiology to this level is essential for those embarking on a career in public health and for those intending to pursue research. Clinicians and managers of clinical services should find a deeper appreciation of epidemiology, particularly as it relates to health services evaluation, useful.

This is an interactive online course. Students must work through the online course material. Students are encouraged to use the Blackboard discussion boards to ask questions and check their understanding of the course material.


Unit title Unit code Requirement type Description
Fundamentals of Epidemiology POPH60991 Pre-Requisite Compulsory

You must have passed Fundamentals of Epidemiology (POPH60991).


This unit is intended to equip students with the knowledge and skills required to enable them to undertake epidemiological research, albeit under supervision.

Learning outcomes

On completion of this unit, successful students will be able to:

  • Design and interpret epidemiological studies.
  • Comment on the advantages and disadvantages of the commonly used epidemiological approaches; the selection of a study design suitable for an issue at hand; the handling of error, bias and confounding; the imputation of causality; and appropriate approaches to data handling.


  • Understanding causation and defining a research question
  • Measuring and comparing disease occurrence
  • Choosing a study design
  • Populations and samples
  • Populations and diseases
  • Measurement error and validity
  • Longitudinal studies, bias, and confounding
  • Epidemiology in the context of health services research, policy and planning
  • Designing your own study

Teaching and learning methods

This course involves working through the course notes provided online, reading all references marked "required", looking at additional readings suggested where appropriate, using self-reflection to help you think about the ideas discussed, and participating in weekly discussion boards with fellow students and tutors. Participation in the discussion boards is not formally assessed; however, it is greatly encouraged, and generally those students who do participate get better marks.

Employability skills

This unit is intended to equip students with the knowledge and skills required to enable them to undertake epidemiological research including study design and populations, data collection and analysis and causal inference.

Assessment methods

Method Weight
Written assignment (inc essay) 100%

Feedback methods

Students will be provided with personalised feedback for their final summative assignment (2,500-3,000 words or equivalent) within 20 working days.
Further opportunities for formative feedback (on non-assessed work) will also be provided during a course unit. 

Recommended reading

Modern epidemiology, 4th ed. Lash TL, VanderWeele TJ, Haneause S, Rothman K

Basic epidemiology, 2nd ed. World Health Organization. Bonita R, Beaglehole R, Kjellström T & World Health Organization. Open Access

Study hours

Independent study hours
Independent study 150

Teaching staff

Staff member Role
Veronique Griffith Unit coordinator
Jennifer Day Unit coordinator

Additional notes

For further information please watch this video from our former Course Unit Leader.

If you have any questions about the content of this unit, please contact the Course Unit Leaders Veronique Griffith via email on or Jennifer Day via email on If you have any other queries, please contact the PGT programme administrators via email on


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