These courses provide epidemiological training for professionals in academic departments, research units, or in the health services.
Epidemiology is the key discipline underlying medical research, public health practice and health care evaluation. The understanding of its principles and practice is crucial for those involved in the design or assessment of epidemiological studies and programme evaluation. Epidemiological methods are also used to describe the size and nature of health problems, to investigate the aetiology of specific diseases, and to evaluate the impact of interventions for treating and preventing ill health.
These courses provide epidemiology training for professionals in academic departments, research modules or in the health services. They are suitable for those aiming for a career in epidemiology research, academics in other health areas and other health professionals. The courses are also of interest to people who require an understanding of epidemiology, such as medical journalists and scientific officers in government and industry.
The aims and learning outcomes of the courses are detailed in the programme specification.
[[Free sessions from our Distance Learning Epidemiology course ]] - EPM101 taster session This 10-minute taster session is taken from EPM101 Fundamentals of Epidemiology, the first core module of this Distance Learning Epidemiology course. It will introduce you to some epidemiological ideas and invite you to answer some of the questions that faced John Snow when he investigated the 1848 London cholera epidemic.
- EPM307 session on Cancer Epidemiology This 2-3 hour session is part of our Distance Learning Epidemiology module on the Global Epidemiology of Non-Communicable Diseases. The session was jointly developed by the School and the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC). The session covers how data about cancer are collected and used, how secular and geographic variations in cancer burden can be interpreted, the most common risk factors associated with cancer globally, and how cancer can be prevented and controlled. Note that this session includes video clips and may take a few minutes to open.
Assessment varies from module to module but will include a combination of unseen written examinations and written assignments. Details are given in the module specifications.
Examinations take place once a year in June (please note: it is not possible to hold examinations at other times of year). These are normally held in a student’s country of residence. We have examination centres in over 180 countries worldwide (for details please visit the assessment and examinations section).
Examinations are arranged mainly through Ministries of Education or the British Council. Students taking examinations will need to pay a fee to their local examination centre. Please note that if you fail an examination at the first entry you will be allowed one further attempt.
Credits will be awarded to all modules (15 credits each) and (MSc only) the project (45 credits) successfully completed. To successfully pass an award, the following credits must be gained:
Most of the key study materials for the Epidemiology modules are in the form of interactive computer sessions (on CD-ROM or downloadable online), while two modules use a printed Study Guide. Workbooks, readers, textbooks and /or additional computer software (e.g. Stata) may be provided, depending on the modules studied. Materials are also provided online where possible, via the School's online learning site Moodle. Additional resources include past examination papers and Examiners’ reports, a Student Handbook and access to the School’s online library.
The course allows you to study independently, at a time and pace that suits you (subject to some course-specific deadlines) using the comprehensive study materials provided, with support available from academic staff.You have between 1-5 years in which to complete the Postgraduate Certificate, and between 2-5 years in which to complete the Postgraduate Diploma or the MSc.
The study year for most modules runs from the beginning of October through to the June exams, while two modules run from the beginning of January through to assignment submission at the end of August. The project work (MSc only) is carried out in the final year, with submission at the end of September.
Support is available from teaching staff allocated to each module in the following ways:
- Facilitating discussion between students and answering student queries, using online discussion forums through the School’s online learning site Moodle
- Providing personalised feedback from teaching staff on assignments
- Holding real-time webinars in some modules
- Students undertaking a project are assigned personal supervisors.
Blended learning: taking modules in London
After successful completion of a minimum number of core modules, Postgraduate Diploma and MSc students may also be eligible for the 'blended learning option', which allows for the study of up to two modules only (from a restricted list) at the School in London during the Spring or Summer terms in place of distance learning modules. Please note that these options, and the dates when the modules are held at the School, are subject to change - full details will be sent to all distance learning students in July each year.