Impact Lives

PBHL 5504 Introduction to Epidemiology & Research Methods


Discover the many facets of epidemiology, from cause to treatment to prevention.

Format: Online
Duration: 8 weeks

From the health data that you hear from your doctor, to the studies that explore risk factors for heart disease, to the news reports on Ebola and flu epidemics, epidemiology is all around us. Epidemiology is the study of the causes of disease and the people at risk. Its goal is to discover ways to prevent and treat illnesses.

Throughout MPH 6004 Epidemiology, you'll study the history and fundamentals of this area of public health. Weekly topics will be brought to life through informative real-life case studies. By the end of the course, you will know how to detect an epidemic, the best type of study design for a rare disease, what makes a good screening test and many other relevant skills.

What You'll Learn in MPH 6004

Epidemiology studies the causes (determinants) of disease and the people at risk for disease (distribution). In this course, you’ll learn the history and fundamental principles of epidemiology, and the main types of study designs. The ultimate goal of the discipline is to determine how disease can be prevented and treated.

The course also covers concepts and measures that distinguish epidemiology from other disciplines, including incidence, prevalence, morbidity and mortality rates in populations. You’ll learn the importance of screening and which screening techniques are the most effective, based on a variety of circumstances. You’ll also gain the ability to recognize the validity of data, potential biases and ethical issues.

Course Topics

Throughout this course, weekly topics may include but are not limited to:

  • Foundations of Epidemiology
  • Practical Disease Concepts in Epidemiology
  • Validity, Reliability and Screening
  • Descriptive Epidemiology & General Health and Population Indicators
  • Descriptive Study Designs
  • Prospective Studies in Epidemiology
  • Effect Measures
  • Data Interpretation Issues

Course Learning Outcomes

Upon completion of MPH 6004 Epidemiology, you will be able to:

  • Describe a public health problem in terms of magnitude, persons, time and place.
  • Evaluate the strengths and limitations of epidemiologic reports, including sample selection, measurement and analysis.
  • Draw appropriate inferences from epidemiologic data.
  • Calculate basic epidemiological parameters, including incidence, prevalence, risk and measures of association.
  • Communicate epidemiologic information to lay and professional audiences.
  • Apply basic ethical and legal principles pertaining to the collection, maintenance, use and dissemination of epidemiologic data.

Request More Information

To learn more about the online Master of Public Health curriculum from Benedictine University, including Epidemiology, call (866) 295-3104 to speak with a program manager or request more information.