1.Define epidemiology
2.List 2+ historical marks of its development
3.Assumptions of the epidemiological method
4.Components of the epidemiological triad
5.List 3+ domains of the health sciences were epidemiology can be applied
6.Describe 2 of the main design characteristics of clinical trials, community trials and field trials, CC-CmT-FT
7.Identify 1+ advantage and disadvantage of CC-CmT-FT
8.Discuss at 1+ bias of CC-CmT-FT
9.Describe the main characteristics of ecological, cross-sectional, case-control and cohort studies, ES-CS-CC-Co
10.Identify 1+ advantage and one disadvantage of ES-CS-CC-Co
11.Discuss at 1+ bias of ES-CS-CC-Co
12.Compute, interpret and apply measures of prevalence and incidence
13.Same for measures of association
14.Analyze the value and results of each study design in relation to the causal epidemiological thinking
15.Identify the ethical questions resulting from epidemiological studies

General characterization





Responsible teacher

Inês Santos Estevinho Fronteira, Isabel Cristina Maciel Natário


Weekly - Available soon

Total - 41

Teaching language



Basic notions of Analysis and intermediate level notions of Probability and Statistics.


- Altman, D. Practical statistics for medical research. London: Chapman & Hall; 1991
- Bhopal R. Concepts of epidemiology: an integrated introduction to ideas, theories, principles and methods of epidemiology. Oxford University Press; 2002.
- Coughlin S, Beauchamp T. Ethics and Epidemiology. 1st ed. New York: Oxford University Press; 1996.
- Gordis L. Epidemiology. 4th ed. Saunders Elsevier; 2009.
- Porta M, Greenland S, Last J. A dictionary of Epidemiology. 5th ed. New York: Oxford University Press; 2008.
- Rothman K, Greenland S. Modern Epidemiology. 2nd ed. Lippincott Williams & Wilkins; 1998.
- Rothman K. Epidemiology: an introduction. 2nd ed. Oxford University Press; 2012

Teaching method

Expositive lectures are going to be used to present definitions and theoretical aspects of epidemiology. The active method will be used to discuss practical exercises and cases.

Evaluation method

Evaluation will consist of a final written exam with multiple choice questions, short answer questions and true and false questions. The exam will correspond to a total of 100% of the final grade.  The final grade will be given in a scale from 0 to 20. The student will be considered approved with a grade of 10 or more.

Students with less than 10 can do a second exam which will correspond to 100% of the final grade.

Subject matter

The course is organized in six sequential modules:
Module I: Introduction to epidemiology: definition, historical evolution, epidemiological method and applications of epidemiology.
Module II: Epidemiological studies: taxonomy of epidemiological studies, experimental studies (Clinical, community and field trials); observational studies (ecological, cross-sectional, case-control and cohort), main sources of bias of the diferente types of studies, advantages and desadvantages of each type of study.
Module III: Measures of prevalence and incidence: definition, computation and interpretation of person-time incidence, cumulative incidence and prevalence.
Module IV: Measures of association: definition, computation and interpretation of relative risk, risk ratio, odds ratio and atributable fraction. Difference between risk ratio, relative risk and odds ratio.
Module V: Causality in epidemiology: causal thinking and its evolution throughout the times, Bradford Hill guidelines, necessary, sufficient and component cause, study design and its value as evidence
Module VI: Ethical and legal issues in epidemiology: ethical principles and their influence in epidemiological thinking and study design, informed consent in epidemiology, the case of experimental studies.



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