Week 1: General Modules

Summer Course 2021
33rd Residential Summer Course in Epidemiology
14 June – 18 June 2021

Week 1, Module 1
Epidemiological methods I:
Basic principles and introduction to study design
Rodolfo Saracci, Franco Merletti, Anne-Marie Nybo Andersen, Lorenzo Richiardi, Daniela Zugna




  • Population health, the core of epidemiology
  • Measures of occurrence and association
  • Exposure and outcome measurements in epidmeiology
  • Study designs: Cohort studies, case-control studies, cross sectional studies and intervention studies
  • Measures of association and attributable risk
  • Bias and confounding
  • DAGs (Directed Acyclic Graphs)
  • Introduction to the bladder cancer dataset
  • Temporal trends and geographical variations
Week 1, Module 2
Statistical methods in epidemiology I:
Basic principles
Bianca De Stavola and Costanza Pizzi




The course comprises a combination of lectures and computer practical sessions. The statistical package Stata is used throughout. The course begins with sessions which review key concepts in the frequentist approach to statistical inference: confidence intervals and the use of statistical tests and interpretation of P-values. This followed by two sessions on likelihood theory to explain the key ideas underlying likelihood theory and how the results obtained from likelihood theory link to the confidence intervals and P-values of the frequentist approach. These more theoretical sessions are then followed by sessions which apply the theory to the analysis of an epidemiological dataset. Analyses covered include analyses based on risks, odds and rates as well as an introduction to survival analysis. There is also a session on the use of stratification to investigate confounding and effect modification.