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Module

MMB8009 : Clinical Epidemiology

  • Offered for Year: 2020/21
  • Module Leader(s): Professor Mark Pearce
  • Lecturer: Mrs Nermine Basta, Dr Fiona Pearson, Dr Mark Booth, Dr Emma Slack, Dr Louise Reynard, Professor Linda Sharp, Dr Svetlana Cherlin
  • Owning School: FMS Graduate School
  • Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus
Semesters
Semester 1 Credit Value: 20
ECTS Credits: 10.0

Aims

This module aims to provide the students with a sound theoretical and practical understanding of value, theoretical basis and practicalities of epidemiology and approaches to epidemiological research. Epidemiology concerns the investigation of distributions and causes of disease within populations. This module engages the students in thinking about the basic concepts of epidemiology and covers the basic epidemiology of cancer, children’s health and adult onset diseases, as well as how to investigate the potential impact of environmental, lifestyle and occupational exposures on the health of individuals. The emphasis of the course is on practical application – how can I set about answering a question about the health of individuals within an epidemiological framework? Throughout the course you will develop skills in critical appraisal by evaluating published research and the strengths and weaknesses of epidemiology itself. By the end of the course students will, with our help in small group tutorial work, have designed an epidemiological study of their choice and gained knowledge that will be provide a sound grounding if you undertake medical or biological research in the future. No previous experience of epidemiology is required as the module assumes no prior knowledge of epidemiological methods. The module is appropriate for all students accepted for the MRes, regardless of background.

Outline Of Syllabus

The syllabus includes:

Introductory lecture: What is it and what has epidemiology ever done for us?
Epidemiological Study Design – ecological, cross-sectional and cohort studies
Case-Control Studies
Measuring disease frequency – incidence, prevalence and mortality
Bias, confounding and mediation
Creating Information for use in epidemiology studies
Ethics and Legal issues in epidemiology
Lifecourse Epidemiology
Genetic and Epigenetic Epidemiology
Environmental and Occupational Epidemiology
Cancer Epidemiology
Molecular Epidemiology
Perinatal and Paediatric Epidemiology
Critical appraisal of epidemiology literature (leading to the first written assignment)
Causation and interpretation
Cardiovascular Disease Epidemiology
Developing hypotheses and planning studies (leading to the second written assignment)

Teaching Methods

Please note that module leaders are reviewing the module teaching and assessment methods for Semester 2 modules, in light of the Covid-19 restrictions. There may also be a few further changes to Semester 1 modules. Final information will be available by the end of August 2020 in for Semester 1 modules and the end of October 2020 for Semester 2 modules.

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion150:0050:00Preparation and submission of study design assignment
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion140:0040:00Preparation of critical appraisal report
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesSmall group teaching141:0014:00Synchronous online: seminars (also recorded)
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesSmall group teaching121:0012:00Present in person: seminars (also recorded)
Guided Independent StudyReflective learning activity114:0014:00Additional Reading & Reflective Learning
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study120:0020:00Preparation of presentation
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study150:0050:00Preparing Notes from Lectures and Reading
Total200:00
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

An understanding of clinical epidemiology is a key area in modern medical science. The majority of the course will be taught by lecture materials and seminars which is standard format. The knowledge gained and the skills developed in the lecture materials and seminars will enable the students to make a more informed approach to this subject, particularly in:

1. The fundamentals of epidemiological research.

2. The limitations of all studies.

3. The legal and ethical issues.

4. The role of epidemiological investigation in the study of disease.

5. The basic concepts of environmental and genetic epidemiology.

Assessment Methods

Please note that module leaders are reviewing the module teaching and assessment methods for Semester 2 modules, in light of the Covid-19 restrictions. There may also be a few further changes to Semester 1 modules. Final information will be available by the end of August 2020 in for Semester 1 modules and the end of October 2020 for Semester 2 modules.

The format of resits will be determined by the Board of Examiners

Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Written exercise1M60Written epidemiological study design- maximum word count 3000 words
Prof skill assessmnt1M20Oral presentation on study design - 10 minutes per student with 5 minutes for questions - present in person with option for online
Written exercise1M20Written critical appraisal - maximum word count 500 words plus a figure
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

Knowledge and understanding are assessed in the coursework. Key (transferable) skills are assessed by coursework. The oral presentation will assess presentation, critical appraisal and planning skills. The written assignment will reinforce material supplied in lectures and help students practice written communication and critical appraisal.

Reading Lists

Timetable