Epidemiology, Statistics and Health Information

Module Overview

This module builds on concepts introduced in Epidemiology Statistics and Research Methods to reinforce the ideas and enable you to focus on your critical application to novel practical situations.

You will gain an understanding of health at the population level through study of current trends / debates future developments with regards to how information on populations and health is collected and interpreted, and an appreciation of the development of / capacity to critique aspects of the public health medicine function and National Health Service in the UK.
You will develop skills in critical appraisal of published work in health care related areas, and build on material introduced in Epidemiology, Statistics and Research Methods to develop more practical understanding of epidemiological and statistical methods used to assess patterns and causes of death and ill-health at the population level. 

Learning Outcomes 

By the end of this module you should be able to:

1. Formulate specific and appropriate questions regarding health at the population level
2. Design appropriate epidemiological studies to address population health questions
3. Locate and appraise suitable sources of information to address those questions
4. Demonstrate an understanding of current trends/debates and future developments in the way in which data on populations and health are collected, encoded and collated
5. Demonstrate an understanding of and be able to critique aspects of the public health function National Health Service and how it has developed in the UK.
6. Summarise, analyse and present epidemiological data appropriately
7. Interpret and critically appraise epidemiological and statistical information that they have collected/ produced themselves, or have been presented by others.
8. Critically appraise published papers dealing with epidemiological studies and clinical trials


20 credits

Module Attendance Required

2 block weeks of teaching


  • Health Information Assignment (20% of module mark) – ~2000 word written assignment: search of health information sources to investigate an epidemiological problem and appraisal of information quality
  • Critical Appraisal Assignment (40% of module mark) – ~2500 word critical appraisal of epidemiological paper:
  • Critique of a paper plus supplementary literature review
  • Statistics Assignment (40% of module mark) – ~2500 word analysis of a dataset and report: Analysis of a sample dataset with interpretation and appreciation of context and shortcomings of conclusions reached

You are required to achieve the overall pass mark of 50% across the three assignments

Academics involved in the delivery of this module

  • Dr Judy Powell (Epidemiology)
  • Dr Jen Marsh (Statistics)
  • Krish Nirantharakumar (Health Informatics)
  • Dr Karla Hemming (Statistics)
  • Dr Anna Lyon (Epidemiology)

Please note for some types of dissertations you will need to attend certain modules. For example: Qualitative Research Methods must be attended if planning to do a piece of qualitative research for a dissertation. Similarly Methodological Basis of Health Technology Assessment must be attended if planning to do a Systematic Review. And for a general qualitative piece of work attendance on the Epidemiology Statistics and Research Methods/Epidemiology Statistics and Health Information are requirements.