Upon completion of this course, you will be able to:
1. Understand the strengths, limitations, and principles of different study designs including retrospective case-control, nested case-control, case-cohort, cohort, cross-sectional, and ecological studies and randomized controlled trials.
2. Identify and interpret effect modification
3. Identify potential sources of selection and information bias, reverse causation, and regression to the mean, judge how this may affect results, and understand how to control bias by appropriate study design
4. Identify potential sources of confounding and understand how to address confounding in the design and analysis of epidemiological studies.
5. Explain commonly used considerations for causal inference and models of causality
6. Understand the concepts ‘validity’ and ‘precision’, ‘random’ and ‘systematic measurement error’, ‘differential’ and ‘non-differential misclassification’, and the use of validation and reproducibility studies for epidemiological research.
7. Understand the general principles and strengths and limitations of systematic reviews and meta-analyses and be able to judge when these are useful.
8. Understand the different steps of conducting a systematic review, causes of publication bias, and the importance of evaluating heterogeneity in study results and be able to interpret the main statistical measures and graphs used in meta-analyses.
9. Understand major considerations specific to the design and interpretation of molecular epidemiology studies.
10. Judge the quality of articles on epidemiological studies and be able to interpret from these articles.
11. Use causal diagrams to describe hypothetical relationships between variables of interest.
12. Understand the use of instrumental variables to assist causal inference for relationships between exposures and health outcomes (e.g., Mendelian randomisation).
13. Develop a research grant application Apply the methods to the design of a research study