Introductory Course in Epidemiology & Medical Statistics

Coronavirus notice - Introductory Course in Epidemiology and Medical Statistics
Course dates: 24 June - 12 July 2024

The course will have a hybrid format and students can choose to attend in person in London or online. Applicants will be required to confirm within their application whether they are planning to attend online or in person.

LSHTM understands this is an uncertain time and rules around international travel could change at very short notice. We strongly advise candidates that choose to attend the course in person in London to only book refundable tickets and accommodation, and to ensure you have checked and comply with all UK entry requirements.

Overview - Introductory Course in Epidemiology and Medical Statistics
The course will have a hybrid format and students can choose to attend in person in London or online.

Epidemiological methods and medical statistics are essential tools for understanding and improving health outcomes in populations.

Course participants will receive a three-week training in the fundamental principles of epidemiology and medical statistics. This introduction to the field focuses on the basic concepts of epidemiology up to the application of statistical methods, including linear and logistic regression, using STATA and R software. In addition, students will gain practical skills in study design, data analysis and interpretation.

This course is taught by an experienced academic group of epidemiologists, statisticians, and demographers who bring an interdisciplinary approach to teaching and research. The course has been running since the 1980s and includes lectures from prominent academics and healthcare professionals in epidemiology and medical statistics.

Who should apply?

Applicants should have a good command of the English language. However, no previous formal training in epidemiology or statistics is required. Those who are confident in these methods may prefer to consider the Advanced Course in Epidemiological Analysis in September.

The course is relevant to clinicians, current PhD students, and other graduates who work in medical research units, academic institutions, or health services. The course is designed primarily for those working or planning to work on epidemiological research projects.

Whether applicants are looking to build on their current knowledge or just starting in this field, this course is an excellent opportunity to learn from experts and join a community of professionals in epidemiology and medical statistics.

Teaching methods

This hybrid short course may be studied online or in-person for three weeks. Participants should expect to spend approximately 5-6 hours daily on the course. Of these, 2 hours will be live/recorded lectures, and 3 hours will be a practical with tutor support, to be taken at the same time for all participants (usually 11am-3.30pm BST). A more detailed timetable will be available at the start of the course.

Members of the Faculty of Epidemiology & Population Health of the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine will teach the course. LSHTM is well known as a leading international centre for epidemiological research. Staff have considerable experience in the design and analysis of epidemiological studies in high, middle and low-income setting.

Course fee

The course fee includes all teaching and practical materials (in electronic format) and access to relevant statistical programmes for the duration of the course. The fee for 2024 is £3,537 and includes a Certificate of Attendance.

Course Objectives
Course Objectives - Introductory Course in Epidemiology & Medical Statistics
Course Content

The topics to be covered will include:

  • Measuring health and disease
  • Data and distributions 
  • Study design: ecological and cross-sectional studies 
  • Study design: cohort studies  
  • Study design: intervention studies 
  • Study design: case-control studies 
  • Introduction to data analysis 
  • Errors, biases & confounding 
  • Measures of effect and impact 
  • Statistical inference  
  • Analysis of categorical data 
  • Confounding and stratification 
  • Analysing quantitative data 
  • Errors in exposure and outcome measurements 
  • Prevention strategies 
  • Sample size and power 
  • Epidemiology to Policy 
  • Regression and correlation 
  • Introduction to logistic regression 
  • Infectious disease epidemiology 
  • Multiple regression 
  • Sampling  
  • Systematic reviews and meta-analysis 

Comprehensive notes will be given to participants, but the following books are recommended for those interested in further reading:

  • Webb P and Bain C. Essential Epidemiology: An introduction for Students and Health Professionals. Cambridge University Press. 2011.
  • Bailey L, Vardulaki K, Langham J and Chandramohan D, Introduction to Epidemiology, Open University Press, 2005 (Understanding Public Health, Series editors: Nick Black and Rosalind Raine).
  • Essentials of Medical Statistics (2nd Edition); B Kirkwood (Blackwell Publishing, 2003).

The course makes use of the STATA and R packages during some practical data analysis sessions.

There is no formal assessment, but at the conclusion of the course, a Certificate of Attendance will be provided. Approximately 30-60 participants will be accepted.

How to apply
How to apply - Introductory Course in Epidemiology and Medical Statistics

Applying for the course

Applications for 2024 are now open and can be made via our online application form.

Please read LSHTM's Admissions policies prior to submitting your application.

Short courses - visas, accommodation, disclaimer


The student is responsible for obtaining any visa or other permissions to attend the course, and is encouraged to start the application process as early as possible as obtaining a visa for the UK can sometimes take a long time. The Short Courses team can provide supporting documentation if requested.


A list of hotels located in the vicinity of LSHTM, along with further resources for short term accommodation, can be found on our accommodation pages

Important information

Please note:

  • Students will be required to bring their own laptops. The Stata package will be available for the duration of the course.
  • If you have been offered a place on the course you will not be able to register without bringing a formal ID (Passport) and without having obtained the correct visa if required.
  • It is essential that you read the current visa requirements for short course students.
  • LSHTM may cancel courses two weeks before the first day of the course if numbers prove insufficient.  In those circumstances, course fees will be refunded.
  • LSHTM cannot accept responsibility for accommodation, travel and other losses incurred as a result of the course being cancelled.