Introductory Course in Epidemiology & Medical Statistics (The Gambia)

Overview - Introductory Course in Epidemiology and Medical Statistics (The Gambia)

This course will take place at the MRC Unit in The Gambia at LSHTM.

Course dates: 11 - 29 November 2019

Epidemiological research is an important tool to assess health effects in populations and can be used to optimise disease surveillance, facilitate outbreak investigation and provide vital evidence for the evaluation of changes in health policy. This is a concentrated three-week course which will take students through from the basic principles of epidemiology up to the application of statistical methods, such as logistic regression using Stata software.  

During the three weeks, students will learn about the design and interpretation of epidemiological studies and the statistical methods that underpin many of the founding principles. Much of the content corresponds with that which is taught during the internationally renowned MSc Epidemiology at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (LSHTM). This short course is intended to be an intensive introduction to epidemiology and medical statistics, and at the end of the three weeks, students will understand the common pitfalls associated with study design, be able to choose the most appropriate analytical methods to verify stated hypotheses and feel confident to undertake basic statistical analysis using Stata software. 

This course has been running in London since the 1980’s, but for the first time in 2019 will take place at the MRC Unit in The Gambia at LSHTM (“The Unit”), which hosts various short courses on a regular basis. The Unit, now one of the faculties of LSHTM, is among the largest scientific research centres in sub-Saharan Africa, and for more than 70 years, has developed and maintained an international reputation for ground-breaking research into some of the leading causes of morbidity and mortality in the tropics.

The course will include lectures from experienced teachers from both London and The Gambia, with long term practice in epidemiology and/or medical statistics in high, middle- and low-income countries. Each lecture will be accompanied by a practical session in which the concepts taught in the lecture will be applied to address practical exercises, some on computers and others in small group discussions.

The London based course has a large and varied group of alumni, with many attendees joining on the recommendation of previous participants. 

LSHTM and the Unit house a large academic group of epidemiologists, statisticians and infectious diseases experts, and promote an inter-disciplinary approach to teaching and research.

Who should apply?

The course is relevant to clinicians and other graduates who work in medical research units, academic departments or health services. No previous formal training in epidemiology or statistics is required. Those who are already confident in the methods taught on the course may prefer to consider the Advanced Course in Epidemiological Analysis that runs in London in September. The course is very intensive and a good command of the English language is essential.

Course fee

The fee for 2019 is £3,450.00. This includes all teaching and practical materials (in electronic and paper format), access to relevant statistical programmes for the duration of the course, use of computer equipment, vouchers for daily lunch and refreshments, welcome and farewell buffet and drinks and social outings to discover The Gambia (aka “The Smiling Coast”). 

Course objectives
Course objectives - Introductory Course in Epidemiology and Medical Statistics (The Gambia)

Course Content

The three weeks include more than 30 hours of taught lectures and 45 hours of practical sessions, including 10 hours of computer practicals. 

The topics to be covered will include:

  • Design and analysis of epidemiological studies, including sampling and power calculations as well as different types of study design i.e. case-control, cohort, cross-sectional, intervention studies and clinical trials.
  • Statistical methods in epidemiology, including t-tests, chi-square tests, Mantel-Haenszel analysis, age standardization, linear and logistic regression and survival analysis. 
  • Data analysis using Stata software.
  • Epidemiological principles of research, including examples of infectious disease epidemiology, undertaking systematic reviews and translating evidence to policy.

Teaching will be undertaken through lectures, practical sessions and seminars. The practical sessions will involve analysis, interpretation and discussion of epidemiological issues or data in small groups and participants will make use of the computer facilities available at the Unit. Stata will be the statistical software package used to gain an understanding of concepts.

Comprehensive information is 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)

Methods of assessment

There will be no formal examination, but a Certificate of Attendance will be awarded to those completing the course.

How to apply
How to apply - Introductory Course in Epidemiology and Medical Statistics (The Gambia)

How to apply

We are no longer accepting applications for 2019.

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

Accommodation and meals

Registered students are expected to arrange for their own accommodation and meals for the duration of their stay in The Gambia. The course fee only includes the provision of lunch and snacks.  Further details on accommodation options will be made available at a later stage to registered participants.

Important information

Please note:

  • If you have been offered a place on the course you will not be able to register without bringing formal ID (Passport) and without having obtained the correct visa if required.
  • 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.