Introductory Course in Epidemiology & Medical Statistics

Coronavirus notice and FAQ - short course
Coronavirus information

LSHTM is following the latest advice for the UK from Public Health England (PHE) on the coronavirus outbreak. Health and Safety of our students and staff is our top priority and, with that in mind, a decision not to deliver any face-to-face teaching until at least September 2020 has been taken.

Wherever possible, an alternative online provision is being developed and we will publish further information on our website as soon as it is available. Unfortunately, not all of our Short Courses can be delivered at a distance and will sadly be either cancelled or postponed. If this affects you directly, we will be in touch with options opened to you. 

Courses scheduled to run from September onwards are currently planned to be delivered as normal. However, the situation is developing rapidly, and you are therefore encouraged to regularly check the latest updates on the situation through reliable sources such as Public Health England. We would also strongly advise offer holders to book refundable tickets and accommodation as there is a chance that this may change. 

Overview - Introductory Course in Epidemiology and Medical Statistics
This course will also run in The Gambia. Find out more.

**This short course has been cancelled. Candidates should still be able to register their interest for 2021**

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 School. 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 since the 1980’s and includes lectures from many prominent professors from the School with long term practice in epidemiology and/or medical statistics in high, middle and low income countries . It has a large and varied group of alumni, with many attendees joining on the recommendation of previous participants. 

The School houses a large academic group of epidemiologists, statisticians and demographers, and promotes an inter-disciplinary approach to teaching and research. The course will be taught through lectures and interactive practicals by staff who have teaching and research experience extending across the major diseases of developed and developing countries. Whilst attending the course, students are encouraged to engage with academic life at the School through attendance of lunchtime and evening seminars.

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 confident in these methods may prefer to consider the  Advanced Course in Epidemiological Analysis in September. Both courses are intensive and a good command of the English language is essential.

Course fee

The fee for 2020 is £3,600.00. 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 refreshments, welcome and farewell buffet and drinks and social outings in London. 

Course objectives
Course objectives - Introductory Course in Epidemiology and Medical Statistics

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 trial 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.

Please see here for a provisional timetable

Teaching will be undertaken through lectures, seminars and practical sessions. 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 in the School. 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 Professionasl.  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

Applying for this course

**This short course has been cancelled. Candidates should still be able to register their interest for 2021**

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.

Accommodation and meals

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. Tea and coffee will be provided during breaks. Lunch vouchers for the LSHTM canteen will also be available.

Evening meals are not catered for at LSHTM, however there is a large choice of restaurants, cafés and shops nearby.

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.
  • 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.