Ophthalmic Epidemiology

Epidemiology is the study of the magnitude, causes and distribution of disease in different populations and is fundamental to improving public health eye care.

The course

This course will enable you to learn from a range of public health and clinical experts working at both global and community levels.

The course

Because the course is designed for self-directed learning, you can work at your own pace and time, repeat or download the content as you wish.  We encourage you to assess your learning through the quizzes and to reflect on your experiences and views in the discussions.  If you are learning with others we encourage you to share and discuss your reflections as a group. We also hope that you will be able to apply the learning directly to your own work.


The 'Ophthalmic epidemiology' course is divided into 2 parts:

Part 1 covers the basic principles of epidemiology, its application for eye health and how to assess the measures of disease frequency and association. You should be familiar with these basic principles of epidemiology before starting part 2 where you now move on to critically examine the main epidemiological methods and their application to eye care. By the end of this course you should be able to:

  • Analyse the features of the main epidemiology study types and appraise their application for answering different research questions in eye health
  • Identify problems caused by bias, confounding and chance in epidemiological studies
Part 1 - Basic principles

Discover the key concepts of epidemiology for eye care, explore the causes and distribution of visual impairment in populations, learn about key epidemiological study designs and assess their strengths and limitations for studying eye disease.

Part 2 - Application to eye diseases

Learn to critically analyse the different features of the main epidemiological study designs and how they are used to address different research questions in eye health.


There are no assessments but a personalised certificate of participation can be obtained for £30. Certificates will be produced termly; at the end of January, April, August, November. Postage and delivery may take up to two weeks. Incomplete requests, or requests received after a deadline will be processed during the next certificate production run.