autumn 2023
HEL-3006 Introduction to Epidemiology and Biostatistics - 10 ECTS

Type of course

This course is mandatory for students at the Master's degree programme in Public Health. Course students may be admitted if the total number of students do not exceed the maximum number of 30.

Course content

The course covers the basic principles and methods of epidemiology including measures of disease occurrence and disease risk in populations and various research designs for investigating the etiology of disease. Introduction to critical review of scientific papers is also included. A fundamental part of this course is biostatistics, where the students will be introduced to hypothesis testing and confidence intervals as well as commonly used methods in quantitative data analysis. The statistical software SPSS is also used.

Objectives of the course

Objectives of the course

Knowledge The students should be able to define central principles in epidemiology, including important concepts in demography, and be able to explain the benefits and drawbacks of various epidemiological study designs. The students should further be able to explain basic statistical concepts.

Skills and competences The students should be able to:

  • apply central concepts in epidemiology and demography
  • classify the study design used in scientific medical papers
  • explain sources of bias in epidemiological studies
  • select the correct type of epidemiological and statistical data analyses for a given data set
  • use descriptive measures, one- and two-sample tests (t-tests, chi-square tests and non-parametric tests), correlation and linear regression
  • use SPSS for data editing and statistical analyses
  • interpret the results from the statistical and epidemiological analyses, showing a basic understanding of relative and absolute risks, p-values and confidence intervals

Language of instruction and examination


Teaching methods

There will be three gatherings lasting 4-5 days each. The course includes lectures, exercises and group work. Attendance to lectures and seminars is mandatory. The online learning management system Canvas is an important tool in this course.

Information to incoming exchange students

This module is open for exchange students with a Bachelor's degree (180 ECTS credits) in Health Sciences, Social Sciences or Natural Sciences, or equivalent qualification. For students who hold a Bachelor's degree in Social Sciences or Natural Sciences, the degree must contain a minimum 80 ECTS (or equivalent) within the fields specific to the Master's degree program in Public Health; epidemiology, health economics, biostatistics, health sociology, global- and environmental health.


Examination: Date: Duration: Grade scale:
School exam 30.11.2023 09:00
6 Hours A–E, fail F

Coursework requirements:

To take an examination, the student must have passed the following coursework requirements:

Take home assignment Approved – not approved
Take home assignment Approved – not approved
Mandatory attendance to lectures and seminars Approved – not approved
UiT Exams homepage

More info about the coursework requirements

80% attendance to lectures and seminars is mandatory.

The students have to pass two written home assignments.The assignments are individual exercises, and will be handed out between the 1st and 2nd session, and between the 2nd and 3rd session. The students will have two weeks to complete assignments, which will be graded as approved or not approved. The assignments should be handed in online in Canvas.

Re-sit examination

There will be offered a re-sit examination
  • About the course
  • Campus: Tromsø |
  • ECTS: 10
  • Course code: HEL-3006
  • Tidligere år og semester for dette emnet