SMED8002 - Epidemiology II


Examination arrangement

Examination arrangement: Home examination
Grade: Passed / Not Passed

Evaluation Weighting Duration Grade deviation Examination aids
Home examination 100/100 A

Course content

Study design, measures of disease occurrence, measures of effect, intern validity, Directed acyclic graphs (DAGs), interpretation of multivariable models, causal inference, causal interaction and effect measure modification, screening, instrumental variable estimation, family designs, case only designs.

Learning outcome

  • have basic knowledge of various study designs that are most common in population-based and clinical research (cross-sectional studies, cohort studies, case-control studies and randomized controlled trials).
  • be able to interpret different measures of disease occurrence (prevalence, incidence proportion and incidence rate).
  • be able to interpret different measures of the relationship between exposure / treatment and disease based on absolute and relative risk (risk difference, incidence rate difference, numbers needed to treat versus risk ratio, incidence ratio, odds ratio, hazard ratio)
  • have basic knowledge of common challenges in observational studies (selection bias, information bias and confounding).
  • have basic knowledge of and be able to interpret Directed asyclyc graphs (DAGs)
  • have a basic understanding of assessment of precision in epidemiological studies with emphasis on interpretation and use of p-values ​​and confidence intervals
  • understand the principles and be able to interpret multivariable analyzes.
  • be able to distinguish between and have knowledge of the concepts: causal effect (causality) and statistical association.
  • be able to distinguish between causal interaction and effect measure modification
  • have basic knowledge of screening
  • know the principles of instrument variable analysis, different family designs and case only studies

Learning methods and activities

Teaching modalities: Lectures and problem solving. Participation is mandatory. The course coordinator may approve up to 20% absence from mandatory lectures.

Compulsory assignments

  • Practice tasks
  • Mandatory attendance at lectures

Required previous knowledge

Master's degree. Medical students at The Student Research Programme.

Course materials


Hernan M, Robins J: Part I, Part II, chapter 16,

Rothman K, Greenland S and Lash (2021): Chapter 2, 3, 5-10 in Modern epidemiology


Hernán MA, Hernández-Díaz S, Werler MM, Mitchell AA. Causal knowledge as a prerequisite for confounding evaluation: an application to birth defects epidemiology. Am J Epidemiol 2002;155:176-184

Hernán MA, Hernández-Díaz S, Robins JM (2004): A structural approach to selection bias. Epidemiology. 2004 Sep;15(5):615-25.

JanszkyI, Ahlbom A, Svensson AC (2010): The Janus face of statistical adjustment: confounders versus colliders. Eur J Epidemiol. 2010 Jun;25(6):361-3. Epub 2010 May 7.

Glymour M, Weuve J, Berkman L, Kawachi I, Robins J. When is baseline adjustement usuful in analysis of change? An example with education and cognitive change. Am J Epid 2005; 162:267-78

Krieger N, Davey Smith G. The tale wagged by the DAG: broadening the scope of causal inference and explanation for epidemiology. Int J Epidemiol 2016; 45: 1787-808.

More on the course



Version: 1
Credits:  7.5 SP
Study level: Doctoral degree level


Term no.: 1
Teaching semester:  SPRING 2024

Language of instruction: English

Location: Trondheim

Subject area(s)
  • Medicine


Examination arrangement: Home examination

Term Status code Evaluation Weighting Examination aids Date Time Examination system Room *
Spring ORD Home examination 100/100 A





Room Building Number of candidates
  • * The location (room) for a written examination is published 3 days before examination date. If more than one room is listed, you will find your room at Studentweb.

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