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

After completing SMED8002, the student will have:


  • Knowledge of various study designs commonly used in population-based and clinical research (cross-sectional studies, cohort studies, case-control studies, and randomized controlled trials).
  • Understanding of different measures of disease occurrence (prevalence, incidence rate, and incidence proportion).
  • Knowledge about screening.


  • Ability to interpret various measures of the relationship between exposure/treatment and disease based on absolute and relative risk (risk difference, incidence rate difference, numbers needed to treat vs. risk ratio, incidence rate ratio, odds ratio, hazard ratio).

General Competence:

  • Basic knowledge of common challenges in observational studies (selection bias, information bias, and confounding).
  • Basic knowledge of and ability to interpret Directed Acyclic Graphs (DAGs).
  • Basic understanding of assessing precision in epidemiological studies with an emphasis on the interpretation and use of p-values and confidence intervals.
  • Understanding the principles and ability to interpret multivariable analyses.
  • Ability to differentiate between and knowledge of the concepts of causation (causality) and statistical association.
  • Ability to distinguish between causal interaction and effect modification.
  • Familiarity with the principles of instrumental variable analysis, various family designs, and case-only designs.

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 2025

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 INSPERA
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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