Study Design [CK010]

Course highlights

EC points


Start date


End date


Course days

Monday-Friday, the course covers a fulltime workload


Prof. Kamran Ikram, PhD, Maryam Kavousi, PhD, Jeremy Labrecque, PhD

Course fee

€ 1450


Erasmus MC, Rotterdam NL




  • Methodology


How to apply

Detailed information about this course:


In this course, the principles and practice of cohort and case-control studies will be taught as well as the important topics underlying epidemiologic studies such as validity and precision. The theory underlying the different design options and concepts will be discussed in depth using causal inference and counterfactuals. Also, a historical perspective on causal thinking will be presented. The course focuses on the classical approach but also addresses modern concepts. Lectures will be complemented by exercises using current examples of epidemiological studies.

Participants will be asked to work out a study design and prepare a formal presentation in the last week of the course.

For students in our master programmes, the core concepts presented in this course will be assessed in the core competences exam that bundles the fall semester courses. This is in addition to the assessment during the course in the form of a presentation. The core competences exam is only mandatory for students starting their programme in August 2021 or later, while the presentation during the course is mandatory for all participating students.


  • Understanding of main concepts of design of cohort and case-control studies;
  • Understanding of basic concepts of causal inference;
  • Ability to design a cohort or case-control study given a research question;
  • Ability to discuss research papers with respect to aspects of validity.

Participant profile

Clinical researchers, (clinical) epidemiologists, health scientists, decision scientists, public health researchers, those in health technology assessment or value-based healthcare.


Presentation(s), Assignment(s)

Reduction on fees

PLEASE NOTE: This does not apply to the fee of the research master programmes (120 EC points)

No fees are charged for  Erasmus MC PhD candidates, provided they have an account in Hora Finita, the Erasmus University PhD registration system. When submitting the application, you can state that someone else pays your tuition fee.

In case of cancellation or no show, the cancellation policy applies based on the full course fee.


25% reduction for all (international) PhD candidates without formal appointment at Erasmus MC

Upon receipt of your application you will receive a request to upload proof of enrollment as a PhD candidate.