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

€ 1400






  • 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


No fees are charged for participation of Erasmus MC PhD candidates

Please note that in case of cancellation or no show, the cancellation policy applies based on the full course fee.

50% reduction on our fees for participating institutes of NIHES

This 50% reduction is offered to participants formally appointed at the departments or sections participating in NIHES.

University Medical Center Rotterdam/Erasmus University Rotterdam:

  • Department of Epidemiology
  • Department of Public Health
  • Department of Psychiatry, Section of Medical Psychology and Psychotherapy
  • Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry/Psychology
  • Department of Medical Informatics
  • Department of General Practice
  • Erasmus School of Health Policy & Management
  • Generation R

50% reduction on our fees for NIHES affiliated partners

This 50% reduction is offered to participants formally appointed at the following NIHES affiliated partners:

University Medical Center Rotterdam/Erasmus University Rotterdam, departments of:

  • Dermatology
  • General Paediatrics
  • Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery
  • Rehabilitation Medicine

UMIT, Department of Public Health, Health Services Research and Health Technology Assessment.

25% reduction on our fees for Erasmus MC employees

For participants formally appointed at all departments of Erasmus MC (except the departments mentioned above and Erasmus MC PhD candidates).

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

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