Survival Analysis for Clinicians [EWP24]

Course highlights

EC points


Start date


End date


Course days

Online modules, class days: Mon 02/03, Thu 05/03, Mon 09/03, Thu 12/03, Mon 16/03, Thu 19/03. Assignment deadline 03/04.


Prof. Dimitris Rizopoulos, PhD

Course fee

€ 1125


Erasmus MC, Rotterdam NL




Knowledge of statistics and regression models.


  • Biostatistics


How to apply

Detailed information about this course:


Survival analysis is the study of the distribution of life times, i.e. the times from an initiating event (birth, diagnosis, start of treatment) to some terminal event (relapse, death). Survival analysis is most prominently (but not only) used in the biomedical sciences. A special feature of survival data is that it takes time to observe the event of interest. A result of this seemingly innocent observation is that for a number of subjects the event is not observed, but instead it is known that it has not taken place yet. This phenomenon is called censoring and it requires special statistical methods. During the course different types of censored and truncated data will be introduced and techniques for estimating the survival function by employing both parametric and non-parametric methods will be illustrated. Also techniques for testing equality of survival functions (the log-rank test and alternatives) are discussed. Finally regression models for survival analysis, based on the hazard function (most notably the Cox proportional hazards model), will be studied in great detail. Special aspects such as time-dependent covariates and stratification will be introduced. Techniques to be used to assess the validity of the proportional hazards regression model will be discussed. The last part of the course touches on models for multivariate survival analysis, including competing risks and multi-state models and frailty models. Finally, aspects of the planning of clinical trials with lifetime data will be discussed.

Teaching methods

All aspects of the course will be illustrated with real data examples and will be practiced with computer practicals and/or pen-and-paper exercises.

Survival Analysis (EWP24) is equivalent to the Survival Analysis course (ESP28) in the Erasmus Summer Programme and the part about survival analysis in  Biostatistical Methods II: classical regression models (EP03).


After completing the course, the student should:Understand the concept of censoring and its implications for statistical analysis;

  • Be familiar with the most important techniques in survival analysis, such as the Kaplan-Meier estimate, the log-rank test and proportional hazards regression;
  • Understand the underlying assumptions and limitations of these techniques;
  • Be able to perform statistical analysis of time-to-event data and interpret the results.

Participant profile

Clinicians who are involved in clinical research with time-to-event data or want to learn the concepts and techniques for the analysis of such data.


Written exam

Reduction on fees


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

Institute of Medical Education Research Rotterdam (iMERR)

Netherlands Cancer Institute/Antoni van Leeuwenhoek Hospital

  • Department of Cancer Epidemiology

25% reduction on our fees for partner institutes of NIHES

For participants formally appointed at the following departments, institutes:

  • Departments of Erasmus MC (except the departments mentioned above)
  • Addiction Research Institute (IVO)
  • Integraal Kankercentrum Zuid (IKZ)
  • Pallas Health Research and Consultancy
  • Municipal Health Service Amsterdam (GGD Amsterdam)
  • Municipal Health Service Rotterdam (GGD Rotterdam)
  • Havenpolikliniek
  • Admiraal De Ruyter Ziekenhuis

25% reduction for all (international) PhD students
Please state your supervisor/promotor’s name and email address on the application form (remarks field).

25% reduction on our course fees (maximum 3 EC points per academic year) for all NIHES alumni
Please state that you are a NIHES alumnus/alumna and the academic year you graduated (remarks field). Please note that the reduction on fees for alumni does not apply to the Erasmus Summer Programme.