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Epidemiology: The Basic Science of Public Health

The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill via Coursera


Often called “the cornerstone” of public health, epidemiology is the study of the distribution and determinants of diseases, health conditions, or events among populations and the application of that study to control health problems. By applying the concepts learned in this course to current public health problems and issues, students will understand the practice of epidemiology as it relates to real life and makes for a better appreciation of public health programs and policies. This course explores public health issues like cardiovascular and infectious diseases – both locally and globally – through the lens of epidemiology.


  • Course Introduction, History of Epidemiology and Epidemiology Research
    • This module introduces the history and field of epidemiology.
  • Understanding Measures of Disease Frequency
    • This module introduces measures of disease frequency.
  • Study Designs
    • This module introduces the following study designs: experimental, cohort, case control, cross-sectional, and ecologic.
  • Measures of Association
    • This module introduces measures of association and confidence intervals.
  • Causality
    • This module introduces causality.
  • Course Conclusion
    • This module concludes the course.

Taught by

Karin Yeatts and Lorraine Alexander


4.2 rating, based on 26 Class Central reviews

4.7 rating at Coursera based on 4487 ratings

Start your review of Epidemiology: The Basic Science of Public Health

  • It was a good introduction to the material. The emphasis is on introduction and is not an indepth course. The lectures weren't all that peppy and can be kind of boring, but it is well paced. The quizzes were tricky starting in the second week, so it pays to pay attention to the lectures, read the recommended reading, and take a few notes while you are at it. If you are interested in casually in the subject, then I would recommend not taking the quizzes. There may be less intense courses out there geared toward the public. This is geared toward students in the sciences. It's best for college level or higher student.
  • This is a great course, which I think is aimed toward casual learners or beginners to entice them into pursuing the field further. The strength of this course is that it nicely summarizes the concepts that other institutions take an entire Coursera Specialization to tackle. After taking the course, those who are interested should enroll in more comprehensive courses (either in Coursera/other platforms or in academic institutions) to enrich their epidemiology knowledge to practical use.
  • Mimi
    Nicely paced course. The lectures had many examples and interesting slides. Quizzes for the modules were far. A great introduction to Epidemiology- Basic Science of Public Health. I am ready for more!
  • This was a good course for learning the foundations of epidemiological studies and measures of disease frequency and association, although it was not the most stimulating MOOC I’ve taken. Some quiz questions were confusing, but the in-video practice questions were a great help. The section on prevalence, risks, rates, and odds could have been laid out more simply; I found it a bit convoluted and repetitive.
  • This is a very wonderful course I have ever come across in my life. This is my first course from coursera but I have really appreciated the way teachers are lecturing us and how interesting the course is. This course is so direct and it provides the most critical important aspects of public health which I really need. Epidemiology has been simplified with very much clear explanation that anyone around the corner of the world can understand better. This course doesn't give students hard time because the course materials are very clear to be understood... I am really very thankful to the Coursera for the greatest efforts.....
  • Peter Alfa
    Epidemiology is considered a basic science of public health. ... "Epidemiology is the study of the distribution and determinants of health-related states or events in specified populations, and the application of this study to the control of health problems."
  • Frank Adjei
    This course will help me aquire more knowledge on epidemiology and also how diseases are formed .

    More exposure of diseases control through data analysis will also help us know the trend of the diseases in a certain group of people, their community .

  • Senzo Base
    Video are very informative. Thank you. Tberefore i would recommend anyone to do the course via your platform as a meazure before registration.
  • Oladele Oluwabukola Grace
    Epidemiology is the study and analysis of the distribution (who, when, and where), patterns and determinants of health and disease conditions in defined populations. It is a cornerstone of public health, and shapes policy decisions and evidence-ba…
  • Anonymous
    I reviewed this course and found that there are keys points in which someone should get information and enhance able you to advance and be a better man or woman in the near future . so skills and good attitudes always are desirable.
    I do encourage my fellow students to focus on reading such that they become who they intend to be.
  • Anonymous
    Epidemiology is the best subject that help to overcome or reduce the occurrence of disease and the way of prevent and control the disease. It ensure that population can live different life safe for better protection and prevented with disease.
  • Sanjaya Kumar Beriha
    The wrost situation that i have seen now all over world.hope God will save us.and. I hope everybody should obey their respective government order.and they must be help their respective people inside their country either by giving food or shelter or by the way of money..All the doctor,nurses,police ,army forced,medical stafs, administration department, technical department, ministry government, transport department,food department, electric water department all should be work such a systematic manner so that we will win against this pandemic situation.
  • I am compete this course because i known that my future will be this certificate works so that i am course join i do know complete this couse and future very work this certificate and skill development many certificate use in life step by step successful any department and industry requirements it also conduct you have certificate this join work and any person defend certificate i am study complete this provide this is a certificate received any student and different type job available in a certificate
  • Ibrahim Sani Zuntu
    Epidemiology is often described as ‘the science of public health’. Here we aim to assess the extent that epidemiological methods, as covered in contemporary standard textbooks, provide tools that can assess the relative magnitude of public health problems and can be used to help rank and assess public health priorities.
  • Quaid-E Azam
    I am highly interested for this on line course on Basic Science of Public Health. The course will help me for community mobilization, ignition and ensure their participation for mitigate public health related problems and build healthy society.
  • Anonymous
    Concise and interesting. Useful refresher for individuals who are familiar with the different statistical tools used in scientific research and will like learn their application on epidemiology.
  • Asif Ali Bhat
    I learned alot through this course and also I'm so thankful to all of you because I got so satisfied with the way u people have introduced this course in a very beautiful way
  • Anonymous
    In epidemiology are main branches to study of pendamic during crisis of covid 19 if fully concerned about and study in public health Awareness
  • Abdfatah Osman Ali

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