nl en

Study Design


Admission requirements



Population Health Management (PHM), Study Design, aims at improving basic insight and first hands-on experience in epidemiology and statistical methods needed to embark on evidence-based risk assessment, empanelment and prediction. Study designs, comparative measures, causes and predictors will be discussed. We’ll use various case-studies to explore, demonstrate and exercise. We’ll discuss fundamental questions like: If you do a research study, what design should you use? Are you looking for causes or predictors, and what is exactly the difference? How should I compare groups, and how do I express and quantify the difference? What to do if one group is older, or the other has more men, or has various ethnic background? How do I know if there is bias? How do I make a Kaplan-Meier survival curve and how do I interpret it? These are all pertinent questions that you must ask before you design a study. In this course you learn how to and put into practice, the writing of scientific abstracts, a research proposal, and a Critically Appraised Topic (CAT).

Course objectives

Upon successful completion of this course, you should be able to recognizes different study designs and knows which study design to apply to answer a specific research question;

  • is familiar with frequency and effect measures in clinical research;

  • can apply the basic statistical methods for survival analyses and standardization;

  • recognizes the epidemiological concepts of bias, confounding and misclassification;

  • can distinguish aetiological from prediction research


The timetable is published on the LUMC roostersite or can be found via the LUMC scheduling app.

Mode of instruction

Lecture, research, online education, group work

Assessment method

Students are assessed according to the following three obligatory components

Week 1-2 – Online:
20% Peer review assessment

Week 3 – On Campus:
30% Group presentation

Week 4 – Final week:
50% Final assignment
All components together make up the grade for the course. It is compulsory to participate in each of the components in order to receive a grade
Details on the assessment can be found in the assessment plan on Brightspace
A minimum result of 5,5 for the overall assessment is required to pass.
If the result is less than 5,5 or if the student didn’t participate in one of the components, the student is given the opportunity to resit the assessment as one assignment that covers all the learning goals of the course.

A final grade of 5,5 minimum is considered sufficient.

Reading list

The reading list can be found on Brigthspace. These are given as presentations and pdf files. There is no need to purchase literature.


Registration must be done via uSis at the latest 5 days before the start of the course. Registration in uSis gives you automatic access to the course in Brightspace.


Contact information Rutger Middelburg


This course is a combination of online ecucation and on campus Education at Leiden University Campus The Hague.