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NU7104 Epidemiology and Healthcare Statistics (10 ECTS)

Learning Outcomes

Following completion of this module the student should be able to:


  • Appreciate and understand the range of study designs available
  • Select appropriate study designs and conduct appropriate power analyses
  • Understand and compute epidemiologic rates including crude, adjusted and age specific rates
  • Understand the difference between prevalence and incidence and describe the different methods for estimating hidden prevalence.
  • Compute relevant confidence intervals, relative risks and odds ratios
  • Describe concrete examples of population health studies and comment on their impact

Healthcare Statistics

  • Describe different types of data
  • Provide a description of a data set
  • Display a data set graphically
  • Compute basic probabilities
  • Form a basic hypothesis (question of the data) and test that hypothesis (answer the question posed) for different types of data
  • Make predictions based on the data
  • Compare two different sets of data

Module Learning Aims & Rationale

The World Health Organisation, the United Nations, the Department of Health and Children and all major international and national organisations have recognised the need for healthcare professions to base treatments, interventions, policy and planning on sound evidence. Part of this evidence is derived from the analysis and compilation of appropriate statistics. In today’s ever changing professional environment it is essential that healthcare professionals are comfortable working with data and deriving and interpreting basic statistics. This module aims to stimulate your interest in, and knowledge and appreciation of healthcare statistics. It will provide you with some key transferable skills that will be useful in all professions. The emphasis in the course will be on applying the techniques to healthcare data and on understanding and interpreting results in real life data sets.

Recommended Reading List

Indicative Resources


  • Allender J. Rector C. and Warner K (2013) Community & Public Health Nursing: Promoting the Public's Health. 8th edn. Chapter 7. Lippincott Williams & Wilkins. Philadelphia.
  • Clark M.J. and Dummer Pearson M.J. (2015) Population and community health nursing. 6th edn. Chapter 3. Pearson. Boston.
  • Harkness G.A. and DeMarco R.F. (2016) Community and public health nursing: evidence for practice. 2nd edn. Chapters 5,6,13.  Wolters Kluwers. Philadelphia.
    Merrill R.M. (2015) Introduction to Epidemiology. 7th edn. Jones & Bartlett Learning. Burlington.
  • Maurer F.A. and Smith C.M. (2013) Community/public health nursing practice: health for families and populations. 5th edn. Chapter 7. Saunders. St Louis.
  • Standhope M. and Lancaster J. (2014) Foundations of nursing in the community: community-oriented practice. 4th edn. Chapter 9.Mosby. St Louis.

Healthcare Statistics

  • Bryman A. and Cramer D. (2011) Quantitative data analysis with IBM SPSS Statistics 17, 18 and 19: A guide for social scientists. Psychology Press. Hove.
  • Curtis E.A. and Drennan J. (2013) Quantitative Health Research: Issues and Methods. Chapter 18. Open University Press. Berkshire. 
  • Scot I. and Mazhindu D. (2014) Statistics for Healthcare Professionals; An Introduction. Sage. London.

*Other readings will be provided by individual lecturers.