10 Best Free Online Epidemiology courses

In this article, you will find a list of the 10 best free online epidemiology courses and where you can attend these courses. You will also find the meaning of epidemiology, its studies, the benefits of studying epidemiology courses online, and other important information that regards epidemiology.

In the Mid 1800s, an anesthesiologist named John Snow conducted a series of investigations in London that warrant his being considered the “father of epidemiology”. Before the microscope was developed, he had already conducted studies of cholera outbreaks to discover the cause of the disease and to prevent its reoccurrence.

following these several investigations from John Snow, people began to show interest in studying epidemiology. Today, epidemiology is seen as a very vital course and it is also regarded as the cornerstone of public health.

There are several courses studied under epidemiology currently, but we have provided for you a list of the best 10 free online Epidemiology courses that will interest you.

Most free online epidemiology courses are OpenCourseWare (OCW) classes, which means they were offered on campus but are now available online for free.

before we proceed with listing these free online courses, let’s take a look at the definition of Epidemiology and its studies.

What is Epidemiology?

The word epidemiology comes from the Greek words epi, meaning on or upon, demos, meaning people, and logos, meaning the study of. In other words, the word epidemiology has its roots in the study of what befalls a population.

Epidemiology is the branch of medical science that investigates all the factors that determine the presence or absence of diseases and disorders. It is also the study of how often diseases occur in different groups of people and why.

Epidemiological research helps us to understand how many people have a disease or disorder, if those numbers are changing, and how the disorder affects our society and our economy.

Information obtained from epidemiology is used to plan and evaluate strategies to prevent illness and as a guide to the management of patients in whom the disease has already developed.

Major areas of epidemiological study include disease causation, transmission, outbreak investigation, disease surveillance, environmental epidemiology, forensic epidemiology, occupational epidemiology, screening, biomonitoring, and comparisons of treatment effects such as in clinical trials.

Having understood the meaning of epidemiology, let’s take a quick look at its studies before we proceed with the list of the best free online epidemiology courses.

Types of Epidemiological studies

Epidemiological investigations can be grouped into four broad categories: Observational epidemiology, experimental epidemiology 

Experimental studies

Experimental studies are ones where the epidemiologist can control and manipulate different variables throughout the experiment. It usually involves a placebo treatment/group. This type of study is used when epidemiologists are trying to determine the cause of a health issue/disease or when evaluating the effectiveness of a cure or interventions.

Three types of experimental epidemiology are:

  • randomized control trial (RCT) – uses healthy individuals as units of study, mostly for assessing preventive agents like vaccines
  • field trial – uses healthy individuals as units of study, mostly for assessing preventive agents like vaccines
  • community trial – uses communities as units of study for assessing community-based interventions.

Observational Studies

Observational studies include descriptive and analytical studies; descriptive studies investigate epidemiological cases with regards to time, place, and person while analytical study investigates hypotheses regarding relationships between health issues and risk factors.

While descriptive studies time, place, and person, answer questions of when, who, and where, analytical studies try to answer the question of how a population is affected by a disease and why they are affected.

In analytic observational studies, the researcher simply measures the exposure or treatments of the groups. Analytical observational studies include case-control studies, cohort studies, and some population (cross-sectional) studies. These studies all include matched groups of subjects and assess associations between exposures and outcomes.

Observational studies investigate and record exposures (such as interventions or risk factors) and observe outcomes (such as disease) as they occur. Such studies may be purely descriptive or more analytical.

Benefits of Free Online Epidemiology Courses

  1. Flexibility and self-paced learning: the flexibility of online learning provides individuals with the opportunity to learn while still working and growing professionally. You learn when it’s convenient for you—at a time that doesn’t interfere with other commitments.
    When learning online, you can revisit past material or stop the lecture to perform additional research or organize your notes. You can work through the lesson plan at your own pace to ensure you’re really mastering the material before moving on to the next section. Flexibility allows online learners to move through the course work at their own speed and get the most out of it.
  2. Attending free online epidemiology courses keeps one updated both in the development of new methods of doing things related to epidemiology and also to advance further in some experiences.
  3. Studying free online relieves you of paying tuition fees, house rents, buying books, and paying for transportation, which translates to lower debts and more savings.
  4. With a free online epidemiology course, you can study and interact with your instructor and your fellow classmates at your own pace, through the discussion forum e.t.c, By the time you finish your online course, you will have gained more work experience and learned new skills that will help you advance in your career.
  5. Online classes keep you on a regular schedule of making and meeting deadlines, allowing you to practice managing your time and staying productive week-to-week. Employers often appreciate the time management skills needed to complete an online degree program and view these skills as a valuable asset to potential employees.
  6. Learning to work with others in a virtual environment can make you a more effective leader. You’ll develop critical leadership skills by utilizing specialized knowledge, creating efficient processes, and making decisions about best communication practices, such as what should be discussed in-person or electronically.

Free Online Epidemiology courses

  • The Basic Science of Public Health
  • Clinical Epidemiology
  • The Dynamics of Infectious disease
  • Genetic Epidemiology
  • Study Design in Epidemiology
  • Molecular Epidemiology
  • Essentials of Global Health
  • Measuring Disease in Epidemiology
  • Validity and Bias in Epidemiology
  • Introduction to Dental Medicine

The Basic Science of Public Health

This course will help students 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.

The basic science of Public health is the most enrolled course among the free online epidemiology courses. you can also check out free online certificate courses in public health.

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Clinical Epidemiology

This course teaches the principles and practice of clinical epidemiology, drawing on real problems faced by medical professionals and elaborating on existing examples of clinical research. Medical researchers will learn how to translate real clinical problems into tangible research questions for investigation, gaining insight into some of the most important considerations when designing an epidemiological study along the way.

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The Dynamics of Infectious Disease

This course will help students in understanding infectious diseases – what they are, how they spread, and how they can be prevented.

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Genetic Epidemiology

This course is presented by the University of Colorado Denver in collaboration with the Vanderbilt Genetics Institute at Vanderbilt University Medical Center and the International Genetic Epidemiology Society. It is designed to provide students with the background and knowledge foundations necessary to conduct statistical analysis of genetic association study data.

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Study Design in Epidemiology

In this course, students will learn about the main epidemiological study designs, including cross-sectional and ecological studies, case-control and cohort studies, as well as the more complex nested case-control and case-cohort designs.

The final module is dedicated to randomized controlled trials, which is often considered the optimal study design, especially in clinical research. You will also develop the skills to identify the strengths and limitations of the various study designs.

By the end of this course, students will be able to choose the most suitable study design considering the research question, the available time, and resources.

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starts on March 19th

Molecular Epidemiology

This course is an overview of molecular approaches used to address infectious disease issues in population medicine. These approaches are essential to determine etiology, understand transmission, track & control outbreaks, and prevent infectious diseases.

Essentials of Global Health

Learners gain an understanding of well-grounded approaches to assessing global health issues and what can be done to address them. Essentials of Global Health is a comprehensive introduction to global health.

It will learners to this topic in well-structured, clear, and easy-to-understand ways. Much of the course will focus on five questions: What do people get sick, disabled, and die from? Why do they suffer from these conditions? Which people are most affected? Why should we care about such concerns? What can be done to address key health issues, hopefully at least cost, as fast as possible, and in sustainable ways?

The course will be global in coverage but with a focus on low- and middle-income countries, the health of the poor, and health disparities. Particular attention will be paid throughout the course to health systems issues, the linkages between health and development, and health matters related to global interdependence.

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Measuring Disease in Epidemiology

In this course, students will learn the fundamental tools of epidemiology that are essential to conducting such studies, starting with the measures used to describe the frequency of a disease or health-related condition.

They will also learn how to quantify the strength of an association and discuss the distinction between association and causation. In the second half of the course, learners will use this knowledge to describe different strategies for prevention, identify strengths and weaknesses of diagnostic tests and consider when a screening program is appropriate.

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Validity and Bias in Epidemiology

Epidemiological studies can provide valuable insights into the frequency of a disease, its potential causes, and the effectiveness of available treatments. Selecting an appropriate study design can take students a long way when trying to answer such a question. However, this is by no means enough. A study can yield biased results for many different reasons.

This course offers an introduction to some of these factors and provides guidance on how to deal with bias in epidemiological research. In this course, students will learn about the main types of bias and what effect they might have on your study findings.

learners will then focus on the concept of confounding and you will explore various methods to identify and control for confounding in different study designs. In the last module of this course, we will discuss the phenomenon of effect modification, which is key to understanding and interpreting study results.

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Introduction to Dental Medicine

This course provides an overview of dental medicine to engage, educate, excite and assist you in improving the oral health of your patients and members of your community. We will review topics in dental medicine including the scope of the field, what to expect in function and some of the many ways that dysfunction may present for different patients.

This will include discussions of mouth, jaw, and tooth anatomy, pathology, and treatment. We will talk about differences between patients and the unique roles that different members of the dental field may play in treatment depending on the patient and condition.

This course starts from basic concepts and proceeds to review trends in current research and technology. We offer scientific background, some skills for patient evaluation and interview, and some suggestions for further learning for those interested in or involved in dental education.

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Free Online Epidemiology Courses -FAQs

Where Can I Apply For Online EPidemiology courses for free?

There are many online learning platforms you can learn epidemiology courses for free, but we will be listing a few of them here.

All the courses listed above can be studied in of these sites.

Who Is The Father of Epidemiology?

John Snow is regarded as the father of epidemiology.

How Many Months Does It Take To Complete Free Online Epidemiology Courses?

The number of months it takes is dependable on the school site where you applied for the course. Generally, the range is between 1-3 months.

What are the Types of Epidemiology Studies?

The two main types of epidemiology studies are experimental and observational studies (includes both analytical and descriptive studies).

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Chinelo is an undergraduate who loves to assist students to grasp academic opportunities. She is a research-based writer with SAN providing relevant information about scholarships, schools, free online courses, and online degree programs.

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