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About Study Course

Department: Department of Public Health and Epidemiology
Credit points / ECTS:2 / 3
Course supervisor:Mirdza Kursīte
Study type:Full time
Course level:Master's
Target audience:Medicine
Language:English, Latvian
Branch of science:Clinical Medicine


To provide the opportunity to gain knowledge and skills in research methodology necessary to read scientific literature, apply principles of evidence-based medicine, develop critical thinking, and promote further research activities.


Basics of human anatomy, histology, and physiology; basic arithmetic.

Learning outcomes


• Explain the difference between quantitative and qualitative research methods.
• List the stages in the research process.
• Identify ethical issues in health research.
• Recognise different types of scientific literature.
• Explain the difference between literature review and systematic review.
• Interpret the concepts of “risk factor, cause, and confounder” in the context of multifactorial theory of causation.
• Identify suitable data sources and data collection methods.
• Describe the concept of a representative sample.
• Distinguish prevalence and incidence measures.
• Explain the purpose of the age-standardisation procedure and interpret age-standardised rates.
• List and describe epidemiologic study designs, their advantages and disadvantages.
• Interpret measures of association.
• Explain the difference between random errors and biases.
• Provide examples of selection bias and information bias.
• Interpret measures of test sensitivity, specificity, and predictive values.
• Explain the relationship between test sensitivity and specificity as illustrated by the ROC curve.
• Describe the traditional structure of conference abstracts and manuscripts in health sciences.
• Recognise main principles of oral or poster presentations.


• Illustrate the link between the scientific problem, an appropriate research question and hypothesis.
• Find applicable case definition.
• Perform literature search in relevant databases, e.g., PubMed.
• Draw simplified causal diagrams and define variables.
• Calculate basic epidemiological measures: prevalence, cumulative incidence and incidence rate.
• Identify study designs in published papers.
• Calculate measures of association: risk ratio, rate ratio, odds ratio, attributable risk, attributable fraction.
• Calculate test sensitivity, specificity, and predictive values.
• Present a hypothetical research proposal.


• Formulate the scientific problem justified by literature.
• Develop the research question, the aim and tasks to answer the question.
• Choose a suitable study design and data collection methods.
• Foresee potential threats to scientific validity of study results.

Study course planning

Planning period:Year 2023, Autumn semester
Study programmeStudy semesterProgram levelStudy course categoryLecturersSchedule
Medicine, MF5Master’sRequiredAnita Villeruša, Aija Bukova-Žideļūna, Solvita Kļaviņa-Makrecka, Karīna Zavorina, Mirdza Kursīte, Laura Isajeva, Lauma Spriņģe
Medicine, SSNMF5Master’sRequiredMirdza Kursīte, Laura Isajeva, Solvita Kļaviņa-Makrecka, Kristīne Ozoliņa, Aija Bukova-Žideļūna
Planning period:Year 2024, Spring semester
Study programmeStudy semesterProgram levelStudy course categoryLecturersSchedule
Medicine, SSNMFz5Master’sRequired