Clinical Epidemiology Fundamentals (CEPI0000)


The Clinical Epidemiology Fundamentals (CEPI0000) professional development course was previously known as Introduction to Clinical Epidemiology and is a stand-alone course that differs from the other professional development/short courses offered by the Sydney School of Public Health.

It DOES NOT provide credit towards future enrolment in Masters, Graduate Diploma or Graduate Certificate (Clinical Epidemiology) degrees.

In this course we aim to introduce you to 'Clinical Epidemiology' the science of applying best available evidence to patient care. It is desirable that those who apply to do this short course have some clinical experience or experience in clinical research. The assessment tasks assume this knowledge and experience.

Course dates

This course will be offered in semesters 1 and 2, 2018:

Semester 1 - Monday 5 March - Friday 10 June 2018
Semester 2 - Monday 30 July - Friday 4 November 2018

Course Objectives

At the end of the course participants should be able to:

  • Formulate answerable clinical questions using the PICO format;
  • Efficiently search commonly used electronic databases to answer clinical questions;
  • Describe the major types of study designs used in clinical epidemiology;
  • Understand the basic data types, summary measures and measures of effect used in clinical epidemiology;
  • Determine whether a Randomized Controlled Trial has drawn conclusions about therapy that are both valid and applicable to one’s own clinical practice;
  • Determine whether a systematic review or meta-analysis article has drawn conclusions that are valid and applicable to one’s own clinical practice;
  • Determine whether a diagnostic test is likely to be accurate and applicable to one’s own clinical practice;
  • Critically appraise an article in a clinical interest area using knowledge and skills acquired during the course.

Course Content

The six topics of the course will address different questions:

  1. How to ask clinical questions and use efficient literature searching strategies?
  2. The basics of epidemiology - study designs and measures of effect
  3. Understanding Randomized Controlled Trials (RCTs)
  4. Understanding Systematic Reviews
  5. Understanding Diagnostic Test Studies
  6. Understand and apply the evidence - a critical appraisal task

Course Structure

This course is fully online and is structured around the six 'topic' modules. You can work through the course materials at your own pace, whenever and wherever you like, within the semester time frame.

eLearning support is available via email - with a response usually within the working day. Academic support is also available via email - with response within 1-2 working days (if issues can't be dealt with via email, a phone call would be fine). Once you are enrolled, you will be given access and instructions on how to use the university's Learning Management System (LMS).


In the Clinical Epidemiology Fundamentals – Short course you will be assessed in the following ways:

1. Formative assessment:

Module 1 to 5 Tasks are formative assessment – no marks will be assigned for your answer to the task and you will be given feedback in the form of a ‘model’ answer once you have submitted your task.

2. Summative assessment:

Module 6 Task - no grades are given for the Module 6 task, however, you will be required to make a ‘Satisfactory’ attempt before you are given your ‘Introduction to Clinical Epidemiology – Short course’ completion certificate.

Course Fee

The course fee for Clinical Epidemiology Fundamentals in 2018 is $1,150.

For a group of participants from the same institution or organization, the following discounts will apply:

  • 3-4 participants: 10% discount
  • 5 or more participants: 20% discount

The University's tuition fees are reviewed annually and may be varied during the period of study. The exact tuition fee may depend on the specific units of study in which you enrol.

How to apply

Applicants wanting to undertake the Clinical Epidemiology Fundamentals short course offered by the Sydney School of Public Health need to complete the online application. You will be able to enter payment details as part of this secure process.

If you would like to apply for a group, please complete the group application form and tax invoice (PDF). This should be forwarded by email to the program administration team at or by fax to the Office of Teaching and Learning (details below).

If you are a University of Sydney staff member and would like to apply please contact the Office for Teaching and Learning regarding a journal transfer after you have submitted your application form.

Clinical Epidemiology
Room 301, Level 3
Edward Ford Building (A27)
The University of Sydney
NSW 2006 Australia

Phone: +61 2 9351 5994
Fax: +61 2 9036 6247

Application Deadline

Please submit your completed application form and payment by the following closing date.

Semester 1 - 24 February 2018
Semester 2 - 21 July 2018

Late applications may be considered.

Cancellation Policy

No refunds will be made once the course has commenced. All cancellations must be in writing and addressed to .