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118.716 Analysis of Epidemiologic Data (30 credits)

Course coordinator: Emilie Vallee DVM, MSc, PhD, MANZCVS (epidemiology)

This single semester course will provide an opportunity for students to study the basic skills necessary to undertake analysis of data in the health and biosecurity context. Students will focus on issues related to the design and management of observational studies and extend their skills in multivariable analysis. When this course is combined with 118.785 Principles of Veterinary Epidemiology and 118.708 Current Topics in Epidemiological Methods and Data Analysis, participants will have the necessary skills to design, manage, analyse and report results for population studies to determine the magnitude and impact of a health problem or identify potential risk factors for a particular problem.

Please note: Courses are revised following each offering. Details of content and assessment are subject to change between offerings.

What will you learn?

On this course you will learn:

  • Calculate the sample size and power for observational studies commonly used in epidemiologic investigations.

  • Conduct exploratory analysis of data collected in the health and/or biosecurity context and interpret the results with consideration of error, bias, confounding and effect modification.

  • Apply the principles of hypothesis testing and perform the appropriate statistical tests for one and two sample data.

  • Conduct appropriate multivariable analysis of data collected during an observation study and interpret the results with consideration of error, bias, confounding and effect modification.

  • Effectively communicate their findings to veterinarians, researchers and policy makers.

How the course works

Analysis of epidemiologic data is one of the postgraduate courses taught by the EpiCentre.

The course is supported by the latest research and reviews to challenge veterinarians with in-depth, relevant continuing education. Course materials include a printed guide to your reading and assessment which integrates online learning activities such as discussions, quizzes, lessons, library searches, critical evaluation and exercises for self-assessment with reading materials and personal study tasks. 

Highlights of this epidemiology course include: Course notes developed by staff from Massey University’s EpiCentre, the opportunity to develop a firm foundation for data analysis and statistical inference in the animal health and veterinary epidemiology context, and hands-on R coding experience.

Your Coordinator

Dr Emilie Vallee is a French veterinarian, 2009 graduate of Alfort Veterinary School (France). She completed a Master’s degree in animal health and disease surveillance in developing countries and then came to New Zealand in 2010 for a PhD on the effects of leptospirosis on sheep production. She is now working at the EpiCentre as a lecturer and doing research on a wide range of disease and animals, and on climate change preparedness. She is appreciated by students for her enthusiasm and “user-friendly” approach to data analysis. .

Course features

Two blocks of contact courses and self study time over a single semester - allow 10-15 hours per week

Learning materials and facilities

  • Study guide
  • Electronic library access
  • Two course blocks of 9 days each

Learning community

  • Online discussion facilitated
  • Social forum


  • Four written assignments and one oral presentation


  • Internet access
  • Textbook: there is no textbook required for this course 


See Massey’s fee calculator for this information.

contact WORKSHOP (contact course)

This course is based on 2 block courses held at Massey University in Palmerston North, New Zealand, 8-18 April and 4-14 June 2019. During these contact weeks students will learn biostatistical and data analysis concepts and methods during lectures, hands-on tutorials and exercises and self-guided material. It will also allow you to discuss with other students, help each other and share on your own experience.

Attendance is required in order to pass the course.

dates and timings*

Enrolments open dates to be advised
Course start dates to be advised
Course end dates to be advised

*Please note: You can still apply for enrolment after the due dates above. Places cannot be assured after these due dates; but late applications will be considered as long as remaining places are available.