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118.854 Advanced Topics in Epidemiologic Data Analysis (15 credits)

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

This single semester course will provide an opportunity for students to study advanced methods for the analysis of data in the health and biosecurity context. Students will learn how to work with complex data, find an appropriate analysis tool and interpret it appropriately. Most data used during this course has been collected during real epidemiological studies and investigation.

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:

  • Develop models of disease spread and/or transmission and interpret the outputs appropriately.

  • Develop a Bayesian model and interpret results appropriately.

  • Analyse clustered or correlated data and interpret the results appropriately.

  • Interpret results from statistical models in the context of the underlying biology.

  • Effectively communicate results.

How the course works

Advanced topics in epidemiologic data analysis 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 or self-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 participation of guest lecturers from other Massey University institutes or other universities, the use of several open-source data analysis software such as R and OpenBUGS.

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

A two-week contact course and self study time over the summer semester - allow 10-15 hours per week

Learning materials and facilities

  • Study guide
  • Electronic library access
  • 10 days of contact course

Learning community

  • Online discussion facilitated
  • Social forum


  • Three written assignments


  • Internet access
  • Textbook: there is no textbook required for this course
  • Students need to have notions of data analysis (e.g by taking the 118.716 course in the first semester), for example know how to conduct and interpret a linear regression  


See Massey’s fee calculator for this information.

contact WORKSHOP (contact course)

This course is based on a two-week block course held at Massey University in Palmerston North, New Zealand, 2-13 December 2019. During this contact week 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.