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Learner Reviews & Feedback for Epidemiology: The Basic Science of Public Health by The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

3,720 ratings
1,006 reviews

About the Course

Often called “the cornerstone” of public health, epidemiology is the study of the distribution and determinants of diseases, health conditions, or events among populations and the application of that study to control health problems. By applying the concepts learned in this course to current public health problems and issues, students will 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....

Top reviews

Apr 11, 2020

Very clear teaching strategies from the instructors. Some quizzes though are a little bit hard on my part because of the type of questions and answers. But overall it is a great course to take with.

May 30, 2020

I just completed my course and I would like to appreciate the tutors for doing a great job, yeah! Also, I recommend Coursera for anyone who wants to experience advancement in knowledge and career.

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776 - 800 of 999 Reviews for Epidemiology: The Basic Science of Public Health


Jan 24, 2016


By Chun L

Apr 17, 2020

This is an excellent introduction to the basics of epidemiology. I took it at the testing time of COVID-19 to be able to critique the evidence presented in the vast body of news coverage. The course structure is well balanced and key epidemiology basics covered. The explanations to concepts are very clear, often with reference to real-life examples for easier understanding. The course slides are detailed but concise, with key information highlighted. The additional reading provides useful extracurricular materials in greater depth. After learning this course, I find myself more confident in reading publications on public health studies for my work in air quality, which is such a wonderful reward for following through this course. Many thanks to Drs Alexander and Yeatts! One of my suggestions for improvement would be to provide detailed explanations to the questions in the weekly quizzes. Currently reviewing the answered questions does not provide any informative feedback apart from right or wrong - it does not even show my answers, which is not very helpful for effective learning from the mistakes. Another suggestion may be to add sample size calculations for each study design? However, these are really minor comments, compared with the great materials the two instructors prepared. Once again, thanks very much!

By Josue A

May 7, 2020

Overall this was a good course! There were good topics in each module, and modules were organized in a logical sequence.

Some of the modules (especially those dealing with statistical analysis) were a bit confusing and I had to research a bit more to fully understand them. Also, some of the quiz questions were complicated to understand due to the answer types, phrasing, and they contained information not covered in that specific module.

But, overall it was an enjoyable course that allowed for a basic understanding of epidemiology and its role on public health. The videos' lengths were adequate, most concepts were explained thoroughly and effectively, and the facilitators did a good job of providing enough examples to further explain the application of each concept.

By Tony C

May 5, 2020

Excellent introduction to a broad subject. Clear, concise and well structured. Three suggestions of improvements:

1) Please share the slides separately as a course companion.

2) The quizzes requires some improvement and why don’t provide explanations for some of the answers - specially those with multiple choices to get the full point on the question

3) Some More concrete examples and more exercises (homework) would be extremely useful in the chapter of understanding measures of disease frequency and Measures of association. Granted it requires more Maths (statistics and probability) understanding but that’s the whole point of those chapters.

Thanks again, truly enjoyed.

By Fernando J N

Jan 20, 2017

The course gives an overall good introduction to epidemiology applied to public health. The classes are well structured and the basic concepts are cleary explained, providing a more pratical insight on the uses and importance of clinical and epidemiological studies to public health. In my opinion, the course fill its purpose which is to give an basic introduction to epidemiology.

However, considering its six weeks long duration, I think that it may be suitable to add facultative activities (videos or even supplemental material) to provide those who want to go deeper a more complete learning experience.

By Elizabeth J B

Dec 11, 2020

I took this course as a refresher since I have been involved in numerous clinical and medical research in the past. I appreciated the mentioned of the Malaria and TB studies as well, as I have been involved with them in the laboratory side in Africa. The only issue I had with the course, was that it wasn't until at the end that I just found out that I could have been posting my questions. Overall for a virtual class, it was excellent! My Sincere thanks to Dr. Yeatts and Dr. Alexdander for a well given lecture. Look forward to my certificate :-)

By Colleen L

Feb 23, 2017

An interesting introduction to epidemiology. I felt that the statistical concepts this course covered were clearly explained, and the numerical examples helped further my understanding of these principles.

However, from the course description, I expected the course to talk more about concepts (it covered this a little bit, e.g. the Bradford Hill criteria) and perhaps the state of modern-day epidemiology than it did (for example, studies and successes from within the last 10 years?). I would love to see a follow-up module on that topic!

By George W K

Nov 12, 2020

Great introduction to epidemiology. I found the entire course very interesting and well taught. I wanted to take this course because I'm very interested in matters of public health and population health. I did not realize just how quantitative this discipline is - I feel like I should have anticipated and understood that going into this introduction, but I didn't and found it challenging to get my head around exactly how the various measurements inform epidemiologists. Great course and two very capable instructors!

By Ana M M Y

Sep 5, 2017


By Carlo

Feb 23, 2017

Good course, very well structured, well signposted, progressive, very clear, with a good use of the media. As for the content, the examples are not always well connected to the theory. The speakers speak at a good pace, not too slow not too fast but their tone is monotonous and it is a little bit formal. Therefore the course is a little dull. As the course is very introductory, it would have been nice to be directed to other more advanced courses either online or residential.

By Mauro S

Dec 28, 2015

The course provides a good introduction to epidemiology. Both teachers are relaxed and speak very well, which is important for foreign students. I would add more intermediate ,practice exercises before quizzes, intermingling them with lectures. Absorbing too much material before the quiz is not always easy. Especially formulas should be practiced repeatedly with some real life problems, although not too difficult ones, in line with the purpose of the course.

By Paul D

Aug 23, 2020

Excellent introduction to Epidemiology. The course has a lack of content validation with multiple errors throughout from basic transcription of audio to incorrect values on slides. Questions posted in the forum are not answered in a timely manner (or at all in some cases) for clarification of confounding points in content areas. Course content is front-loaded heavy and considerably lighter the final two weeks. Overall, I enjoyed the course itself.

By Nam N

Nov 1, 2019

Thank you very much for designing such an easy-to-understand, concise course. I learned a lot of new things by attending the class even though I had gained some insights into this field. One important thing is that I notice epidemiology is not specific to only medical topics as I used to believe but also is applied in various disciplines to make policies for the community as a whole, from the perspective of population.

By Peter B

Apr 27, 2020

Going through this course, provided me the opportunity to learn the basics of public health. How health conditions or diseases are measure and viewed in relation to populations and how private and public can make informed decisions based on various health statistics.

Though not that simple, it really worth the time and energy.

Now, I have a great understanding of epidemiology and it's usefulness in public health

By maahin m

Jul 1, 2020

This course by the faculty of Public Health at UNC is extensive, elaborate and highly indulging. It is great if you want to introduce yourself to the basics of epidemiology, its terminology and history. The Additional readings provided are simple to understand and grasp. I am glad to have taken this course. Thank you to the amazing staff at Gillings school of Public Health,UNC and Coursera for providing it.

By Katie H

Dec 2, 2019

Great overview of Epidemiology! Quite a lot to cover - I didn't feel like I had enough time with each topic, before moving on to the next. I might take this course again, just to be sure I really understand all the concepts. I think more time needed to be dedicated to the measures of occurrence and study types. Perhaps two weeks for each of those? Great printable materials to help learn the concepts

By Xiangyi L

Mar 15, 2020

Due to the recent COVID situation I registered these course in concern with public health.

Pro: Well Structured; many guidelines on the experimental methods

Cons: First two quizzes are really kinda troublesome, some questions are confusing; No enough knowledge to let me know ( I was expecting more like a general introduction on what instead of how"

But in general it's a pleasant experience. thank you !

By Jim H

Mar 20, 2017

I learned a lot from this class, but I had a difficult time with some of the multiple choice quizzes, which I think could be improved. I felt that the additional materials (PDF readings) could have done a better job explaining concepts like risk ratios, rate ratios, and odds ratios, among others. I hope the teachers of the class consider revising and improving the lectures and readings for clarity.

By Dr. P S

Nov 14, 2015

As a Masters candidate in Public Health, I found the course quite informative. It covers all the basics and is helpful for understanding concepts in the subject. I study Epidemiology, and this course helped me revise and summarise the subject in the simplest way possible. Also, the language used, makes it easy for even lay people (with no health background) get a brief understanding of the subject.

By Ojo O M

May 18, 2020

I recently graduated with a Bachelors in Pharmacy and didn't know what to do next, only that i'm a research/practical oriented individual and I'm passionate about helping people improve their health status. The course helped form a resolve to pursue a career in Public Health, I am so glad i enrolled for the course.

Thank you Lorraine and Karin for your efforts and knowledge, God bless you both.

By Rodrigo d S M

Jul 9, 2019

It's a perfect opportunity for the ones who are looking for objective learning of basics in Epidemiology. The reading resource is useful and it may help you understand what you need. The only thing I felt uncomfortable was about some rate and risks measurements, they went really fast on it, and I need to come back sometimes for understanding clearly (I understand it's a basic course).


Apr 11, 2020

I felt the content was interesting and helpful in determining whether or not I want to pursue Epidemiology as a career, but the quizzes were not clear or the content did not justify some of the quizzes during the beginning. As the course progressed I was able pass the quizzes on my first attempt and then went back to study the previous content more intently.

By Abigail N

Nov 7, 2019

Overall, this was a pretty solid introduction to epidemiology. The lectures managed to simplify concepts without sacrificing quality of the lecture. The additional resources were also helpful. However, I had a little difficulty in some topics since the point was not communicated properly and I got confused. But overall, a good course to take for beginners.

By Vito G

Oct 23, 2017

The course was interesting. The information provided was probably the most essential for an introduction to public health; I would have liked a bit more information on statistical analysis tools and how they work exactly (e.g. how do they give us the actual p-value; what tools are out there and why or how you choose one over the other, etc.). Thanks!

By Deleted A

Oct 19, 2020

Took me a while to finish this course because I had to watch the videos again to better understand the concepts. Epidemiology isn't an easy subject for me but thanks to this course, I think I have a better understanding of the basic concepts. The lectures made seemingly complicated topics rather simple. The additional readings were very helpful too!