MSc Epidemiology and Biostatistics
This two-year programme was initiated in October 1996 as an MSc in Epidemiology. Since 2000, it has been enriched by course work in Biostatistics and renamed MSc Epidemiology and Biostatistics. This programme serves to train health professionals to have in-depth knowledge of Epidemiology and Biostatistics and its application to important clinical and public health issues in developing countries as well as to be able to engage in scientific research. The programme is designed to train individuals in developing countries with a focused approach to regional problems and needs. Currently this programme provides the basic core courses to students enrolled in programmes other than MSc Epidemiology and Biostatistics such as the PhD Programme in Health Sciences, the MSc Health Policy and Management programme, the MSc Nursing programme, the Community Medicine Residency programme and all core and advanced courses to MSc programme in Clinical Research.
The objective of the programme is to develop individuals who understand the principles of epidemiology and biostatistics, can critically identify public health problems and use epidemiology and biostatistics to characterise them at the population level. The programme aims to develop individuals to a level where they can design and conduct epidemiologic studies, manage and analyse data and use the results to recommend appropriate health interventions and to apply epidemiologic and biostatic principles to public health problems in the context of resource limitations of developing countries.
The curriculum of the programme focuses on the integration of its three major components: epidemiology, biostatistics and public health. Students are expected to apply their knowledge by conducting a research study and writing a comprehensive thesis supervised by a committee comprising of subject expert faculty from AKU. Course work involves diverse topics where students learn fundamental and advanced concepts in epidemiology, biostatistics and public health, along with course work in demography, survey sampling, epidemiological aspects in infectious and chronic diseases, public health issues in nutrition and reproductive health, with hands on experience in developing a research protocol, ethical guidelines for conducting research with human subjects, data management and analysis, opportunities to provide assistance and experience academic teaching and service delivery in epidemiology and statistics consulting clinic availed by faculty and staff of AKU.
The job market for graduates includes opportunities not only within Pakistan but also at the regional and international levels. To date, most of the graduates of this programme have been offered excellent employment opportunities by the Government of Pakistan as well as credible multinational and international organisations where they are serving to help in tackling the public health problems.