Causes of Human Disease: Understanding Causes of Disease

FutureLearn Causes of Human Disease: Understanding Causes of Disease

University of Leeds
4 hours/week
2 weeks
Paid Certificate Available
Part of
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Discover epidemiology: the study of diseases.
What causes human disease? Why do some people get a disease but others don’t? Through this course, you’ll learn how epidemiologists are helping to find answers to these complex questions and how the health of a population is measured and analysed. By looking at stimulating case studies, you’ll explore how the social determinants of health contribute to human disease and how health inequalities exist. You will then look at health inequalities across the globe and investigate how and why different socioeconomic factors determine human health.

The course is suitable for anyone with a general interest in the science behind causes of human disease. No previous knowledge or experience is required. If you are working in nursing, healthcare or social care, or just wish to learn more, this course is designed to support you as a professional. By completing all aspects of the course you will have achieved 14 hours of CPD time.

What topics will you cover?
  • The main processes in understanding the structure of a population and its impact on a country’s health.
  • Key indicators used to monitor the health status of populations and the distribution of diseases.
  • Analytical epidemiology and how evidence is used to understand causes of human disease at the population level.
  • Risk factors for specific health conditions.
  • Social determinants of health that contribute to the causes of disease.
  • Socio-economic factors and health inequalities.
  • The life course approach to the study of risk factors and the causes of disease.
  • Key features and differences of global patterns of disease.

Taught by
Tracey Farragher
First release
Last update
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