Field Epidemiology course, the experience of COVID-19

Get to know the theoretical and operational principles of field epidemiology. With the Field Epidemiology course, the experience of COVID-19 will give you a specific understanding of outbreak investigation and control of communicable diseases.

  • Epidemiology
  • Public Health
Next edition
Classes start
26 May, 2021
Program ends
16 June, 2021
Monday to Friday from 5 pm to 7 pm
ECTS credits
250 €

This course responds to the growing need for professionals with specific knowledge in epidemiology. With it you will incorporate theoretical and practical knowledge applicable to different epidemiological risk situations.

The course goes beyond the analysis of the epidemiological management of the current COVID-19 pandemic, and offers a complete overview of the theoretical elements of field epidemiology combined with practical seminars on various communicable diseases.

Online training is designed to reach all professionals, regardless of their country of origin.


Why choose this program


Recycle your knowledge in no time

With this intensive two-week course you will have a theoretical-practical basis of field epidemiology.


Learn with experts

You will learn with a teaching staff made up of expert specialists in the different subjects of the course.


Prepare for the present

The training pays special attention to the current pandemic situation due to COVID-19.

Who is it for?

The course is aimed at health professionals who wish to initiate or improve their knowledge of field epidemiology. The practical cases that accompany the theoretical sessions will serve to provide the necessary skills to investigate and control present and future epidemic outbreaks.

Admission and enrolment


The Field Epidemiology course, the COVID-19 experience combines a series of theoretical modules to give context to all elements of field epidemiology, combined with practical seminars.

Academic content

Topic 1. Basic concepts

Concepts of epidemiology, epidemiological surveillance, and field epidemiology.
The importance of working on the ground.
Teacher: Rosa Cano. National Epidemiology Centre. ISCIII.

Topic 2. General epidemiology of communicable diseases

The epidemiological chain: sources of infection, transmission mechanisms, and susceptible subjects.
Concepts of endemic, epidemic, pandemic, media/online epidemics, R0 and its evolution, herd immunity.
Peculiarities of COVID-19.
Teacher: Joan Caylà. Foundation of the TB Research Unit.

Topic 3. Techniques and control methods

Techniques and methods for the control of communicable diseases: control of sources of infection, reduction of transmission mechanisms, and search and protection of susceptible subjects. Role of group immunity. The case of COVID-19. Teacher: Rosa Cano. National Epidemiology Centre. ISCIII

Topic 4. Uses and applications. Descriptive epidemiology

Uses and applications of descriptive epidemiology in field epidemiology studies: usefulness of time, place, and person.
he different epidemic curves.
Interpretation and meaning.
Teacher: Pere Godoy. Catalan Public Health Agency.

Topic 5. Uses and applications. Analytical epidemiology

Uses and applications of analytical epidemiology in field epidemiology studies: utility of different designs.
Prevalence, case-control, and cohort studies.
Clinical trials for COVID-19.
Teacher: Pere Godoy. Catalan Public Health Agency.

Topic 6. Diagnosis

The importance of early identification of cases and of studying contacts in communicable diseases.
Incubation period, transmission period.
Importance of diagnostic delay: the cases of tuberculosis, HIV and other sexually transmitted infections, and COVID-19.
Teacher: Joan Caylà.

Topic 7. COVID-19 diagnostic tests

The good and the bad aspects of microbiological tests for the diagnosis of SARS-CoV-2.
Eduardo Padilla

Topic 8. Investigation of epidemiological outbreaks

Investigation of epidemic outbreaks.
The phases of the study.
The investigation of outbreaks in the case of COVID-19 (nursing homes, health centres, and companies). Teacher: Pere Godoy. 

Topic 9. Epidemiological surveillance

Epidemiological surveillance systems.
The organization, description, and evaluation of surveillance systems.
The international epidemiological surveillance network.
Why did COVID-19 break through?
Teacher: Pepa Sierra.

Topic 10. Eradicable diseases

Eliminable and eradicable diseases.
International epidemiological surveillance.
The eradication and elimination programs of diseases.
The cases of measles and poliomyelitis.
Comparison of SARS, MERS, and COVID-19.
Professor: Pepa Masa.


Seminar 1. STD interventions in saunas. Apps for the prevention of STDs and COVID-19.
Seminar 2. Epidemiology of the West Nile Virus in Andalusia: factors associated with the 2020 outbreak.
Seminar 3. The study of contacts in vaccine-preventable diseases. Cases and outbreaks of whooping cough and mumps.
Seminar 4. Prevention and control measures for COVID-19 in Residences for the Elderly.
Seminar 5. Investigation of cases and outbreaks of legionellosis.
Seminar 6. Community health agents investigating TB cases and contacts.
Seminar 7. Mosquito-Alert: citizen science for the surveillance and management of infections transmitted by mosquitoes.
Seminar 8. Exporting the conventional contact study to COVID-19.
Seminar 9. Aerosol transmission and contact. The case of COVID-19.
Seminar 10. Study of disease cases in elimination and eradication programs. The cases of measles, rubella, and SARS.

Qualification obtained

At the end of the Field Epidemiology course, the experience of COVID-19, you will receive an accrediting diploma of 20 teaching hours from the UPF Barcelona School of Management.


The training is given by Pere Godoy and Joan A. Caylà, both experts in the management of epidemiology. For the practical seminars, there will also be expert professors in each subject or speciality.

Academic directors

Joan A. Caylà
Pere Godoy García

Full Professor of Preventive Medicine and Public Health at the University of Lleida.


Joan A. Caylà
Pere Godoy García

Full Professor of Preventive Medicine and Public Health at the University of Lleida.

  • Federic Bartomeus
    ICREA Research Professor. Theoretical and Computational Ecology Group. CEAB-CSIC and CREAF.Rosa CanoHead of the Data Management and Methodological Support Unit of the National Epidemiology Centre. ISCIII
  • Jordi Figuerola
    Researcher at the Doñana Biological Station, CSIC. His research focuses on understanding the ecological factors that favour or limit the transmission of pathogens by vectors with a special focus on zoonotic viruses and in particular the West Nile virus. In recent years he has studied the transmission of different flaviviruses and the environmental factors that favour the proliferation of their vector insects.
  • Noemí López Parea

Superior R&D epidemiology technician at the National Epidemiology Centre. Carlos III Health Institute. Ministry of Science

  • Josefa Masa-Calles
    Doctor and researcher at the National Epidemiology Centre of the Carlos III Health Institute in Madrid.
  • Jesús Ospina
    Coordinator of Community Health Agent Programs. Barcelona Public Health Agency
  • Eduardo Padilla
  • Antoni Pérez-Navarro
    Professor of Computing, Multimedia, and Telecommunication Studies, Universitat Oberta de Catalunya (UOC).
  • Pepa Sierra
    Centre for the Coordination of Health Alerts and Emergencies, Ministry of Health, Consumption, and Social Welfare


You will follow the course in a non-face-to-face mode, attending classes via streaming (with the Zoom tool). You will combine theoretical sessions with practical seminars, and you will be able to complement the theoretical contents of the course with a series of recommended readings.


Access to content

You will have access to the materials for 3 months for consultation. This viewing of the videos is not a substitute for attending class.


Remote training

You can connect from any computer, just bear in mind the time difference if you do not live in Central European.


Combination of theory and practice

Each theoretical session will be combined with a practical seminar that will complete the learning with a functional approach.


To take advantage of the course, you must attend at least 80% of the online sessions. For this reason, it is important that before registering you make sure that you will be able to meet the attendance requirement. The evaluation of the course will consist of passing a theoretical test.

Professional Future

The program focuses on the importance of epidemiological work on the ground to improve the effectiveness of prevention and control measures, both for COVID-19 and for other infections.

Student profile

The profiles of the students are diverse, although most of the participants come from the fields of medicine, nursing, or pharmacy.


Average age


Years of professional experience

Career opportunities

On a work level, this training can be recognized by the applicability of the knowledge learned. Within the Public Administration, the course may be valued in the merits section. The course does not include the possibility of undertaking internships.

Admission and enrolment

Our admission process consists of a rigorous evaluation of each application to preserve the quality of the group as well as looking at the training, experience, and work capacity of all students.

Who can apply?

All health professionals or other profiles that require or wish to initiate or improve their knowledge of field epidemiology can apply for this course, regardless of the country of origin. Registration will remain open until the start of the program, as long as there are places available.

How to apply?

To enrol in this program, you must read and accept the Contract Terms and Conditions and fill in the registration form.

The following steps need to be taken to register for the course:

1. Fill in the admission application form. You will receive a username and password to access the eSecretaría platform.
2. On the platform, upload a scanned copy of your ID (both sides).
3. Go to the "Enrolment" section to pay for the course by credit card or bank transfer.

In certain cases, additional documentation may be requested. 

The application is subject to the availability of places.

Grants, scholarships and financing


The UPF Barcelona School of Management offers you different means of financing so that you can take any of our programs without worry. We offer you the opportunity to finance part of your program, either by rewarding your talent through scholarships, through grants from entities dedicated to promoting education or through collaboration agreements with financial entities.


Financing simulator

You can choose how to finance your studies by consulting our simulator and receive an answer in less than 24 hours.

Go to the simulator

Collaborating entities

In addition, UPF Barcelona School of Management collaborates with various banks and financial entities which provide study loans on favorable terms. For more information you can contact any of the following links (in Spanish).

Note, however, that in order to benefit from these special conditions you must have a NIE if you are not a European Citizen. Therefore, UPF Barcelona School of Management strongly recommends international students to seek first for students loans at bank entities of their country of origin, or to search for funding opportunities through international entities.

The Agency for Management of University and Research Grants of Catalonia (AGAUR, in Spanish) also offers loans to university students with legal residence in Catalonia through the PREPOST program.

Si se requiere de factura, podrás solicitarla a través de la eSecretaría, nuestra plataforma de gestión documental.

Field Epidemiology course, the experience of COVID-19