Basic methods and reasoning in Biostatistics 2023 - I

Basic methods and reasoning in Biostatistics 2023 - I
LUMC - Boerhaave Nascholing
Route description to the LUMC and parking
The LUMC course ‘Basic Methods and Reasoning in Biostatistics’ covers the fundamental toolbox of biostatistical methods plus a solid methodological basis to properly interpret statistical results. The course is a mandatory part of the LUMC Graduate School Program and a prerequisite for any of the advanced biostatistical courses offered by the LUMC. This is a basic course, targeted at a wide audience. The course is given during a single week - from 13 - 17 February 2023 (plus 2 to 3 days preparation in the three weeks before), followed by a final examination on the next Tuesday.

In the e-learning part of the course, we will cover the basic methods of data description and statistical inference (t-test, one-way ANOVA and their non-parametric counterparts, chi-square test, correlation and simple linear regression, logistic regression, introduction to survival analysis and introduction to repeated measurements). For students who are new to data analysis, the e-learning offers step-by-step guidance on how to perform these procedures in SPSS. Students who are used to working with R, can do the exercises in R instead of SPSS. Students who have already studied the e-learning topics in previous courses can use the e-learning as a refresher, work through the modules more quickly and skip exercises if wanted.

The short videos and on-campus lectures cover the 'Reasoning' part of the course. In the short videos (about 10 minutes each), several experts will discuss topics related to the reasoning part of biostatistics. Subjects covered are among others: study design, bias, p-hacking, good statistical practice, sample size calculation, pros and cons of p-values. The short videos are mandatory content of the course, evaluated in the exam.
The on-campus lectures further cover the 'Reasoning' part of the course. We offer five lectures: Study design in clinical studies, Study design in pre-clinical studies, Good statistical practice, Multiple testing, and Predictive analytics. The topics of the short videos partly overlap with the topics covered on the on-campus lectures. On campus lectures go more in depth with specific topics and offer the opportunity for live interaction. It is mandatory to attend at least three on-campus lectures out of the five offered plus to pass the online exam in order to get your course certificate. You can choose which ones best fit your interests and pre-knowledge. Our recommendation is that you watch the short videos during the preparation weeks and decide which topics you would like to hear more about.

  • The lectures on Monday February 13th  and Thursday 16th  start at 9:30hrs. Question sessions are scheduled from 14:00 – 14:45hrs (Monday 13th and Tuesday 14th ), 11:45-12:30hrs on Thursday 16th  and 16:00-16:45hrs on Friday 17th. 
  • Every afternoon students work individually in the electronic learning on their own PCs/laptops. External students can request a workspace in a study room that is reserved at the LUMC. If you wish to reserve a spot, please send an email to: (limited places available).
  • An online forum is available within the e-learning for posing questions during the course week and the preceding three weeks of preparation.
  • Please note that your attendance to at least three of the on-campus lectures and passing the exam is required for completing the course and receiving the course certificate.

Secondary school mathematics. No prior knowledge of biostatistics required.

Students will receive access to an e-learning which consists of 10 modules. By the beginning of the course on Monday February 13th you are expected to master the topics of the first 5 modules and to have watched the short videos on Reasoning topics. The modules 6-10 can be worked through during the week of the actual course. The materials of the course will be available at least two weeks prior to the start of the course, in the Boerhaave Learning Environment. We recommend you to allocate 15-20 hours in the three weeks preceding the course for preparing yourself for the course. In case of no experience in analysing statistics, please take into account that the preparation may take you longer. You can test your knowledge about the e-learning topics by taking a pre-course self-assessment which will be made available in the online learning environment. This self-assessment will help you plan how much time to invest for studying each of the e-learning modules. 
Make sure you have either SPSS or R (according to your preference) installed on your computer to work through the exercises. You can find an SPSS trial version at R is a free software environment and can be downloaded from the R project website. Contact the ICT department if you need help with the installation.

Course Certificate
In order to obtain a course certificate, participation in at least three on-campus lectures is mandatory. In addition, passing the post-course exam is a requirement. If you meet this criteria, you will receive a course certificate within two weeks, after passing the exam. 

Recommended book
Aviva Petrie & Caroline Sabin (for reference purposes only; not used during course)
Medical Statistics at a Glance.
ISBN 0-632-05075-6


  • The exam assesses your knowledge of the topics discussed in the course (mostly e-learning but also questions about the short videos).
  • The exam will take place on Tuesday 21 February 2023 online from 09:00 – 11:15hrs

For more information
Please see this introductory video about the course: video.

Course Committee

  • Dr. ir. N. van Geloven
  • Dr. M.D.M. Rodríguez-Girondo


  • Route description to the LUMC and parking