Introduction to Infectious Disease Modelling and Its Applications, Short Course

  • N/A
    Application Deadline
  • 10 days
  • Tuition
    Tuition (Module)
    Tuition (Module)
  • English (take IELTS)
Infectious diseases remain a leading cause of morbidity and mortality worldwide, with HIV, tuberculosis and malaria estimated to cause 10% of all deaths each year. New pathogens continue to emerge, as demonstrated by the SARS epidemic in 2003, the swine flu pandemic in 2009, MERS CoV in 2013 and Zika in 2016. 


Mathematical models are being increasingly used to understand the transmission of infections and to evaluate the potential impact of control programmes in reducing morbidity and mortality. Applications include determining optimal control strategies against new or emergent infections, such as swine flu, Zika or Ebola, or against HIV, tuberculosis and malaria, and predicting the impact of vaccination strategies against common infections such as measles and rubella. Modelling was used extensively in the UK during the recent swine flu pandemic to monitor the extent of ongoing transmission and the potential impact of control such as school closures and vaccination.

This two week course, organised jointly between the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine and Public Health England (formerly, Health Protection Agency) is intended to introduce professionals working on infectious diseases in either developing or developed countries to this exciting and expanding area. The emphasis will be on developing a conceptual understanding of the basic methods and on their practical application, rather than the manipulation of mathematical equations. The methods will be illustrated by "hands-on" experience of setting up models in spreadsheets as well as other specialist modelling packages, small group work, and seminars in which the applications of modelling will be discussed.

By the end of the course participants will have deepened their current understanding of infectious disease epidemiology and have gained an understanding and practical experience of the basics of infections disease modelling, which will be useful in their future work.

Detailed Programme Facts

Programme Structure

Course Outline

The course makes use of Excel, and a specialist modelling package (Berkeley Madonna). The topics to be covered include:

  • Key concepts in infectious disease epidemiology;
  • The basic methods for setting up (deterministic and stochastic) infectious disease models;
  • Practical applications of modelling, including predicting the impact of control strategies against pandemic influenza and other infections, and describing the course of outbreaks;
  • Analyses of serological data: methods for estimating age and time-dependent transmission rates and their application for developing models of the dynamics of infections;
  • Interpreting outbreak data and modelling in real-time;
  • How to read and interpret modelling papers;
  • Models for describing STI and HIV transmission and control;
  • Models of the dynamics and control of vector-borne diseases, tuberculosis and the application of models to problems in phylodynamics and veterinary epidemiology;
  • Fitting models to data, network models, sensitivity analyses and introductory health economics.


The course is taught by staff from the Centre for Mathematical Modelling of Infectious Diseases at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, the Modelling and Economics Unit at Public Health England, London, and the University of Sao Paulo, Brazil. Staff have extensive experience of working closely with epidemiologists, policy and decision makers, in applying modelling to field data from developed and developing countries and using models to guide policy decision, and in teaching modelling techniques to professionals from medical and biological disciplines. Further details about the backgrounds of staff in the Centre for Mathematical Modelling of Infectious Diseases can be found here.

English Language Requirements

This programme requires students to demonstrate proficiency in English.

Take IELTS test

Academic Requirements

The course is designed for individuals interested in expanding their knowledge of the techniques available for analysing and interpreting epidemiological data on infectious diseases and for predicting the impact of control programmes, including medical and health professionals, policy makers, veterinary scientists, medical statisticians and infectious disease researchers. Specialist mathematical training is not a prerequisite. 

However, individuals with degrees in mathematical disciplines working on some aspect of infectious disease dynamics and/ or control, who wish to learn about the potential of infectious disease modelling will also benefit. Some familiarity with spreadsheet packages (ideally Excel) is desirable. Applicants should have a good command of English.

Tuition Fee Per Module

  • GBP 2375 International
  • GBP 2375 EU/EEA
payable by 15 May 2017


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