Training in survey and research methods within a Master of Public Health program

Yehuda Neumark*, Yechiel Friedlander

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Sound decision-making and practice in public health, as in other disciplines, is contingent upon information that is properly collected, analyzed, and interpreted. We describe the content and teaching methods of a graduate course in investigative methods in public health taught within the framework of a Master of Public Health (MPH) program. Following the progressive steps of carrying out research, we highlight the main concepts and skills that a student of public health should be exposed to. This includes the formulation of the study purpose and objectives, basic study designs, definition and selection of the study population and study variables, issues related to the actual collection of data in the field including the reliability and validity of the information, and preparing the data for analysis. We describe the teaching methods that are employed including frontal lectures, individual and group-based exercises, and the use of simulated data to develop skills in the critical reading of published literature and data analysis. The integration of the learned concepts and tools into course workshops and dissertation work is also addressed. Together with training in epidemiology, statistics and other quantitative and qualitative methodologies, this course provides a solid basis for MPH graduates to tackle the public health challenges that await them.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)217-229
Number of pages13
JournalPublic Health Reviews
Issue number1-4
StatePublished - 2002


  • MPH training
  • Research methods
  • Survey


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