FRM9640 – NFIF - Pharmacoepidemiology Study Design and Manuscript Writing

Schedule, syllabus and examination date

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Course content

This course will provide a continuously supervised research experience that teaches students the major steps to the preparation and presentation of a hypothesis-based pharmacoepidemiology research study. Students will choose a research question that can be evaluated, using epidemiologic methods, from a dataset that has already been assembled. Through a combination of workshops, written assignments, oral presentations, and peer critiques, students will learn the skills needed to develop the research question into a testable hypothesis, to test the hypothesis through secondary data analysis, and to write the results in the form of a publishable article for a scientific journal.

Learning outcome

After completing the course:

  • you can conceptualize and conduct an association/risk factor pharmacoepidemiology study, including identifying gaps in the literature, formulating a research question, developing a testable hypothesis, identifying and accounting for possible biases, developing an analytic plan, analyzing data, and presenting and interpreting the results.
  • you will have improved current skills for structuring and writing a pharmacoepidemiology manuscript in the IMRAD style.
  • you will have improved current oral presentation skills for disseminating pharmacoepidemiology results to peers.
  • you will have improved current peer critique skills, learn to incorporate peer critique into your own work, develop skills around co-authorship of pharmacoepidemiology manuscripts
  • you will have learned how to prepare and submit a manuscript to a scientific journal.


This is a small seminar course optimized for 8-12 students.

There will be a total of 12 places available which are usually split as follows:

  • 8 places are reserved for FRM5640
  • 4 places are reserved for FRM9640

If there is space available then others may also apply to take the course as long as their academic background is adequate. For more information on the procedure contact the study administration.

Applicants are ranked by the following criteria:

  1. PhD students at the MN faculty who have the course as part of the approved curriculum, and NFIF students.
  2. Other PhD students and visiting PhD students.

If more than 4 PhD students apply, priority will be given to those farther along in their program of study.

PhD candidates from the University of Oslo should apply for classes and register for examinations through an online form.

If a course has limited intake capacity, priority will be given to PhD candidates who follow an individual education plan where this particular course is included. Some national researchers’ schools may have specific rules for ranking applicants for courses with limited intake capacity.

PhD candidates who have been admitted to another higher education institution must apply for a position as a visiting student within a given deadline.

The examination in this course is not available for external candidates. Only students admitted to the course may sit for the examination.


Formal prerequisite knowledge

FRM4110 – Applied statistics for pharmacists and MF9580 – Epidemiological methods, beyond the basics or equivalent courses.

Overlapping courses

10 credits overlap with FRM5640 – Pharmacoepidemiology Study Design and Manuscript Writing


This course will meet once per week for 15 weeks. The teaching consists of:

  • lectures (20 hours) - compulsory
  • workshops (8 hours) - compulsory
  • student presentations (8-12 hours) - compulsory
  • peer critiques (10-12 hours) - compulsory
  • participation in class discussion
  • homework assignments (written assignments, oral presentations) - compulsory
  • manuscript developed throughout the course (3000-4000 words, plus tables, figures, appendices, and required data analysis) - compulsory

Students should expect to spend between 4 and 8 hours per week outside of class to complete reading, writing, and data analysis assignments.

There is a compulsory attendance for the first lecture. Students who do not meet are expected to have withdrawn from the the course unless they have notified the lecturer.

Students must complete all written assignments and peer critiques, and attend 80% of class meetings.

Access to teaching

Assignments are valid for one year.


  • final home examination, counts 50 % of final grade.
  • homework assignments (written assignments, oral presentations), counts 20 % of final grade
  • peer critiques, counts 20 % of final grade
  • class discussion, counts 10 % of final grade

The final home examination will be the completed manuscript developed throughout the course (3000-4000 words, plus tables, figures, appendices, and required data analysis).

For access to exam you must have:

  • completed all written assignments and peer critiques
  • attended 80% of class meetings

Examination support material

Students may use any aids they require.

Language of examination

The examination text is given in English, and you submit your response in English.

Grading scale

Grades are awarded on a pass/fail scale. Read more about the grading system.

Explanations and appeals

Resit an examination

Students who can document a valid reason for absence from the regular examination are offered a postponed examination at the beginning of the next semester.

Re-scheduled examinations are not offered to students who withdraw during, or did not pass the original examination.

Withdrawal from an examination

It is possible to take the exam up to 3 times. If you withdraw from the exam after the deadline or during the exam, this will be counted as an examination attempt.

It will also be counted as one of the three attempts to sit the exam for this course, if you sit the exam for one of the following courses:

Special examination arrangements

Application form, deadline and requirements for special examination arrangements.


The course is subject to continuous evaluation. At regular intervals we also ask students to participate in a more comprehensive evaluation.

Facts about this course






Every autumn

Canceled autumn 2018.


Every autumn

Canceled autumn 2018.

Teaching language