Preventive Medicine and Epidemiology

Accreditation valid until: 27. 11. 2029

Chairman of the Subject Area Board:

doc. MUDr. Jan POLÁK, Ph.D., MBA
Department of Pathophysiology
Third Faculty of Medicine
Charles University
Ruská 87
100 00  Prague 10
phone: +420 267 102 175
e-mail: @email


Contact person:
Tereza Jizbová, DiS.
Science and Research Administration Division
Third Faculty of Medicine
Charles University
Ruská 2411/87
100 00  Prague 10
phone:  +420 267 102 229
e-mail: @email


Members of the Subject Area Board

Characteristics of the study programme

The study programe is using the principles of evidence-based medicine to asses the impact of various factors (physical, chemical, environmental, biological) on the human health at the individual as well as the population level in order to identify possible approaches for prevention. The programe integrates knowledge and approaches originating from the fields of toxicology, molecular biology, imunology including clinically-oriented disciplines. The programe represents a theoretical basis for preventive disciplines in medicine, e.g. public health, epidemiology and biostatistics.

Admission procedure requirement specific to the study programme

The conditions and course of the admission procedure for the part-time of study are the same as the conditions for the full-time form. 

We recommend to contact your potential supervisor in advance and consult the suitable form of preparation for the interview. Each study programme has its own specifics, so the supervisor can help you to prepare for the specialized entrance examination (the interview).

Topics of dissertation thesis

The SAB did not list any topics. The candidate chooses the preliminary topic individually and contacts a potential supervisor. He/she consults with him on the chosen topic and agrees on its more precise specification. In case of any ambiguity, we recommend that you also contact the chairman of the SAB. If necessary, he/she can recommend that he/she consult the topic with another specialist according to the focus of the intended project.

If the candidate does not know which topic/supervisor to choose, he/she will contact the chairman of the SAB, with whom he/she will consult on a suitable topic and a potential supervisor.

This choice is preliminary, the admissions board may, after consultation with the candidate, nominate another supervisor.

Supervisors of the study programme

Each supervisor must be approved by the SAB. The criteria for admitting new supervisors are determined by the SAB. If the proposed supervisor has not yet been approved by the SAB, this must be done no later than the enrollment of the applicant in the study (provided that the applicant is accepted). You can find a list of supervisors approved by the SAB here. After clicking, the supervisor's workplace and contact information will be displayed.

Requirements during the study

Study obligations for full-time and part-time form of study are the same. 

  • Courses: completion of at least two from the below listed courses:

a) recommended course "Basic epidemiology and methodology"

b) recommended course for students from non-health specialization “Fundamentals of Medical Sciences for Non-Medical Students”

c) courses from other doctoral study programmes in biomedicine, or, if agreed with the supervisor, other courses from different faculties

  • English language examination
  • SDE 
  • Mastering of the principles of the scientific work, so that the graduate is able to work independently and to publish in international journals with reviewed procedures indexed in WOS, with impact factor.

Presentation of the results ofthe research work at at least one student national or international conference or similar event.

​Requirements for internships

A stay abroad at a relevant professional institution, not shorter than one month. If the placement abroad is not possible, the student needs to directly participate in an international co-operation, e.g. in an international creative project with results published or presented abroad, etc.

Listed courses

Basic epidemiology and methodology (CPGS008)

Requirements for the SDE​

Knowledge of questions from the thematic areas prepared by the SAB. A review of the literature on the given research issue in the form of a research. The examination is oral.

The time between the application for an SDE and the actual date of the examination is usually three to four months.

Literature review (research) – basic information

A literature review is not a summary of the dissertation. It is a text that aims to create a critical overview of current knowledge on a specialized topic. It is a common part of the science-oriented literature and usually precedes the conception of research project proposals and also the selection of an appropriate methodology. Its basic goal is to provide the reader with an up-to-date overview of current literature on the topic and provides information enabling to evaluate the legitimacy of the proposed future research.

However, the literature review is not only a set of disorganized or fragmented professional information. A good literature review is characterized by:

  1. logical flow of ideas, i.e., the individual paragraphs should follow each other logically
  2. relevant bibliographic references in a consistent and appropriate format
  3. correct use of technical terminology
  4. an unbiased and comprehensive overview of current research on the issue
  5. synthesis of the information provided.

The synthesis of the presented information is the most difficult part of the literature review and assumes that the author is well versed in the given issue. Synthesis provides a new interpretation of old knowledge or combines new knowledge with the old ones. It can outline intellectual development in a given field, suggest directions in which new research could go – it should become the basis for the scientific hypothesis of the author's work. The literature review should result in a clear and concise definition of the hypothesis (assuming what the author wants to prove) and the objectives of the work (how the author proves or rejects the hypothesis).

Therefore, the conclusion of the text should contain the proposed hypothesis (briefly) and the objectives of the solution.

The range is 15 to 20 standard A4 pages.


  1. Title page – see sample
  2. Font – Times New Roman 12
  3. Line spacing 1–1,5
  4. Pages are numbered
  5. Literature: number, references uniformly including citations in the text – if there is one author – Author 1., 1989, if there are two authors, both and year are given, for three or more authors, the author is J. et al., year

The prepared literature review must be submitted in electronic form (by e-mail in docx format) together with the application and other documentation to the Department for Ph.D. Study. It is not necessary to print it. The printed version (after proofreading by the chairman of the SAB) will be brought by the student to the SDE.  

The literature review does not have to be bound. SAB accepts free (numbered) A4 sheets. Printing can be double-sided.

Examination topics for the SDE

Risk analysis and assessment

1. Basic principles of health risk assessment

2. Identification of the hazards of chemicals

3. Threshold substances: evaluation of dose-effect, dose-response relationships

4. Non-threshold substances: evaluation of dose-effect, dose-response relationships

5. Use of health risk assessment in public health protection

6. Exposure assessment

7. Biological monitoring of exposure

8. Environmental health risk analysis

9. Occupational health risk analysis

10. Analysis of health risks in food and nutrition

11. The importance of epidemiology for health risk assessment

12. Risk management, principles of risk management in public health protection

13. Risk perception and risk communication

14. Sources of data and information for health risk assessment

15. Risk characterisation


1. Intoxication by organic solvents (benzine, toluene, trichloroethylene, perchloroethylene)

2. Toxic liver damage

3. Carbon monoxide intoxication

4. ethylene glycol and methyl alcohol intoxication

5. Respiratory damage by irritants

6. Mushroom poisoning

7. Lead and its compounds

8. Mercury and its compounds

9. Cadmium

10. Chemical carcinogens

11. Toxic substances in food -inorganic contaminants (toxic metals, nitrates, nitrites)

12. Toxic substances in food -organic contaminants (PCBs, PCDDs, PAHs, phthalates, mycotoxins)

13. Toxicokinetics of substances (absorption, distribution, biotransformation and excretion)

14. Testing the toxic effects of chemicals

15. Permissible limits (principles of determination, environment, working environment, food, drinking water)

Prevention of massively occurring diseases

1. Obesity (aetiopathogenesis, diagnosis, treatment, prevention)

2. Physical activity and overweight. Reduction programmes

3. Effect of regular physical activity on the body

4. Nutrition in pregnancy

5. Nutrition in cancer prevention

6. Nutrition in the prevention of atherosclerosis

7. Main principles of good nutrition

8. Nutrition in the prevention of diabetes

9. Anti-smoking programmes,

10. Drug addiction, prevention

11. Fats, proteins and carbohydrates in nutrition

12. Prevention of psychological stress in the workplace

13. Starvation, malnutrition, alternative diets (benefits and risks)

14. Characteristics of growth and development at different stages of life

15. Basic human needs

16. Prevention of genetic diseases

17. Regular, special, emergency vaccinations

18. basic characteristics of body stress (health consequences of excessive stress)

Non-infectious epidemiology

1. Injury epidemiology

2. Cancer epidemiology

3. Epidemiological surveillance, purpose and elements

4. Internal validity of epidemiological studies

5. Study precision and the effect of random errors

6. Types of epidemiological studies

7. Epidemiology and hazard identification

8. Case-control and cohort studies

9. Describe the differences between the following characteristics variance, standard deviation, mean error of the mean, and interquartile range.

10. The contingency table and its uses. Methods of evaluation?

11. How can the relationship between two quantitative variables be measured? Describe the model used.

12. Describe the basic quantitative risk measures used in epidemiological studies and the interpretation of their confidence intervals.

13. Epidemiology of cardiovascular disease

14. Molecular epidemiology

Publication activity requirements

Thorough preparation and implementation of a research project, the results of which are presented and defended in a dissertation. Active participation on scientific conferences and congresses including SSC (according to the instructions and recommendation of the supervisor). Submission of at least two original scientific papers accepted for publication or already published in journals with a defined impact factor according to WOS, the cumulative value of which exceeds 1,5. The student is the first author of at least one of these publications and the impact factor of the journal of this work exceeds 1,0. 

Defence requirements

  • Completion of the SDE.
  • At least two publications in impacted journals (once publication with first authorship, once co-author in any place).
  • The SAB requires a Summary of the Dissertation.

Dissertation defence

The dissertation should be objective and comprehensive, demonstrating the scientific results processed by the doctorand. The dissertation should prove that the student has gained both theoretical knowledge and practical skills to work independently in the chosen field and that he/she can formulate and solve scientific problems and results in the context of international science.

Profile of a graduate of the study programme

The graduate will achieve education in the field of preventive medicine. On the principles of evidence – based medicine the graduate will be able to assess the importance of various factors impacting on health of both an individual and the whole population and determine the possibilities and ways of prevention of health disorders.

Information about graduate employment 

Researchers in academia, educational institutions and the commercial sector. Doctors in management positions in healthcare institutions.

Created: 19. 5. 2021 / Modified: 16. 3. 2022 / Responsible person: ThDr. Jitka Sýkorová, Ph.D.