There is no single ideal way of teaching epidemiology. Teaching can take place in different situations, and its techniques and content may differ. A good teaching programme is one that is geared to its students' needs, capacity, interests and preferences, and exploits available teaching situations and techniques to provide learning opportunities that will achieve the educational objectives. This paper reviews some features of the teaching of epidemiology inside and outside the classroom. It starts with a discussion of the main factors that affect the choice of methods and then deals in turn with conventional classroom methods, laboratory teaching (problem-solving and other exercises), self-instruction, problem-oriented projects, and distance learning. Separate consideration is then given to teaching in the hospital and in the field (with special attention to teaching in a community health center).