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Systematic Reviews

Key facts

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TypesProfessional Development
Short Courses
AddressEwert House
Ewert Place
OX2 7DD. Map
DatesWed 2 to Tue 8 Jul 2014
Subject area(s)Health
CATS points20
FeesFrom £1575.00
Application statusCourse ended
Course codeO13C188B9Y
Course contactIf you have any questions about this course, please email cpdhealth@conted.ox.ac.uk or telephone +44 (0) 1865 286941.


Merton Street - SR Solving the problems of your own systematic review with peers

This module will take students through the process of doing a systematic review. It will focus on the practicalities, and build on the introductory modules. The module will use a problem-based learning approach in which each participant brings a specific topic for a systematic review to discuss, justify and revise during the module. It will stress the importance of choosing the correct study design to answer the question posed by the systematic review and will, therefore, not be restricted to systematic reviews of randomized trials.

This module is relevant both to people who will conduct systematic reviews and to those who will use knowledge from the ever-increasing number of systematic review being done by others. It does this by providing participants with a thorough understanding of the systematic reviews process, and how decisions made during the systematic review may have influenced its quality and relevance.

The last date for receipt of complete applications is Wednesday 18th June 2014. Regrettably, late applications cannot be accepted.


This course will take the participants through the process of doing a systematic review and will focus on the practicalities rather than the theory.

The overall aims of this module are to enable students to;

  • Formulate a clear question for a systematic review and understand their key motivations for doing the review
  • Specify the eligibility criteria for a systematic review
  • Develop a search strategy for a systematic review
  • Prepare a quality appraisal and data extraction form for a systematic review
  • Identify, describe and discuss sources of heterogeneity among the studies in a systematic review
  • Develop a statistical analysis plan for a systematic review
  • Conduct, report and update a systematic review
  • Use this knowledge to assess the quality of systematic reviews done by others
The course will cover the following topics:
  • Formulating the question for your systematic review
  • Determining the eligibility criteria
  • Study identification
  • Data extraction
  • Assessing trial quality
  • Statistical analyses
  • Heterogeneity
  • Subgroup analyses
  • Reporting and updating of systematic reviews
  • Where to get help in the future

Core Reading

  • Egger, M., Smith, G. D. and Altman, D. G. (eds) (2001). Systematic reviews in health care: meta-analysis in context [2nd]. London, BMJ
  • Higgins, J.P.T., and Green, S. (eds) (2008). Cochrane Handbook for Systematic Reviews of Interventions Oxford, The Cochrane Collaboration. John Wiley and Sons Ltd
  • Centre for Reviews and Dissemination. Systematic reviews: CRD’s guidance for undertaking reviews in health care

Comments from previous participants:

"Excellent style of teaching, which is engaging and interactive and incorporates individuals' systematic reviews, through discussion, detailed explanation and thoughtful interactions."



Professor Mike Clarke

Role: Module Coordinator

Mike Clarke is Chair of Research Methodology and Director of the MRC all-Ireland Hub for Trials Methodology Research at Queen’s University,...more

Assessment methods

Assessment will be based on submission of two written assignments which should each not exceed 1,500 words.


Accommodation is available at the Rewley House Residential Centre, within the Department for Continuing Education, in central Oxford.


Details of funding opportunities, including grants, bursaries, loans, scholarships and benefit information are available on our financial assistance page.

Fee options

Programme Fee
Students enrolled on MSc in Evidence-Based Health Care: £1575.00
Students enrolled on Postgraduate Cert in Health Research: £1575.00
Students enrolled on Postgraduate Dip in Health Research: £1575.00
Short course in health sciences: £2070.00

Apply for this course

Admissions Criteria:
To apply for the course you should:

  • be a graduate or have successfully completed a professional training course
  • have at least two years' professional work experience in the health service or a health-related field
  • identify a work based problem for which you will be seeking evidence
  • be able to combine intensive classroom learning with the application of the principles and practices of evidence-based health care within the work place
  • have a good working knowledge of email, internet, word processing and Windows applications (for communications with course members, course team and administration)
  • show evidence of the ability to commit time to study and an employer's commitment to make time available to study, complete course work and attend course and university events and modules.

Sorry, this course is not currently accepting applications. If you have any questions about this course, please use the course enquiry form.

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