Postgraduate Certificate in Health Research
This modular programme is particularly suitable for academically gifted medical and dental trainees with the potential to be the independent researchers of the future.
Our Student Spotlights feature students' experiences both on and after their courses, and highlight the day-to-day life of study on the Evidence-Based Healthcare programmes.
Applications for October 2020 entry are now being accepted.
This programme is designed to be taken by Academic Clinical Fellows alongside work commitments, the Health Research programme exists in order to enable students to:
- develop skills of research, design and data analysis in both qualitative and quantitative research
- critically evaluate health research
- identify, critically appraise and incorporate the results of medical and social science research into the day-to-day decision-making of clinical, scientific and administrative practice
- apply the principles of evidence-based practice in health care settings
- plan how to implement the findings of research to improve health care
- use theories and principles underpinning clinical research to inform their own research practice.
The programme is delivered through the Department for Continuing Education, with the expertise in curriculum design and teaching drawn from the Nuffield Department of Primary Care Health Sciences, the Centre for Evidence-Based Medicine, and the Oxford University Clinical Academic Graduate School.
The Postgraduate Certificate is normally completed between 1-2 years. It consists of three assessed taught modules and includes thorough introductions to the principles of evidence-based practice in health, and to study design and research methods.
The two compulsory modules are:
The third module may be chosen from the following list:
- Clinical Trial Management
- Mixed Methods in Health Research
- Knowledge into Action
- Evidence-based Diagnosis and Screening
- Introduction to Statistics for Health Care Research
- Systematic Reviews
- Randomized Controlled Trials
- Qualitative Research Methods
- The Structure of Clinical Trials and Experimental Therapeutics
- How to do Research on Therapeutic Interventions: Protocol preparation
- Biological Therapeutics
- Pharmacodynamics, Biomarkers and Personalised Therapy
- Adverse drug reactions, drug interactions and Pharmacovigilance
- Drug development, Pharmacokinetics and Imaging
At the end of the course students will be able to:
- demonstrate a knowledge of the principles, methods and techniques appropriate for solving evidence-based health care/health-research problems and be able to translate (through a critical comprehension of the relative advantages and disadvantages) that understanding into good clinical practice
- demonstrate a range of research skills enabling them to complete research successfully, either as part of a research team or as an individual
- acquire, interpret and analyse biological information with a critical understanding of the appropriate contexts for their use through the study of the existing primary literature in the field
- apply skills and expertise gained across the medical and biological sciences expected of professional researchers
Students will know and understand:
- health-care organizations, their management and the changing context in which they operate
- the ethical issues in health research and research governance
- methods to integrate and synthesise different sorts of information, from diverse sources, when making both individual patient and health-policy decisions in a wide range of situations
- the key issues for evidence-based practice in their own professional area or specialty
- how to work comfortably in situations of uncertainty and make sound judgements in the absence of definitive evidence
- research methods and concepts in the field of health and health care
All graduates of the Postgraduate Certificate in Health Research will be able to:
- understand the role of most commonly used methods appropriate for specifying problems through a critical comprehension of the relative advantages and disadvantages of these methods
- understand and express the main principles of some commonly applied techniques and methods
- explain the rationale for the selection of tools used in the analysis of phenomena.
To complete the Postgraduate Certificate students must:
- Attend and complete the 2 compulsory modules and 1 option module.
Students will also be expected to complete three written assignments, usually of no more than 4000 words, one on each of the chosen modules above.
With the exception of the online modules, the EBHC modules are based on an eight week study cycle. Week One is a preparatory week where you may be required to undertake some pre-reading and to familiarise yourself with the Virtual Learning Environment. During Week Two you are required to attend the face to face teaching week in Oxford. This is followed by an additional six weeks where you are expected to participate in online activities and submit your assignment
This course uses the Department’s online assignment submission system. In order to prepare and submit your course assignments you will need access to the Internet and a computer meeting our recommended minimum computer specification. Students of this course may use the student computing facilities provided in Departmental buildings.
Level and demands
Candidates will, in all but exceptional circumstances be admitted to the Postgraduate Certificate with optional progression on successful completion to the Diploma, provided that a candidate:
- has successfully completed the final year of the Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery or Bachelor of Dental Surgery or equivalent; or
- has an appropriate degree or equivalent professional qualification in a profession allied to medicine with post-qualification experience
Applicants will be expected to demonstrate an approach to their study which includes demonstrable skills of critical analysis, wide contextual knowledge and the ability to manage their own time.
Additionally candidates should:
- 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
Successful candidates will normally provide evidence of all of the following:
- A professional interest in Health Research, evidenced by prior experience, qualification and work
- Motivation and ability to complete the course
- A clear and well argued understanding of the benefits of the course to the candidate's current employment and future prospects
Fee rates for the academic year 2020-21*
*Rates for 2021/22 to be confirmed
These rates (in pounds sterling) are for the academic year 2019/20 and will increase annually.
- Annual Award Fee: £6,585
- Module Fee per module: £2,000
The annual award fee is due for every academic year (or part-year) attended; module fees are due in advance as invoiced. Fees must be paid in accordance with the Terms and Conditions for the programme.
Illustration for full programme (completing in two years, with three taught modules)
(see note 2)
- 2 annual award fees: £13,170
- plus 3 module fees: £6,000
- Total: £19,170
- See the Oxford University website for Home/EU and Overseas classification of students for fees purposes.
- The Illustration is based on the fee rates for the academic year shown; however, fee rates for attendance in future years will increase, so students attending for more than one year should expect the total to be higher than is shown in the Illustration. The exact amount will depend on the fee rates set annually, and upon the years you are in attendance; these are normally published well before the start of each academic year, but for your own budgetary purposes you may wish to estimate a 5% annual increase on fee rates.
Details of funding opportunities, including grants, bursaries, loans, scholarships and benefit information are available on our fees and funding pages
How to apply
For those on the Oxford University Clinical Academic Graduate School Advanced Clinical Fellowship Programme, please ensure that you have registered with OUCAGS before you apply by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you would like to discuss your application or any part of the application process before applying please contact email@example.com
Central accommodation for visitors and students at the Department for Continuing Education
Terms and conditions
Terms and conditions for applicants and students on this course
Sources of funding
Information on financial support