Clinical Prediction Rules


Understanding the principles involved in designing, creating and testing clinical prediction rules

This accredited short course will cover the concepts of risk and prediction, statistical techniques used to develop clinical prediction rules, the importance of internal and external validation assessments, and critical appraisal of existing studies of clinical prediction rules. Practical sessions will give students the opportunity to implement common modelling approaches using statistical software (using Stata or R).

The last date for receipt of complete applications is 5pm Friday 25th April 2025. Regrettably, late applications cannot be accepted.

By the end of the course students will:

  • Be able to explain the concepts of risk and probability, and how they relate to clinical prediction
  • Understand the common statistical models used in developing clinical prediction rules and be able to implement these methods using statistical software
  • Gain awareness of more advanced statistical techniques used in developing clinical prediction rules
  • Understand the importance of calibration and performing internal and external validation assessments of clinical prediction rules
  • Be able to critically appraise publications that report the development or assessment of clinical prediction rules
  • Have gained sufficient understanding to be able to design their own studies to either develop new clinical prediction rules or test existing rules

The key topics covered will be:

Modelling, prediction and development of clinical prediction rules

  • An overview of the aims of using clinical prediction rules (CPRs)
  •  Summary of relevant study design issues, such as sample size considerations and the TRIPOD statement
  • Using survival analysis and logistic regression for modelling and prediction
  • Dealing with missing data 
  • Advanced modelling methods and updating CPRs

Using and evaluating clinical prediction rules

  • Measures of discrimination and calibration
  • Internal and external validation
  • Critical appraisal and systematic review of CPRs
  • Evaluating CPR impact and using CPRs in practice

Students attending this module should have at least some familiarity with the following topics:

  • Distinction between continuous and categorical variables
  • Interpretation of p-values and statistical significance
  • Interpretation of confidence intervals

Students who have attended the module Introduction to Statistics for Health Care Research or received similar training elsewhere will meet these pre-requisites.

Programme details

This module is run over an eight week cycle where the first week is spent working on introductory activities using a Virtual Learning Environment, the second week is spent in Oxford for the face to face teaching week (this takes place on the dates advertised), there are then four Post-Oxford activities (delivered through the VLE) which are designed to help you write your assignment. You then have a week of personal study and you will be required to submit your assignment electronically the following week (usually on a Tuesday at 14:00 UK Local Time).


Description Costs
Short Course in Health Sciences £3175.00
Students enrolled on MSc in EBHC (Medical Statistics) £2570.00


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


If you are an employee of the University of Oxford and have a valid University staff card you may be eligible to receive a 10% discount on the full stand-alone fee. To take advantage of this offer please submit a scan/photocopy of your staff card along with your application. Your card should be valid for a further six months after attending the course.


Dr Tom Fanshawe

Module Co-ordinator

Dr Thomas Fanshawe is a Senior Medical Statistician at the Nuffield Department for Primary Care Health Sciences, University of Oxford.

Assessment methods

Academic Credit

Applicants may take this course for academic credit. The University of Oxford Department for Continuing Education offers Credit Accumulation and Transfer Scheme (CATS) points for this course. Participants attending at least 80% of the taught course and successfully completing assessed assignments are eligible to earn credit equivalent to 20 CATS points which may be counted towards a postgraduate qualification.

Applicants can choose not to take the course for academic credit and will therefore not be eligible to undertake the academic assignment offered to students taking the course for credit. Applicants cannot receive CATS (Credit Accumulation and Transfer Scheme) points or equivalence. Credit cannot be attributed retrospectively. CATS accreditation is required if you wish for the course to count towards a further qualification in the future.

A Certificate of Completion is issued at the end of the course.

Applicants registered to attend ‘not for credit’ who subsequently wish to register for academic credit and complete the assignment are required to submit additional information, which must be received one calendar month in advance of the course start date. Please contact us for more details.

Please contact if you have any questions.


This course requires you to complete the application form and to attach a copy of your CV. If you are applying to take this course for academic credit you will also be required to provide a reference. Please note that if you are not applying to take the course for academic credit then you do not need to submit a reference.

Please ensure you read the guidance notes which appear when you click on the symbols as you progress through the application form, as any errors resulting from failure to do so may delay your application.

Selection criteria

Admissions Criteria:
To apply for the course you should:

  • Be a graduate or have successfully completed a professional training course
  • Have professional work experience in the health service or a health-related field
  • 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.
  • Be able to demonstrate English Language proficiency at the University’s higher level


Accommodation is available at the Rewley House Residential Centre, within the Department for Continuing Education, in central Oxford. The comfortable, en-suite, study-bedrooms have been rated as 4-Star Campus accommodation under the Quality In Tourism scheme, and come with tea- and coffee-making facilities, free Wi-Fi access and Freeview TV. Guests can take advantage of the excellent dining facilities and common room bar, where they may relax and network with others on the programme.

IT requirements

Please ensure that you have access to a computer that meets the specifications detailed on our technical support page.