Log in |

courses pages people
Department for Continuing Education logo
University of Oxford logo
Department for Continuing Education logo
Department for Continuing EducationUniversity of Oxford
icon representing professional development courses

Search results

Introduction to Study Design & Research Methods

Key facts

TypesProfessional Development
Short Courses
AddressRewley House
1 Wellington Square
OX1 2JA. Map
DatesMon 23 to Fri 27 May 2016
Subject area(s)Health
CATS points20
FeesFrom £1690.00
Application statusApplications being accepted
Course codeO15C177B9Y
Course contactIf you have any questions about this course, please email cpdhealth@conted.ox.ac.uk or telephone +44 (0) 1865 286941.


Boats - ISDRM

Choosing and designing the most appropriate study to address your clinical research problem is paramount in generating the best evidence.

This module will introduce some of the more advanced concepts and skills of research design, emphasising how they relate to evidence-based health care. Choosing and designing the most appropriate study to address a clinical question is paramount in generating the best evidence. As students learn to identify the strengths and weaknesses of 6 key study designs, they will also learn how to design a research protocol. Participants will design data collection and analysis, to include appropriate statistical tests. They will also learn strategies to manage bias and assess the quality of published research.

Students will apply their learning in small groups to develop a protocol for an allocated research question, for which they will receive constructive and academic feedback.

The last date for receipt of complete applications is 5pm Friday 6th May 2016. Regrettably, late applications cannot be accepted.



This course will enable students to:

  • Describe in detail different types of research methodologies;
  • Identify the strengths and weaknesses of the different study designs;
  • Assess whether research studies are using the most appropriate study design;
  • Discuss why various approaches may be appropriate/ inappropriate for their work-based research question.

Statistical Analysis

  • Describe methodologies that are used to investigate the effects of health care interventions;
  • Have a basic understanding of the approaches to statistical analysis that can be used with these methodologies;
  • Develop an understanding of the types of approaches that can be used for statistical analysis in each type of study design.

Protocol Development

  • Identify various facets that form a successful research protocol, for different types of health research;
  • List some of the challenges of preparing a research protocol, and develop strategies for addressing them.

Core Reading

  • Epidemiological Studies: A Practical Guide - by Alan J. Silman and Gary J. Macfarlane

Comments from previous participants:

"This is a good course for bringing together a wide range of practical and theoretical expertise for dealing with research related topics."

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).

Entry requirements

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
  • 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.




Dr Clare Bankhead

Role: Module Coordinator

Clare Bankhead is University Research Lecturer.


Emily McFadden

Role: Module Coordinator

Emily McFadden is a Senior Epidemiologist/Medical Statistician.

Assessment methods

Assessment will be based on submission of a written assignment which should not exceed 4,000 words.

Academic Credit

Those wishing to take the course for credit. The University of Oxford Department for Continuing Education offers Credit Accumulation and Transfer Scheme (CATS) points for the course. Participants attending at least 75% of the taught course and successfully completing assessed assignments are eligible to earn credit equivalent to 20 CATS-equivalent points which may be counted towards a postgraduate qualification.

Attendance Only

This includes:

  • attendance at five full days of teaching by world renowned experts in evidence-based health care at the University of Oxford.
  • access to a dedicated online virtual learning environment prior to and during the five taught days
  • access to pre-course reading materials

Applicants registering as "Attendance Only" are not eligible to undertake the academic assignment offered to students on award-bearing programmes of study and will not have access to the University library resources, other than those provided by the Department for Continuing Education. Applicants cannot receive CAT (Credit Accumulation and Transfer Scheme) points or equivalence. Credit cannot be attributed retrospectively. CAT accreditation is required if you wish for the module to count towards a further qualification in the future.

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

“Attendance Only" applicants who subsequently wish to register for academic credit and complete the assignment are required to submit additional information, which must be received 1 calendar month in advance of the module start date. Please contact us for more information.

Please contact cpdhealth@conted.ox.ac.uk if you have any questions.

IT requirements

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


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.


A Career Enhancement Scholarship is available for this module for one Accredited Short Course applicant. This Scholarship will cover the full cost of tuition fees (£2,030) but excludes the cost of travel, accommodation and subsistence. The student is expected to cover these costs.

To apply please complete the Application form for a Career Enhancement Scholarship and return this with your Short Course Application and a Reference. All applicants are asked to write a short paragraph (max 1000 words) about themselves. The Scholarship will be awarded to the applicant who shows greatest ability in terms of a) their existing experience to apply the new learning and b) their ability to influence and improve their local practice.

The deadline for applications for this module is Friday 15 April 2016.

The successful applicant will be selected by the EBHC Standing Committee and will be notified of the outcome by Friday 22 April 2016. It is a requirement of the Scholarship that the successful applicant completes and submits the assignment and is willing to share their story. There will be an interview with each scholar after one year to identify how the course has supported their career enhancement.

Fee options

Programme Fee
Students enrolled on MSc in Evidence-Based Health Care: £1690.00
Students enrolled on Postgraduate Cert in Health Research: £1690.00
Students enrolled on Postgraduate Dip in Health Research: £1690.00
Short Course in Health Sciences: £2030.00

Apply for this course

We strongly recommend that you download and save files before completing to ensure that all your changes are saved.

This course requires you to complete the application form and submit along with a copy of your CV. If you are applying to take this course for academic credit you will also need to complete section two of the reference form and forward it to your referee for completion. 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 before completing the application form, as any errors resulting from failure to do so may delay your application.

If you have any questions about this course, please email cpdhealth@conted.ox.ac.uk.

MSc Terms and Conditions (important: please read before applying) PDF document.

facebook social media icon facebook social media icon facebook social media icon

red box iconKeep me informed

By email
Receive our quarterly email newsletter and news of upcoming events

We're happy to answer your questions and to provide information!