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Introduction to Statistics for Health Care Research

Key facts

Sorry, this course is now closed to new applicants. Please use the course enquiry form to be kept informed of future runs of this course.

TypesOnline and Distance Learning
Professional Development
Short Courses
DatesMon 16 May to Fri 22 Jul 2016
Subject area(s)Health
CATS points20
FeesFrom £1690.00
Application statusClosed to new applications
Course codeO15C202B9Y
Course contactIf you have any questions about this course, please email cpdhealth@conted.ox.ac.uk or telephone +44 (0) 1865 286941.


Coat of arms - ISHCR

Take your first steps to unlock the power of statistics

This ten week online statistics module is designed for health and social care professionals who want to understand the basics of analysis methods commonly used in medical research, in order to understand published research and to participate in more specialised courses. Students will learn to use and interpret basic statistical methods using SPSS, with reference to cohort studies, case control studies and randomized controlled trials. Online discussion forums enable communication between students and the tutor to provide support and to interpret and understand real-life scenarios.

The last date for receipt of complete applications is 5pm Friday 29th April 2016. Regrettably, late applications cannot be accepted.



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


  • Understand and manipulate basic mathematical and statistical techniques as preparation for more specialized courses in health care;
  • Understand the statistical issues in the planning and analysis of research;
  • Understand the basic statistical aspects of published research;
  • Apply statistical analysis to cohort studies, case control studies and randomized controlled trials.


No previous knowledge of statistics is required to take this module. Students who are already familiar with the majority of the topics listed should consider taking the Essential Medical Statistics module.

For a detailed comparison of these two courses please click here.

Core Reading


  • Altman, D. G., 1991 Practical Statistics for Medical Research, London, Chapman & Hall
  • Kirkwood, B. R. and Sterne, J. A. C., 2003 (2nd edn) Essential Medical Statistics. Oxford, Blackwell Publishing


This module will cover:

This course is divided into 10 units. Each unit covers a different aspect of statistics and statistical modelling.

Individual units are built around practical exercises and realistic case studies that will enable students to apply statistical knowledge in a health context.

Weekly study for each unit is self-paced using online resources. Movement through the units is structured week by week to enable students to complete sections at the same time as the rest of their course group.

Individual activities can involve reading of related text book chapters and articles, working through problems or analysing example datasets. The group activities will mainly involve online discussions of important issues in statistics so that students can put the application of statistics into an everyday context. Discussions occur weekly, but are "asynchronous" due to possible local time differences between the student's locations.

Programme details

Unit Content:

  • The use and importance of statistics
  • Handling and describing data, learning to use SPSS
  • Analysis of numerical results
  • Confidence intervals
  • Comparison of two means
  • Hypothesis testing
  • Analysis of variance
  • Linear regression and correlation
  • Analysing binary outcomes
  • Comparing two proportions

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
  • 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 Jason Oke

Role: Module Coordinator

Jason Oke Medical Statistician


Dr Thomas Fanshawe

Role: Tutor

Dr Thomas Fanshawe is a Senior Medical Statistician

Assessment methods

  • Each unit includes a data analysis exercise to consolidate understanding
  • The assessment consists of statistical problems in health research designed to give insight into real statistical problems in healthcare and to test ability to apply and understand correct statistical analysis.

The University of Oxford Department for Continuing Education offers Credit Accumulation and Transfer Scheme (CATS) points for the course. Participants who successfully complete the assessment methods are eligible to earn credit equivalent to 20 CATS-equivalent points which may be counted towards a postgraduate qualification.

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.


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.


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 `For Credit`: £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.

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

All the Department's Online Short Courses are developed by our Technology-Assisted Lifelong Learning (TALL) unit. To learn more, please see the TALL website.

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