Essential Medical Statistics

Course summary

  • Mon 03 Apr 2017 to Fri 07 Apr 2017
  • Rewley House, 1 Wellington Square, Oxford, Oxfordshire, OX1 2JA.
  • From £1740.00
  • 20 CATS points
  • Course code O16C197B9Y
  • +44 (0) 1865 286943
  • Applications being accepted

Essential Medical Statistics


Learning about logistic regression, Cox regression, meta-analysis and more

This module is designed for health care professionals or graduate students who already have some research experience and an understanding of basic statistical principles, and who wish to develop their statistical expertise. Teaching is interactive and will emphasise the practical application of statistical methods to real-life problems, rather than statistical theory. Students will be able to explore and analyse data using a variety statistical packages.

The last date for receipt of complete applications is 5pm Friday 17th March 2017. Regrettably, late applications cannot be accepted.


This module will cover:

  • Hypothesis tests
  • Association between variables
    • Linear regression
    • Multiple linear regression (including relation to ANOVA*)
  • Multiple logistic regression
    • Uses of multiple logistic regression
    • Interpretation
    • Interaction
    • Building models
  • Survival analysis
    • Non parametric methods
    • Life tables and their application to follow-up studies
    • The Kaplan Meier product-limit estimate of survival and the log rank test
    • Parametric methods
    • The hazard function
    • Use of regression and proportional hazards models to assess the association of factors other than time with survival
    • Cox regression model
  • Meta analysis
    • Principles of inverse variance meta-analysis
    • Meta-analysis for continuous and dichotomous outcomes
    • Meta-analysis and forest plots in RevMan and Stata
    • Heterogeneity
    • Meta-regression

*The terminology of ANOVA has been widely superseded by the terminology of multiple linear regression. The course will show briefly the equivalence of the two approaches for the benefit of students accustomed to ANOVA.

This module assumes the students have at least some familiarity with the following:

  • Distinction between continuous and categorical variables
  • Interpretation of p values and statistical significance
  • Interpretation of confidence intervals
  • Concept of the Normal distribution


If you do not have these pre-requisites, the online module Introduction to Statistics for Health Care Research is recommended.

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

Core Reading

  • Essential Medical Statistics, by Kirkwood and Sterne.
  • SPSS in Practice: An Illustrated Guide. Basant K Puri. Second Edition. Hodder Arnold

Comments from previous participants:

"Very good presentation of a lot of information, with relevant examples, very good practical sessions and helpful lecturers"

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).


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.


Short Course in Health Sciences: £2110.00
Students enrolled on MSc in Evidence-Based Health Care: £1740.00
Students enrolled on Postgraduate Cert in Health Research: £1740.00
Students enrolled on Postgraduate Dip in Health Research: £1740.00


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 advantages 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 Susannah Fleming

Module Coordinator

Susannah Fleming Research Fellow

Prof Richard Stevens

Module Coordinator

Richard Stevens is the Deputy Director, Statistics Group.

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 80% 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 if you have any questions.


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. Please outline your pre-requisite statistical knowledge within the personal statement section of the application form. 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.

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
  • 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.