Introduction to Study Design & Research Methods
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 25th May 2018. 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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."
“Best stats teaching I have ever had. Tutors SO helpful, friendly, accessible, the resources and worked/practice examples made so much sense. Never have I been more engaged in a stats session! I would even consider the face to face module in place of the online one having met this team.”
“Really helpful to be able to discuss our own ideas with the approachable tutors throughout the week.”
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.
Please ensure that you have access to a computer that meets the specifications detailed on our technical support page.
Short Course in Health Sciences: £2195.00
Students enrolled on MSc in Evidence-Based Health Care: £1795.00
Students enrolled on Postgraduate Cert in Health Research: £1795.00
Students enrolled on Postgraduate Dip in Health Research: £1795.00
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.
Clare Bankhead is a University Research Lecturer.
Co Module Coordinator
José Ordóñez-Mena is a Medical Statistician
Co Module Coordinator
Margaret Smith is a Senior Statistician and Epidemiologist
Assessment will be based on submission of a written assignment which should not exceed 4,000 words.
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 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 firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions.
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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.
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.
Terms and conditions
Terms and conditions for applicants and students on this course
Sources of funding
Information on financial support