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Last modified: 27 Feb 2018 14:17

Course Overview

This course is taken by students registered for the PGCert in Research Methods for Health and the MPH. It is delivered online and provides interaction with fellow students and faculty both synchronously and asynchronously. Everyone taking part must be registered for the course and complete all assessments.
This course aims to enable the fundamental understanding and application of evidence based health at an individual- and population-level, focusing on the use of systematic reviews to synthesise evidence as well as methods to translate and implement evidence to inform health practice and policy.



Course Details

Study Type Postgraduate Level 5
Session First Sub Session Credit Points 15 credits (7.5 ECTS credits)
Campus Online Sustained Study No
  • Dr Mairead Black

Qualification Prerequisites


What courses & programmes must have been taken before this course?

  • Any Postgraduate Programme (Studied)

What other courses must be taken with this course?


What courses cannot be taken with this course?

  • PU5526 Systematic Reviewing (Studied)

Are there a limited number of places available?


Course Description

This course is delivered online.

Learning material will comprise a range of media, using synchronous and asynchronous delivery. The course contains pre-recorded contributions from a wide range of experts in systematic reviewing / evidence synthesis and in translating evidence into policy.

The course will be divided into weekly learning sessions which consist of podcasts, study notes and seminars. The course is accompanied by an online discussion board which students are encouraged to use. Each week one of the tutor team monitors the board and responds to queries about the course material. The more the board is used, the more ideas are shared between students.

There will be 5 scheduled online interactive sessions during the course. These will usually be scheduled for friday afternoons and dates will be supplied in the course calendar. Sessions are scheduled for either 1 hour - so called Questions and Answers sessions with a tutor about specific questions - or 1.5 hours as tutorials where the tutor may set problems for students to discuss. No new course material will be presented in sessions and participation is encouraged but is not mandatory.

Online interactive sessions will use Blackboard Collaborate within myAberdeen and it is the responsibility of students to ensure that they can use it. You will need a reasonable internet connection and either a headset or earphones in order to avoid using your computer's speakers.

Further Information & Notes

Students on this course will work through the stages of a systematic review week by week, completing interactive and practical exercises to develop the skills required to conduct a review. They will then study how the evidence produced from systematic reviews is used to shape health policy and practice, at the level of organisations and individual clinical encounters.

Contact Teaching Time

Information on contact teaching time is available from the course guide.

Teaching Breakdown

More Information about Week Numbers

Details, including assessments, may be subject to change until 31 August 2023 for 1st half-session courses and 22 December 2023 for 2nd half-session courses.

Summative Assessments

  1. Practical exercise: Data extraction, quality assessment (using a validated tool appropriate to the study design) and synthesis (40%) You will work through this exercise at your own pace - with approximately two weeks to complete this after week 6
  2. Marked case-study: develop a strategy for the implementation of the evidence at an individual- and population-level. (30%) You will select a review or guideline (from a limited choice) and provide a structured description of how you would implement the evidence at an individual and / or population level
  3. Timed short answer assessment (open book) (30%) You will have one hour, at the time of your choice during week 12 to complete a short answer assessment covering material from the whole course

Formative Assessment

There will be a range of computer-marked questions which will be set throughout the course using different response options e.g. multiple choice questions (MCQs), true/false, matching, fill in blanks, etc.



Course Learning Outcomes


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