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An online short course equipping you with essential skills to master basic statistics in your research or professional practice.

Get to grips with designing, analysing and interpreting findings from health research, learning from expert statisticians at a leading health sciences university.

Enjoy this strong career advantage as a researcher, health or related professional, plus all the convenience of fitting your learning around your location, work and personal commitments.



Overview

Hardly a day goes by without ‘new’ statistics in the media. The headlines may be eye-catching, but – even if interpreted correctly – many of us have only the vaguest idea of how they are produced.

Researchers must be able to specify a precise research question, select an appropriate study design and analyse any data collected to carry out an effective research project. This short course, which assumes no prior knowledge, will help you develop statistical knowledge to use in your own career, to help interpret the academic literature, and gain a better appreciation of statistics in the world around us.

A good understanding of the potential, mechanics and limitations of statistics will be a huge professional advantage if you are pursuing a research career, or, for example, you are a clinician considering the relative benefits of different drugs and therapies.

You’ll become acquainted with the statistical concepts involved in designing, analysing and interpreting the results of research in healthcare settings, covering aspects of data types and how data is presented.

If you’re embarking on a research career, you’ll learn how to do basic analysis of the data you’ve collected, critically analyse the results of other researchers, and draw justified conclusions. This will give you a distinct career advantage in a highly competitive environment, for example when you submit a grant application to get funding for your research.

You’ll be taught by experienced statisticians supporting research in healthcare disciplines, who can frame examples relevant to your own profession to help you grow your understanding and skills.  


Why Aberdeen for this course?

The combination of international profile, long experience, breadth of expertise and track record in research and teaching plus our close links with the NHS on the Foresterhill health campus makes Aberdeen the obvious provider of first-class education in all areas of health. We celebrate a distinguished track record in medicine and health over several centuries. Aberdeen was home to leading pioneers in nutrition, women’s health, infection control and more recently, clinical scanning and many other medical and health areas.

Aberdeen’s research in Public Health was rated top in Scotland in the most recent national Research Excellence Framework (2014) which assesses research strength across UK universities.

Over three-quarters of Aberdeen research was deemed ‘world-class’ or ‘internationally excellent’. The work of our public health academics has influenced many areas of public policy, including alcohol pricing and smoke-free public places, and through chairing national panels and reviews.

Close working with NHS services and clinicians enables ground-breaking trials and studies, and the input of clinicians using real life examples adds huge value to both teaching and research.

You can study this credit-bearing online short course standalone, or as a taster to continue your professional development with a PGCert, PGDip, and perhaps progress to a full online Masters programme from our popular portfolio of topics in Applied Health Sciences.


What you'll study

You’ll be introduced to the statistical concepts involved in the design, analysis and interpretation of research in healthcare settings, covering aspects of data types and presentation of data. You’ll look at how to summarise data, probability and probability distributions, the concept of sampling and statistical inference, a variety of hypothesis tests both parametric and non-parametric correlation and methods of agreement.

We assume no prior knowledge and begin with what is a variable and what are the different types?  We then build to a range of common statistical tests and each is appropriate to answer different research questions. 

You’ll be taught by experienced statisticians working in health-related disciplines, and who can frame examples that are familiar to you in your own profession to help your understanding.

If you are embarking on a research career, you’ll learn how to do basic analysis of the data you’ve collected, to critically analyse the results of other researchers, and to examine ever better ways to answer your research question. This will give you a distinct career advantage in a highly competitive environment, for example when you submit an application to get funding for your research.


How you'll study

This online, 12-week distance-learning short course offers all the flexibility and convenience to study when, where and how you choose, and to fit your learning around your location, employment and personal commitments.

Our online courses are delivered through our Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) as self-contained units of learning taught and assessed to the same quality as our degree programmes, and developed specifically for an online audience using a range of learning materials and assessment activities.

We aim to create an online classroom and student community which enables you to enjoy the same learning experience as students on our full degree programmes, including access to a suite of learning resources and support.

This course has weekly themes, with material released in three-week blocks to give you flexibility to suit your schedule. Each theme mixes short podcasts with a range of other activities including multiple-choice questions, short exercises and discussion boards.

Our first-class support structure will ensure that you are not alone in your study. Contact with your course tutors may be by email, Skype through the virtual classroom or discussion board, and you can use social media and the discussion boards to talk to your fellow students wherever they are.

Wherever you are in the world, as you enjoy the convenience of online distance study, you will still feel part of our very special Aberdeen learning community.


Assessment

Our online courses are delivered through an online Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) and have been developed specifically for an online audience using a range of learning materials and assessment activities.  There are a number of short assessments, with specific deadlines but they can be done in advance to suit your commitments. These included multiple choice, short answer and a data analysis exercise.


Entry Requirements

Our minimum entry requirement for this course is a degree at 2:1 (upper second class) UK Honours level (or a degree from a non-UK institution which is judged by the University to be of equivalent worth). However alternative/lower qualifications, combined with an appropriate level of relevant experience, may also be considered as a means for entry.

In exceptional circumstances applicants without this qualification may be admitted at the discretion of the course co-ordinator subject to having an alternative qualification, or an approved level of experience, appropriate to the field of study.

Please check the In My Country pages to find out if your degree is equivalent.

All students entering the University, including online courses, must provide evidence that they can use English well enough to study our programmes effectively. Details of our English language entry requirements can be found on our English Language Requirements webpages. For details of our pre-sessional English courses see our Language Centre website.