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Improve your skills in healthcare research through this flexible online learning programme.
This programme is studied fully online.
Delivered entirely online, utilising a range of engaging and innovative teaching and assessment methods, the PgCert in Research Methods for Health will provide you with the framework and methodological skills to design effective, rigorous, ethical and relevant healthcare research projects.
This involves being able to:
Critically appraise research evidence (including systematic reviewing)
Develop a precise research question and articulate and justify an appropriate study design
Select a suitable statistical method for analysis and interpret the findings
The programme offers a fully flexible, participatory learning opportunity enabling you to:
Study while working
Learn at your own pace
Review material as often as you require
Incur limited financial costs
Study only the modules you are interested in
This PgCert is aimed at healthcare professionals, policy makers and early career researchers who would like to improve their health research skills but are unable to take time out for full-time study and/or want to avoid relocating.
The PgCert comprises 4 courses each of 15 credits. You may choose to complete one or two courses as part of your continuing professional development. Alternatively, completion of four courses leads to award of a Postgraduate Certificate in Research Methods for Health.
The total duration of each course is 13 weeks with the first week being an induction week.
The Introduction to online learning course gives students the opportunity to ensure they are comfortable and familiar with the use of the various online tools used during the courses in the online PgCert in Research Methods for Health. These include listening to podcasts, taking online quizzes, uploading electronic assignments, contributing to synchronous or ‘live’ discussions in our virtual classroom and asynchronous discussions using discussion boards, wikis and blogs as well as activating links to relevant and current websites, e-books/journal articles. Students are required to have a headset with a microphone function for this course
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.
This course will introduce students to the fundamentals of health research methods. The course will focus on the development of research protocols, including how to formulate research questions, identify appropriate study designs, identify relevant outcomes and plan data collection. Students will be introduced to the main study designs used in health research including experimental, observational, qualitative and mixed method designs. Sampling techniques and methods for data collection for both quantitative and qualitative methods will be addressed. Students will also be introduced to the importance of critical appraisal and research ethics and will learn how to communicate scientific findings.
Applied statistics introduces students to statistical concepts involved in the appropriate design, analysis and interpretation of research in health settings, covering aspects of data types and presentation of data; probability; samples, distributions, statistical inference; hypothesis testing; univariate parametric and non-parametric methods and correlation with an introduction to regression.
This course in applied epidemiology gives an introduction to disease measurement at a population level, basic epidemiological study design and analysis, and provides an understanding of key methodological issues needed to apply when designing – or critically appraising – an epidemiological study.
The course makes the most of digital tools and online technology to enable active learning and provide repeated exposure to evidence-based practice using real life examples.
Innovative teaching methods are used to help you in the understanding, application, and the development of a critical academic attitude. These include:
Synchronous and asynchronous discussions
Links to relevant and current websites
e-books and journal articles
Wikis and blogs
Live 'office hours' for questions
On-going support is provided by the dedicated, interdisciplinary team of experienced researchers who will be tutoring you. Technical support is provided and peer support will develop throughout the course(s) since engagement with students from other countries and disciplines will be actively encouraged.
You are expected to engage in independent study and work through the weekly topics at your own pace. It is estimated that you will need to engage with the course material for ~15 hours per week for each course with the learning outcomes from each week linking into the next.
All assessments within the programme are completed and delivered online. There are several different types of assessment used throughout the programme including formative and summative assessment (MCQ, online tests, essays, presentations, peer review).
All assessments are marked using standardised assessment forms and according to the University's Common Grading Scale (CGS). Online assessment also allows for automated marking with immediate feedback.
Why Study Research Methods For Health?
You will benefit from being part of a supportive online community, helping to facilitate the successful achievement of clearly defined learning outcomes.
Through the use of digital media you will be engaged in a collaborative learning environment benefiting from teaching methods that fit with your preferred style of learning.
The programme is delivered by staff from our Institute of Applied Health Sciences (IAHS), a large multidisciplinary grouping of University staff and NHS researchers who work to promote health and healthcare delivery.
Lecturers on the programme are active researchers and you will benefit from the skills and experience they have gained in conducting their own research and through the University's strong collaborations with other Universities and research institutions across the globe.
Learning materials and resources are accessed via the University's dedicated online learning environment called MyAberdeen. You will also have access to the full text of over 85,000 online books via the Ebrary, plus articles from over 20,000 electronic journals.
The information below is provided as a guide only and does not guarantee entry to the University of Aberdeen.
Applicants will usually need to possess a health-related honours degree (at a second class level or at least 60% or GPA – 3/5; 2.4/4; 6/10 OR equivalent) or be able to demonstrate evidence of equivalent experience in health care practice/research. They will also require reliable internet access.
Please enter your country to view country-specific entry requirements.
English Language Requirements
To study for a Postgraduate Taught degree at the University of Aberdeen it is essential that you can speak, understand, read, and write English fluently. The minimum requirements for this degree are as follows:
Successful completion of the PgCert will enable you to develop a range of essential methodological research skills allowing you to carry out research leading to improvements in your own healthcare workplace. You may also be more competitive in securing external funding for projects to improve health and reduce health inequalities. You should benefit from increased opportunities as a result of an enhanced professional profile and will have the confidence and methodological skills required to design and undertake a research project
The PgCert could be the first stage in gaining an MSc in Applied Health Sciences (specialisation) with a specialisation area such as substance abuse, health economics or sexual and reproductive health.
The programme will be delivered by a multidisciplinary team of world renowned and vastly experienced experts in applied healthcare with each course having its own specialised co-ordinator(s).
Professor Lee is Programme Co-ordinator for the PgCert and is part of the Medical Statistics Team within the Institute of Applied Health Sciences. Her research interests are applied medical statistics and epidemiology of vascular disease.
Information About Staff Changes
You will be taught by a range of experts including professors, lecturers, teaching fellows and postgraduate tutors. Staff changes will occur from time to time.
Public Health in Primary Care Top in Scotland
The University was ranked 1st in Scotland for its research in Public Health, Health Services and Primary Care (2014 Research Excellence Framework)
Get in Touch
Student Recruitment & Admissions Service University of Aberdeen University Office Regent Walk Aberdeen AB24 3FX