Study-Unit Description

Study-Unit Description


TITLE Statistics and Research Practicals

LEVEL 05 - Postgraduate Modular Diploma or Degree Course


DEPARTMENT Public Health

DESCRIPTION This study-unit gives basic knowledge and skills for statistical input in Health Research. Basic Skills are also elaborated in practical sessions.

Specifically, the student is given an introduction to medical statistics (ms) and taken through the various uses of medical statistics in public health and medical research. Basic principles such as central tendency and hypothesis testing are described. Skills include analytical tools for significance testing and critical appraisal. Evidence Based Medicine is amply covered in survey design, literature review and other applications.

Study-unit Aims:

This study-unit aims to train students to:
- appraise any literature which may become available;
- conduct one’s own audit with the right statistical techniques;
- draw up cost-benefit based justifications for investments, including projections and costings;
- test a hypothesis;
- use evidence-based medicine in conducting medical research.

Learning Outcomes:

1. Knowledge & Understanding:

By the end of the study-unit the student will be able to:
- learn the basic principles of medical statistics;
- explain the basic statistical distribution of data;
- describe the sampling techniques and the application of statistical methods to epidemiological study methods;
- analyse the distribution of data and confidence intervals;
- describe hypothesis testing and significance tests;
- explain how measures of effect are calculated;
- discuss the principles of regression techniques, survival, systematic review and meta-analysis;
- discuss the methodology for population projections;
- explain basic principles of cost-benefit assessment.

2. Skills:

By the end of the study-unit the student will be able to:
- use appropriate significance tests;
- use statistical software e.g SPSS;
- appraise statistical output in existing literature;
- conduct morbidity projections;
- conduct basic cost-benefit analysis.

Main Text/s and any supplementary readings:

Kirkwood, R., & Sterne, J. (2003). Essential Medical Statistics. Oxford, United Kingdom: John Wiley and Sons Ltd.

Harris, M. & Taylor, G. (2008). Medical Statistics Made Easy 2. Bloxham, United Kingdom: Scion Publishing.

STUDY-UNIT TYPE Independent Study, Lecture, Practical & Tutorials

Assessment Component/s Assessment Due Resit Availability Weighting
Examination (2 Hours) SEM2 Yes 100%


The University makes every effort to ensure that the published Courses Plans, Programmes of Study and Study-Unit information are complete and up-to-date at the time of publication. The University reserves the right to make changes in case errors are detected after publication.
The availability of optional units may be subject to timetabling constraints.
Units not attracting a sufficient number of registrations may be withdrawn without notice.
It should be noted that all the information in the description above applies to study-units available during the academic year 2020/1. It may be subject to change in subsequent years.