Faculty of Medical Sciences Online Learning


Clinical Research Statistics (E-learning)

  • Module Leader: Mr David McGeeney
Module lengths: 13
Starts: January (Semester 2)
Credit value:  20
Study hours: 200


This is an on-line course which introduces the statistical packages of MINITAB and SPSS to help students performing clinical research develop an understanding of elementary statistical methods such as estimation and hypothesis testing.

The first week of study invites you to read a research paper and to try to decide where the statistical issues arise. You will also have to choose which strand of the course you are going to take as this module can be undertaken using either Minitab or SPSS. In the second week you will carry out a simple analysis using your programme of choice. Thereafter each week has a similar format.

In each week there will be one, or occasionally two activities to complete. These will involve the use of your chosen programme. These are not formally assessed, they are simply there to help you to consolidate your knowledge. Learning statistics is not straightforward and you will often find that you will have to go over the study pages several times in order to complete the activities successfully. You can check your answers in the solution sheet which accompanies each set of activities. However, you are encouraged to make a thorough attempt before looking at the solutions!

Online Teaching

This module will be taught via e-learning using the Blackboard VLE. The design of the material will not only focus on a range of inferential and descriptive statistics, but will also enhance the student's practical ability to apply statistical rigour to clinical research. Teaching will take the form of online tutorials and students will also be able to utilise reflective learning activities such as online discussion boards. You will submit your work for assessment via Blackboard VLE and will receive feedback electronically.

Online Assessment

Summative - through a blend of:

  • Critique of Research Extracts – answers will be (brief) prose form or comprise re-analyses based on the articles, possibly requiring the use of Minitab or SPSS
  • Online MCQ
  • Web-cam call to discuss understanding of submission

Formative - there are three MCQs in this module which are designed to test your understanding as you progress through the module. Although the MCQs are formative assessments and do not count towards your final grade, they will be useful practice for the final assessed MCQ. 

Reading list website: rlo.ncl.ac.uk


Your Blackboard account