Module Catalogue

HSC8053 : Introduction to Quantitative Research Methods (Inactive)

  • Inactive for Year: 2019/20
  • Module Leader(s): Dr Blossom Stephan
  • Demonstrator: Professor Fiona Matthews, Dr Thomas Chadwick
  • Lecturer: Ms Elaine Stamp, Professor Elaine McColl, Dr Louise Hayes, Ms Denise Howel
  • Owning School: FMS Graduate School
  • Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus
Semester 1 Credit Value: 10
ECTS Credits: 5.0


This module introduces students to the design, practice and core concepts of applied quantitative research in the health sciences (in particular, epidemiology and health services research). The module will also provide a foundation for more advanced studies in quantitative epidemiology and health services research in later modules of the degree programme.

Outline Of Syllabus

This module provides an introduction and broad overview of the following topics:
The hierarchy of quantitative research evidence
Cross-sectional and descriptive studies
Measure of frequency (incidence and prevalence)
Cross-sectional surveys
Variations in measurement, validity and reliability
Longitudinal surveys
Bias, confounding and effect modification
Case-control studies
Measures of association & risk (rate ratios, relative risks, odds ratios)
Cohort studies
Randomised controlled trials
Specific and standardised rates

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion121:0012:00N/A
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture22:004:00N/A
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture41:306:00N/A
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture71:007:00N/A
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture20:301:00N/A
Guided Independent StudyDirected research and reading121:0012:00N/A
Guided Independent StudySkills practice121:0012:00N/A
Guided Independent StudyProject work131:0013:00N/A
Guided Independent StudyReflective learning activity111:0011:00N/A
Guided Independent StudyStudent-led group activity111:0011:00N/A
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study111:0011:00N/A
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

The anticipated number of students and the nature of the learning and skills objectives indicate that a participative approach to teaching and learning, with ample time for discussion and practical activities in small and plenary groups, is more appropriate than formal lectures; hence the emphasis on seminars as the main mode of delivery. Learning materials will be made available to students in advance of seminars, using the Blackboard learning platform, and it will be expected that students have done the required preparatory work.

To develop and practise the practical skills of data interpretation, scheduled student-led group work sessions will be arranged in which students will work in small groups on a practical task, such as designing a piece of research to address a specified research question and calculating and interpreting principal measures of disease frequency, risk and association used by epidemiologists and health services researchers.

As this is a Masters level course, students will be expected to engage in significant self-guided learning, including allocated essential and further reading and accessing web-based learning resources

Assessment Methods

The format of resits will be determined by the Board of Examiners

Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Essay1M1002000 words
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

The 2,000 word essay requires calculation of measures of disease frequency, risk and association and discussion of aspects of measurement and design in epidemiological and health services research

The written assignment will test students’ understanding of measurement and design issues in epidemiology and health services research by asking for in-depth discussion of these topics. The written assignment will also require students to demonstrate their ability to calculate and interpret one or more key measures of disease frequency, risk or association and interpret their results. A written assignment will allow for a more in-depth appraisal than would be possible in a time-limited examination.

Reading Lists