Module Catalogue

MCR8002 : Introduction to Research Study Design and Statistics

  • Offered for Year: 2019/20
  • Module Leader(s): Dr Fraser Birrell
  • Lecturer: Professor Elaine McColl, Mr Matt Linsley, Dr Nicola Heslehurst, Professor Mark Pearce, Mrs Fiona Beyer, Professor Neil Sheerin
  • Owning School: FMS Graduate School
  • Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus
Semester 1 Credit Value: 5
Semester 2 Credit Value: 15
ECTS Credits: 10.0


This module aims to:
• Familiarise students with potential designs of studies for clinical research;
• Familiarise students with the differences between qualitative and quantitative research methods;
• Develop familiarity and confidence with different methods of data handling and coding;
• Develop skills to interpret data, prepare and deliver a presentation and to facilitate effective reading and critical appraisal of published literature.

Outline Of Syllabus

• Quantitative research
• Qualitative research
• Data coding and cleaning
• Data handling and databases
• Statistical analysis of descriptive data
• Interpretation of results
• Interpretation of evidence
• Presentation of data and evidence

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion1001:00100:00N/A
Guided Independent StudyDirected research and reading761:0076:00Self directive learning and reading.
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesSmall group teaching37:0021:00Teaching via 3 face to face study days.
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesDrop-in/surgery13:003:00Extra stats session available for students to drop in.
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

This module will be a mixture of small group teaching and tutorials/workshops. The statistics will be delivered as small group teaching. The study design will be taught as a mixture of small group teaching, tutorials and mini-workshops. Students will get formative feedback at the tutorials and mini-workshops. Teaching will be supported by the VLE.

Assessment Methods

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

Description Length Semester When Set Percentage Comment
PC Examination152M6MCQ (maximum 10 questions)
Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Prof skill assessmnt2M20Critical Appraisal: Critique of Qualitative Paper. 1500 words max (including questions).
Written exercise2M24Statistics assignment: To include case study analysis (max 2) and a short essay question (max 300 word)
Prof skill assessmnt2M20Critical Appraisal: Critique of Quantitatve Paper. 750 words max (including questions).
Oral Examination2M30Short group presentation (10 slides) - 15 minutes
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

Computer literacy will be assessed in the presentation and coding framework assessment. Written and oral presentation skills will be assessed in the written work and in the presentation. The critical appraisal assessment will test knowledge and understanding of different modes of clinical research and the different components of a research project as well as of differences between qualitative and quantitative research methodologies. The statistics assignment tests students’ knowledge of statistical analysis methods and enables them to demonstrate practical skills in using statistical software to analyse data.

Reading Lists