MCR8016 : Clinical Research Statistics

Semester 2 Credit Value: 20
ECTS Credits: 10.0


This module is designed to instill a deeper understanding than usual introductory courses in statistics. The module explores 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 module aims to:

1. Inform students about some of the statistical techniques used in collecting data in clinical research.
2. Develop a critical understanding of the statistical methods in analyzing data.
3. Provide students with an understanding about the statistical packages available for analyzing data.

Outline Of Syllabus

The syllabus comprises the following elements:

• Application of statistical packages in particular SPSS and Minitab
• Statistics - an overview
• Descriptive statistics
• Inferential statistics
• Population and parameters
• Normal distributions
• Samples, estimation and standard errors
• Confidence intervals
• The idea of a hypothesis test
• Tests to compare two groups I: the t-test
• Tests to compare two groups II: binary data
• Principle of sample size calculations
• Survival analysis

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion601:0060:00N/A
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture37:0021:002.5 days compulsory lectures. Optional 0.5 day for advanced learning- content will not be assessed
Guided Independent StudyDirected research and reading891:0089:00Self directive learning and reading
Guided Independent StudyReflective learning activity301:0030:00Some use of Discussion Board
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

The learning 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. The teaching will enable the students to develop an understanding of elementary statistical methods as well as an understanding of the statistical packages available for analyzing data.
Students will attend 2.5 days of compulsory lectures. There will be an optional 0.5 day for advanced learning. The content of the optional 0.5 day will not be assessed. Teaching will be supported by the use of the Blackboard Discussion Board.

Assessment Methods

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

Description Length Semester When Set Percentage Comment
PC Examination202M20Timed Online MCQs, 10 questions
Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Essay2M80Critique of Research Extracts (Short answer questions)
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

The critique is designed to assess how well candidates understand statistical principles as applied to published work and help them develop skills for research and for Masters students to prepare for the dissertation component of the course (later). The MCQ is designed to test the students understanding and knowledge of statistics and the software as taught in the module.

Reading Lists