Page 1 of 1

Module Code - Title:


Year Last Offered:


Hours Per Week:













Grading Type:


Prerequisite Modules:

Rationale and Purpose of the Module:

This module will introduce postgraduate students to the principles and concepts behind statistical research methods and expose them to appropriate methods for collecting data, analysing designed experiments, assessing reliability, and modelling relationships. It will prepare students for statistical research and develop research skills such as choosing and developing a research question, carrying out a literature review, critical evaluation of research material and the development of a full research proposal specification. It will develop skills in presenting and critiquing statistical research findings in scientific journals.


Overview of topics including: 1. Principles of designed experiments. 2. Introduction to statistical experimental designs. 3. Analysis of comparative experiments, confidence intervals, effect sizes, multiple comparison procedures. 4. Analysis of observational data, confounding, covariate adjustment. 5. Regression methods, variable selection, model choice, inverse prediction (calibration curves). 6. Data quality, reliability, inter-class correlation. 7. Defining a research question and research proposal specification. 8. Critical review and evaluation of academic material. 9. Research dissemination skills (oral and written). Students will select a project title from a list provided by supervisors in the relevant Departments. The student will complete background reading in relation to their chosen area in close collaboration with their supervisor, develop a project plan outlining a clear statement of work to be carried out during the project, e.g. timelines, deliverables, milestones and risks.

Learning Outcomes:

Cognitive (Knowledge, Understanding, Application, Analysis, Evaluation, Synthesis)

On completion of this module students will be able to: 1. Demonstrate a set of research skills including developing a research question, sourcing information, analysis, interpretation, and project management. 2. Conduct an analysis and critical appraisal of the relevant literature. 3. Identify a research gap and specify a research question. 4. Identify and demonstrate an understanding of the most appropriate statistical tools for a given research scenario. 5. Demonstrate an understanding of and ability to apply and interpret the common statistical techniques used in advanced research. 6. Analyse research data using modern statistical software and effectively disseminate the results.

Affective (Attitudes and Values)

On completion of this module students will: 1. Synthesise and critically appraise the scientific literature. 2. Recognise and show an appreciation of the importance of using the appropriate statistical design and analyses. 3. Question whether data are representative and seek to address any biases. 4. Judge and challenge the strengths and limitations of the statistical learning approaches implemented.

Psychomotor (Physical Skills)


How the Module will be Taught and what will be the Learning Experiences of the Students:

Students will be taught fundamental statistical methods used in advanced research with a strong emphasis on literature review (application and critiquing of methods), discussion groups, statistical consulting skills and presentation skills. Discussions will be guided by the module leader. They will develop research skills, a research proposal and perform a literature review for their chosen research topic in close consultation with the relevant supervisor. The module supports the development of graduates who are KNOWLEDGEABLE as students will develop knowledge of statistical methodologies, their application in advanced research and will apply them to real-world scenarios in their own research area; COLLABORATIVE as students will work in teams to analyse real-world data to enhance their team-work skills; CREATIVE as students will use their new knowledge and critical thinking skills to identify a research gap and develop a research question; RESPONSIBLE as students will manage the development of their own thesis proposal, timelines and deliverables; ARTICULATE as students will develop the ability to communicate challenging, academic concepts both orally and in written documents.

Research Findings Incorporated in to the Syllabus (If Relevant):

Prime Texts:

Box et al (2005) Statistics for Experimenters , Wiley, New York
Montgomery et al (2005) Design and Analysis of Experiments , Wiley New York
Davidison , A (2003) Statistical Models , Cambridge Press

Other Relevant Texts:

Greenhalgh, T. (2010) How to Read a Paper: The Basics of Evidence-Based Practice. , BMJ Books, Wiley-Blackwell

Programme(s) in which this Module is Offered:


Semester - Year to be First Offered:


Module Leader: