Durham University
Programme and Module Handbook

Postgraduate Programme and Module Handbook 2007-2008 (archived)


Department: Health [Queen's Campus, Stockton]


Type Tied Level 4 Credits 15 Availability Available in 2007/08


  • None


  • None

Excluded Combination of Modules

  • None


  • To provide training and skills for the quantitative research techniques commonly used in healthcare related research. It describes types of data, distributions and statistical tests, then shows how these are used in particular research designs. The course concludes with guidance for planning new quantitative research.


  • Basic data types, distributions and analyses
  • Common analyses: preparation, comparisons
  • Common analyses: correlation, regression
  • Methods 1: Surveys, case-control and cohort studies
  • Methods 2: Prognostic tests, Diagnostic tests
  • Methods 3: Clinical trials
  • Methods 4: Reviewing and summarising research
  • Software in quantitative research
  • Research design

Learning Outcomes

Subject-specific Knowledge:
  • By the end of module students will have an understanding of:
  • The variety of quantitative research techniques commonly used in health-related research
  • Using statistical software to assist the analysis involved with quantitative research techniques
  • Strengths and weaknesses of different designs, in terms of their vulnerability to forms of bias.
Subject-specific Skills:
  • Designing quantitative research in health related fields
  • Undertaking meta-analysis of random controlled trials
Key Skills:
  • Managing and manipulating data
  • Using statistical methods appropriately
  • The ability to think independently, including problem-solving ability and the ability to discriminate and use judgement;
  • The ability to organise data, abstract meaning from information and share knowledge at an advanced level
  • The ability to select and use appropriate advanced numerical techniques;
  • Enhanced ability to make effective use of Communication and Information Technology
  • Planning and conducting research, both independently and within a team

Modes of Teaching, Learning and Assessment and how these contribute to the learning outcomes of the module

  • Lecturing - Outlines key quantitative research methods, their strengths and weaknesses - Explains the basic components of each technique
  • Tutorials conducted as Self-Paced Learning - Workbooks, including reading and practical exercises will help students to work through concepts in more detail, encouraging group working, peer support and developing inter-professional working skills. Support will be available and provided throughout tutorials as required.
  • Computer/practical classes - allow students to develop skills using common statistical packages for quantitative analysis
  • Independent study, research and analysis - Focuses student knowledge more deeply by pursuing aspects of the module that are of special interest to themselves and exploring specific applications in their field of study.
  • Essay assessment will test students’ critical knowledge and understanding of key concepts, their ability to argue coherently and communicate effectively in writing, and to reflectively assess their proficiency in thinking through how the various quantitative research methods can be best utilised in understanding research questions in health.

Teaching Methods and Learning Hours

Activity Number Frequency Duration Total/Hours
Lecture 10 weekly 1 hr 10
Self-paced learning 10 weekly 2 hr 20
Independent study Student determined Student determined 120

Summative Assessment

Component: assessment Component Weighting: 100%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
assignment 1500 words 50% asssignment
assignment 1500 words 50% assignment

Formative Assessment:

Feedback on practical exercises provided in workbooks.

Attendance at all activities marked with this symbol will be monitored. Students who fail to attend these activities, or to complete the summative or formative assessment specified above, will be subject to the procedures defined in the University's General Regulation V, and may be required to leave the University