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DRPS : Course Catalogue : Deanery of Molecular, Genetic and Population Health Sciences : Public Health Research

Postgraduate Course: Data Analysis for Epidemiology (PUHR11063)

Course Outline
SchoolDeanery of Molecular, Genetic and Population Health Sciences CollegeCollege of Medicine and Veterinary Medicine
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 11 (Postgraduate)
Course typeOnline Distance Learning AvailabilityAvailable to all students
SCQF Credits10 ECTS Credits5
SummaryThe course introduces the basic principles of statistical data analysis in an epidemiological context using the R programming environment for students who have already undertaken some introductory learning in the subject area.
Course description This course is designed to equip students who have already undertaken some learning in the principles of statistical methodology with a grounding in the practical skills of data analysis. The course will introduce good practice in data management and key skills in exploratory and inferential statistical analysis, using the open source R statistical programming language. Topics to be covered include numerical and graphical descriptive methods, simple one and two sample comparisons of categorical and continuous data using both confidence intervals and hypothesis tests, contingency tables and risk ratios, direct and indirect standardisation, correlation and simple linear regression as an introduction to general linear models.

The course (delivered online) will be based around 5 weekly case studies/ projects that will require students to undertake software-based analyses after using a mix of short recorded lectures and readings designed to illustrate each set of principles, with each week¿s activity building on the last. Each week, students will be encouraged to discuss their analysis plans, share useful code ¿shortcuts¿ and discuss their results on the discussion boards. The case studies will be based on real epidemiological data sets and/ or common problems, although the principles will be applicable more broadly across a wide range of medical and scientific research.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Information for Visiting Students
Pre-requisitesSuitable introductory statistics course equivalent to Epidemiology for Health Professionals (GLHE11016) - contact course organiser to check.
High Demand Course? Yes
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2016/17, Not available to visiting students (SS1) Quota:  None
Course Start Flexible
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 100 ( Lecture Hours 5, Seminar/Tutorial Hours 1, Online Activities 35, Feedback/Feedforward Hours 5, Formative Assessment Hours 5, Revision Session Hours 1, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 2, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 46 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 0 %, Coursework 100 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) 40%: Portfolio (online assessment), consisting of student¿s selection of their best 2 contributions to the analysis plan discussion forum.

60%: Project, involving analysis of a data set and a written report of the results.
Feedback Each week¿s activity will mirror the main course assessment (project) at a smaller scale, and therefore students will receive peer and tutor feedback throughout the course on key aspects of their approach to data analysis.
No Exam Information
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Demonstrate good practice in data management and preparation prior to analysis using statistical software.
  2. Execute simple univariate exploratory and inferential analyses in statistical software.
  3. Check the underlying assumptions of each method using appropriate exploratory or inferential tools.
  4. Demonstrate a critical understanding of the methodology when interpreting results.
Reading List
1. Knell, RJ (2015) Introductory R [eBook];

2. Petrie, A & Sabin, C (2013) Medical Statistics at a Glance, 3rd ed. [e-book]

3. Campbell MJ, Machin D and Walters SJ (2007): Medical Statistics, a Textbook for the Health Sciences, 4th edition. Wiley: Chichester.

4. Dalgaard P (2008) Introductory Statistics with R. Springer, 2nd edition.
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills The skills developed by this course are key for most types of epidemiological enquiry, and thus fall broadly under the overarching Enquiry and Lifelong Learning attribute. In particular, the core tasks of analysis and project work involve problem solving, critical thinking and evaluation, which map closely to the Research and Enquiry cluster. However, this will also foster Personal and Intellectual Autonomy, contributing to the student's ability to conceive, design, execute and interpret epidemiological research.
Course organiserDr Niall Anderson
Tel: (0131 6)50 3212
Course secretaryMiss Sarah Gordon
Tel: (0131 6)51 7112
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