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DRPS : Course Catalogue : Deanery of Molecular, Genetic and Population Health Sciences : Molecular and Clinical Medicine

Postgraduate Course: Introduction to Randomised Controlled Trials and Medical Statistics (MCLM11079)

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 Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryRandomised controlled trials (RCTs) are considered to be the most rigorous method of determining the effects of medical interventions. They can provide valuable information on whether a cause and effect relationship exists between a given intervention and outcome.

This course is designed to provide students with the skillset to be able to demonstrate an understanding of the fundamentals of randomised controlled trials, and critically evaluate the design and reporting of them.
Course description The focus of this course will be on the fundamental components of a RCT and the use of medical statistics to interpret RCT results. In particular, participants will develop their knowledge in the fundamental aspects of clinical research, the core components of a clinical trial protocol, methods of randomisation, and the reason for and types of blinding. Participants will be encouraged to critically evaluate the design of a RCT, with a particular emphasis on considering sources of bias that can affect trial results. Within the clinical trial setting, course participants will also develop an understanding of key statistical terminology, including the ability to interpret estimates such as confidence intervals, p-values, relative risks and odds ratios.

The course will consist of a programme of lectures, peer discussion groups, and independent learning with a prescribed list of required reading. Students are required to participate online throughout the course and will have access to supportive tutorials. Students will apply their learning through discussion with peers, formative assessment, and by performing a critical appraisal of a clinical trial report.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Information for Visiting Students
High Demand Course? Yes
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2023/24, Available to all students (SV1) Quota:  None
Course Start Flexible
Course Start Date 05/08/2023
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 200 ( Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 196 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 0 %, Coursework 100 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) 100% course work
Feedback Not entered
No Exam Information
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Demonstrate a critical understanding of the fundamentals of RCTs.
  2. Evaluate and interpret RCT results using knowledge of medical statistics.
Reading List
Please refer to programme handbook
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Research and enquiry: problem-solving, analytical thinking, critical thinking, knowledge integration and application, handling complexity and ambiguity, digital literacy, numeracy
Enquiry and lifelong learning
KeywordsRandomised controlled trials,medical statistics,clinical trials.
Course organiserMs Jacqueline Stephen
Tel: (0131 6)51 9952
Course secretaryMs Rebecca Sewell
Tel: (0131 6)51 7112
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