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Course content

This is a part-time, modular based programme for health professionals who want to gain an understanding of the importance of systematic reviews in health care as well as the practical skills to conduct them.

Students will gain the confidence in carrying out the methods that are widely used in medical statistics, and interpreting the results for the practice of evidence-based health care. The flexible modular structure has been devised for busy professionals and to fit with the structure of specialist training. The regulations allow students to take up to four years to complete the MSc.

This is a joint programme between the Nuffield Department of Primary Care Health Sciences and the Department for Continuing Education's Continuing Professional Development Centre. The Programme works in collaboration with the renowned Centre for Evidence-Based Medicine in Oxford.

Students will be provided with training in the fundamental principles of evidence-based health care and research design as well as more specific training in the conduct of basic and more complex systematic reviews.

This course is designed for health care professionals and researchers seeking to consolidate their understanding and ability in contextualising, carrying out, and applying systematic reviews appropriately in health care settings. Core modules will introduce the students to the principles of evidence-based health care, as well as the core skills and methods needed for research design and conduct. Further modules will provide students with specific skills in conducting basic systematic reviews, meta-analysis, rapid reviews, and more complex reviews, such as realist reviews, reviews of clinical study reports and diagnostic accuracy reviews. Teaching is tailored to those with a minimal prior knowledge of systematic reviews and delivered by an experienced team of tutors from the University of Oxford, who actively work to advance the practice of evidence-based health care through the conduct and dissemination of systematic reviews.

This programme supports students through a training programme that includes core teaching modules and a dissertation, leading to an MSc qualification in EBHC Systematic Reviews.

Compared with the MSc in Evidence-Based Health Care, this degree will suit those with a particular interest in and requirement for training in the conduct of systematic reviews relevant to evidence-based health care.

Visit the website https://www.conted.ox.ac.uk/about/msc-in-ebhc-systematic-reviews

Course aims

The course aims to provide health-care professionals with a structured training in designing, conducting, and interpreting high-quality systematic reviews in health care. Students will develop sufficient skills to conduct systematic reviews independently.

• To introduce the basic concepts and skills of evidence-based health care, including how to formulate a clinical research question, search for evidence; critically appraise evidence for sources of bias, and apply evidence to health care settings.
• To describe in detail different types of research methods and identify the strengths and weaknesses of different study designs.
• To learn how to design a systematic review research protocol.
• To gain a more detailed understanding of the process involved in conducting a systematic review.
• To develop the skills to conduct, report, and update a systematic review.
• To gain a familiarity with basic and advanced techniques for the analysis of quantitative systematic review data: meta-analysis, meta-regression, network meta-analysis, diagnostic meta-analysis, individual patient data meta-analysis.
• To gain an understanding of and reasons for more complex systematic reviews in health care, such as realist reviews, reviews of clinical study reports, prognostic reviews, and reviews of complex interventions.
• To explore new paradigms in systematic reviews and evidence synthesis.
• To gain sufficient training to conduct systematic reviews independently.

Programme details

The MSc in EBHC Systematic Reviews is a part-time course.

There are six compulsory modules and a dissertation, which will take the form of a systematic review.

Compulsory Modules

• The Practice of Evidence-Based Health Care
• Introduction to Study Design and Research Methods
• Systematic Reviews
• Realist Reviews and Realist Evaluation
• Complex Reviews
• Meta-analysis

A module is run over an eight-week cycle where the first week is spent working on introductory activities using a Virtual Learning Environment, the second week is spent in Oxford for the face-to-face teaching week, there are then four Post-Oxford activities (delivered through the VLE) which are designed to help you write your assignment. You then have a week of personal study and you will be required to submit your assignment electronically the following week.

Visit the MSc in Evidence-Based Health Care – Systematic Reviews page on the University of Oxford website for more details!

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