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PGCert Clinical Audit and Research for Healthcare Professionals

Course content


In recent years there has been a rapid growth in clinical audit and research to evaluate treatment interventions and improvement in patient care and any associated cost benefits. This has led to an increasing number of healthcare professionals being exposed, often for the first time, to clinical audit and research methods. This rapid growth has been recognised here at the Department of Orthopaedic and Trauma Surgery, which has an active and expanding Clinical Audit and Research Unit.

The Clinical Audit & Research Unit is a joint venture between Industry, Dundee Teaching Hospitals Trust and the University of Dundee. It is involved in a number of clinical audit projects relating to orthopaedics and provides clinical and statistical expertise in audit of process, project planning, data processing and trial control mechanisms.

The combination of expertise in postgraduate education delivered by open learning methods, coupled with an active research environment, has enabled us to develop a programme specifically tailored to deliver the skills needed by the healthcare profession to successfully undertake research and audit.

This is a modular course, taught by distance learning, covering the following subjects:

  • Research and the Scientific Method
  • Information Gathering and Review
  • Statistical Methods
  • Reporting and Presentation
  • Implementing Clinical Audit
  • Funding Issues
  • Ethical Issues

Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF)

The University of Dundee has been given a Gold award – the highest possible rating – in the 2017 Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF).

Read more about the Teaching Excellence Framework

Teaching & Assessment

The programme consists of nine learning units. These units may be studied individually so that you can choose to study the units you wish. Each unit requires approximately 100 notational hours of study.

Learning Materials

The programme is supplied in a presentation folder containing a student handbook and the nine units. The student handbook provides information about the structure, recommended reference materials and the tutor support system. For every unit there is a study guide that explains the objectives of that unit (what you will have learned by the end of the unit) and leads you through the learning material, section by section, using text, illustrations, activities, exercises and references to the recommended textbooks.

You monitor your own progress through the unit by completing the self-assessment questions, which are placed at regular intervals throughout the text, and checking your answers against those provided in the study guide. When you need to discuss any aspects of your study, you may contact your tutor for support.

Tutor Support

When you need to discuss any aspects of your study, you may contact your tutor for support. Your tutor is available for direct contact by telephone at set times during the week, as specified in the module guide for each module. A telephone answering service is available after office hourse and you may also contact your tutor by email, post or fax. Tutor support is available for each module for a maximum period of three-months from the date you start the module.

How you will be assessed

Formative assessment consists of self-assessment questions in the Study Guides. Summative assessment consists of a tutor-marked assignment at the end of each module. The exact nature of each assignment is designed to reflect the aim of the module. To qualify for the Certificate students will need to complete and pass the assignments in all nine modules undertaken.

What you will study

  • Unit 1 - Research and the Scientific Method (10 SM SCOTCAT Credit Points)
  • Unit 2 - Information Gathering & Review (5 SM SCOTCAT Credit Points)
  • Unit 3 - Descriptive Statistics (10 SM SCOTCAT Credit Points)
  • Unit 4 - Statistical Inference (10 SM SCOTCAT Credit Points)
  • Unit 5 - Non-parametric Statistical Inference (10 SM SCOTCAT Credit Points)
  • Unit 6 - Reporting & Presentation (10 SM SCOTCAT Credit Points)
  • Unit 7 - Implementing Clinical Audit (10 SM SCOTCAT Credit Points)
  • Unit 8 - Funding Issues (5 SM SCOTCAT Credit Points)
  • Unit 9 - Ethical Issues (5 SM SCOTCAT Credit Points)


This course is aimed at those who are already on an established career path and will improve opportunities for career progression and development.

Additional costs

You may incur additional costs in the course of your education at the University over and above tuition fees in an academic year.

  • may be mandatory or optional expenses
  • may be one off, ongoing or incidental charges and certain costs may be payable annually for each year of your programme of study
  • vary depending on your programme of study
  • are payable by you and are non-refundable and non-transferable

Unfortunately, failure to pay additional costs may result in limitations on your student experience.

For additional costs specific to your course please speak to our Enquiry Team.

Your Application

Fill in our online enquiry form via the Distance Learning Section website

Visit the PGCert Clinical Audit and Research for Healthcare Professionals page on the University of Dundee website for more details!




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