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Postgraduate Certificate in Health Research

Course Description

This modular part-time programme is particularly suitable for academically gifted medical and dental trainees with the potential to be the independent researchers of the future.

Applications for admisson in October 2016 are now open, the deadline to receive applications by is Friday 29 July 2016 (12 noon UK time).


This progamme is designed to be taken by Academic Clinical Fellows alongside work commitments, the Health Research programme exists to enable students to:

- develop skills of research, design and data analysis in both qualitative and quantitative research

- critically evaluate health research

- identify, critically appraise and incorporate the results of medical and social science research into the day-to-day decision-making of clinical, scientific and administrative practice

- apply the principles of evidence-based practice in health care settings

- plan how to implement the findings of research to improve health care

- use theories and principles underpinning clinical research to inform their own research practice.

The programme is delivered through the Department for Continuing Education, with the expertise in curriculum design and teaching drawn from the Nuffield Department of Primary Care Health Sciences, the Centre for Evidence-Based Medicine, and the Oxford University Clinical Academic Graduate School.

Visit the website https://www.conted.ox.ac.uk/about/postgraduate-certificate-in-health-research

Programme details

The Postgraduate Certificate is normally completed between 1-2 years. It consists of three assessed taught modules and includes thorough introductions to the principles of evidence-based practice in health, and to study design and research methods.

Compulsory Modules

• The Practice of Evidence-Based Health Care
• Introduction to Study Design and Research Methods

The third module may be chosen from the following list:

- Clinical Trial Management
- Ethics for Biosciences
- Mixed Methods in Health Research
- Knowledge into Action
- Evidence-based Diagnosis and Screening
- Introduction to Statistics for Health Care Research
- Systematic Reviews
- Randomized Controlled Trials
- Qualitative Research Methods
- The Structure of Clinical Trials and Experimental Therapeutics
- How to do Research on Therapeutic Interventions: Protocol preparation
- Biological Therapeutics
- Pharmacodynamics, Biomarkers and Personalised Therapy
- Adverse drug reactions, drug interactions and Pharmacovigilance
- Drug development, Pharmacokinetics and Imaging

Course aims

At the end of the course students will be able to:

- demonstrate a knowledge of the principles, methods and techniques appropriate for solving evidence-based health care/health-research problems and be able to translate (through a critical comprehension of the relative advantages and disadvantages) that understanding into good clinical practice

- demonstrate a range of research skills enabling them to complete research successfully, either as part of a research team or as an individual

- acquire, interpret and analyse biological information with a critical understanding of the appropriate contexts for their use through the study of the existing primary literature in the field

- apply skills and expertise gained across the medical and biological sciences expected of professional researchers

Students will know and understand:

- health-care organizations, their management and the changing context in which they operate

- the ethical issues in health research and research governance

- methods to integrate and synthesise different sorts of information, from diverse sources, when making both individual patient and health-policy decisions in a wide range of situations

- the key issues for evidence-based practice in their own professional area or specialty

- how to work comfortably in situations of uncertainty and make sound judgements in the absence of definitive evidence

- research methods and concepts in the field of health and health care

All graduates of the Postgraduate Certificate in Health Research will be able to:

- understand the role of most commonly used methods appropriate for specifying problems through a critical comprehension of the relative advantages and disadvantages of these methods

- understand and express the main principles of some commonly applied techniques and methods

- explain the rationale for the selection of tools used in the analysis of phenomena.

Assessment methods

To complete the Postgraduate Certificate students must:

- Attend and complete the 2 compulsory modules and 1 option module.

Students will also be expected to complete three written assignments, usually of no more than 4000 words, one on each of the chosen modules above.

With the exception of the online modules, the EBHC modules are based on an eight week study cycle. Week One is a preparatory week where you may be required to undertake some pre-reading and to familiarise yourself with the Virtual Learning Environment. During Week Two you are required to attend the face to face teaching week in Oxford. This is followed by an additional six weeks where you are expected to participate in online activities and submit your assignment

Level and demands

Candidates will, in all but exceptional circumstances be admitted to the Postgraduate Certificate with optional progression on successful completion to the Diploma, provided that a candidate:

- has successfully completed the final year of the Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery or Bachelor of Dental Surgery or equivalent; or

- has an appropriate degree or equivalent professional qualification in a profession allied to medicine with post-qualification experience

Applicants will be expected to demonstrate an approach to their study which includes demonstrable skills of critical analysis, wide contextual knowledge and the ability to manage their own time.

Additionally candidates should:

- have a good working knowledge of email, internet, word processing and Windows applications (for communications with course members, course team and administration)

- show evidence of the ability to commit time to study and an employer's commitment to make time available to study, complete course work and attend course and University events and modules

Successful candidates will normally provide evidence of all of the following:

- A professional interest in Health Research, evidenced by prior experience, qualification and work

- Motivation and ability to complete the course

- A clear and well argued understanding of the benefits of the course to the candidate's current employment and future prospects

Find out how to apply here - http://www.ox.ac.uk/admissions/graduate/applying-to-oxford

Visit the Postgraduate Certificate in Health Research page on the University of Oxford website for more details!

Visit the Postgraduate Certificate in Health Research page on the University of Oxford website for more details!

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Student Profiles

Oxford scholarships - No. of awards TBC

Key facts :
There are over 1,000 full graduate scholarships available for courses starting in 2016-17. Full scholarships will cover your course and college fees and provide a grant for living costs.For over 70% of Oxford scholarships, nothing more than the standard course application is usually required. If you fulfil the eligibility criteria, you will be automatically considered.
The vast majority of Oxford scholarships are awarded to applicants who submit their course application by the January deadline. Oxford scholarships worth over £1,000 are advertised through the Fees, Funding and Scholarship Search. You should use this tool to find out whether you are eligible for scholarships which require an additional application. If you are, the tool will include links to full details of how to apply.In order to be considered for some scholarships offered by departments, you need to enter a scholarship reference code in the relevant section of the graduate application form. If this is the case, the code will be provided in the scholarship information given on department websites. When are Oxford scholarships awarded?:
Most Oxford scholarships are awarded between late February and June. The approximate date by which decisions are expected to be made will normally be given in the scholarship information, as linked through the Fees, Funding and Scholarship Search.A scholarship may be awarded either at the same time or after you are offered a place by your department. It may be awarded either before or after you have been offered a college place.

Value of Scholarship(s)

worth over £1,000


See the website

Application Procedure

See the website

Further Information


Entry Requirements

Please see course website.

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