Practical Statistics For Medical Research

28 June - 1 July 2016

Course Data

The Stata files can be accessed by typing the following within Stata (click on psmr then click here to get):

net from

The files can also be downloaded in CSV format (which can read by any statistics package or Excel) by clicking below:

Data in CSV format

Organisers and Tutors

The course is jointly organised by the UCL Research Support Centre and UCL Statistical Science. The main speakers and tutors are: Prof Rumana Omar, Dr Gareth Ambler, Dr Julie Barber,  and Dr Aidan O'Keeffe (UCL Statistical Science and UCL Research Support Centre), Fatima Jichi (UCL Research Support Centre) and Dr Andrew Copas (UCL and MRC Clinical Trials Unit at UCL).

Dates and times

28th June - 1 July 2016.

About the course

Medical statistics plays an essential role in all stages of a quantitative health care research project from design through to analysis and interpretation. This intensive course covers the essential principles and methods required. Emphasis is on study design, appropriate analysis, and interpretation of results. The underlying concepts of statistical analysis as well as basic and some more advanced analysis techniques are covered. Sessions include lectures and practical work, both computer based (using Stata) and using small workshops for discussion. The course has been running for more than 20 years and has earned an international reputation. Lectures are taught by experienced medical statisticians from high class academic institutions.

Course aims and objectives

The course aims to teach health care researchers the essential elements of research methodology and statistics. The focus is mainly on interpretation and understanding appropriate methodology.

At the end of the course the participants will have gained an understanding of:

  • The various design possibilities for a research project, and the important considerations for observational studies and randomised trials
  • The types of data generated in research studies
  • The most common methods of analysis for categorical and continuous data, including regression methods and survival analysis
  • When particular methods are appropriate and how to interpret their results
  • Reviewing and appraising published research

Who should attend?

The course is relevant to all health care professionals or anyone in the health care field who needs to understand, use or carry out health care research studies. Material covered is of an introductory and intermediate level and provides some references and foundation for more advanced techniques. The course assumes a familiarity with the statistical terms used in the medical literature (e.g. P-values and confidence intervals) but does not assume any deep understanding.

Course content

The course is structured into a number of teaching sessions per day, most consisting of a lecture followed by a practical. Practicals are either computer based for analysis work or workshop style in smaller groups. Discussion is very much encouraged. Participants are provided with an extensive course folder including presentations, practical questions, solutions and recommended reading.

The following topics are covered:

  • Introduction to Data Analysis
  • Design of Observational Studies
  • Design of Randomised Trials
  • Estimation and Hypothesis Testing
  • Basics of Study Design
  • Comparing Groups of Categorical Data
  • Comparing Groups of Continuous Data
  • Sample Size Calculations
  • Correlation and Linear Regression
  • Further Regression Topics
  • Risk, Rates and Odds
  • Confounding and Interactions
  • Logistic Regression
  • Analysis of Survival Data
  • Analysis of Correlated Data
  • Advanced Issues in Trials
  • Missing Data

Comments from participants of previous courses

"I was after an overview of statistics so that I could better understand and interpret what it is I read in medical journals and this course was perfect."
"Maintained my interest throughout, engaging speakers, incredibly well designed course."
"I wish I'd been taught this well at medical school!"
"Well planned and organised course"
"I have enjoyed the course even though I don't like Statistics!"
"Inspiring and a real treat, good enthusiastic teachers, superlative in all respects"
"Practicals very well designed, tutors extremely patient and helpful"
"As a surgeon my aim was to get an understanding of which statistics to use for certain studies. I think the course has done this well"
"Very improved understanding of overwhelming statistical theory… course very well organised"
"This is the best medical statistics course I have attended"
"Please think very hard before trying to "improve" this marvellous, no-nonsense, no mumbo-jumbo statistics course!"

Recommended reading

Books recommended as good accompaniments to the course and for background or further reading are:

D.G. Altman Practical Statistics for Medical Research Chapman and Hall
J.M. Bland An Introduction to Medical Statistics Oxford
B.R. Kirkwood and J.A. Sterne Essential Medical Statistics Blackwell


This course is accredited with 21 CPD points (pending) from the Royal College of Physicians. Participants who complete the course will receive a certificate of attendance.

Course fee

Early registration (until 27 May 2016) for the public sector: £600.  After 27 May: £690.

Commercial sector: £900.

This fee is to be paid in full before the course date. The fee includes tea, coffee, lunch and course materials

Awards for UCLH, UCL and Royal Free researchers

Special offer for UCL Medical School / UCLH & Royal Free Hospital Trust researchers: The course is offered at the reduced rate of £200 for the first 14 applicants. 

Researchers wishing to apply should contact Katie Osborn prior to completing the form.


The course will be held in the Department of Statistical, University College London (UCL). This is located at 1-19 Torrington Place, just off Tottenham Court Road.

How to register

Please note that the course is now fully booked.