UCL Great Ormond Street Institute of Child Health


Great Ormond Street Institute of Child Health


Critical Appraisal

01 May 2024, 9:30 am–5:00 pm

In this workshop, we consider how to critically appraise research papers. Each section in a paper is covered in turn and there is much emphasis on evaluating the collection and analysis of data as described by the authors. Widely available critical appraisal sheets are discussed.

Event Information

Open to







Centre for Applied Statistics Courses

Book Now (Hybrid)

Additionally, we now offer this as a self-paced, online course that you can register for and start at any time. Click below under the 'Online/Self-Paced Materials' tab to register and gain access and under 'Fees' for details of costs.

Note:This course will be delivered in hybrid mode, i.e. the in-person lecture will be transmitted live on zoom. The face-to-face part of the hybrid courses will go ahead conditional on at least 5 participants registering for this mode of delivery. Few classes may be delivered exclusively online, so please check under the Future dates tab for clarification. The online part of the class will be supported by its own dedicated teaching staff (along with the lead lecturer), therefore participants can expect the same level of group and individual support as the face-to-face class. You will be able to choose your preferred mode of attendance (face-to-face or online) during registration.


The ability to critically appraise published research is a key skill for anyone involved in using and/or undertaking research. Within this course we discuss the importance of defining a meaningful research question and the key research factors implicated in answering a research question in an efficient and valid way. The following topics are discussed and are of use when designing your own research study and/or evaluating existing published material:

  • Defining a research question
  • Observational and experimental study designs
  • Sampling and randomisation
  • Bias and confounding
  • Research protocols, checklists and records
  • Competing study designs
  • Displays and analysis of data
  • Common pitfalls in analysis
  • Reporting of results
  • Validity of the results with respect to the research question

Delegates are given the opportunity to examine sample research design and appraisal checklists and to apply the skills gained throughout the course via practical appraisal activities. 


Course fees (live)

Below are the course fees for all courses delivered live either face-to-face, or through online video feed.

External Delegates (Non-UCL)£150.00
UCL Staff and Students£75.00 *
UCL Alumni£75.00*
Staff and Doctoral Students from ICH/GOSHFREE †

* Valid UCL email address and/or UCL alumni number required upon registration. Please note, this category does not include hospital staff unless you hold an official contract with the university.

† Limited free spaces available. If there are no free places remaining, Staff and Doctoral Students from ICH/GOSH can still register at the UCL rate.

Cancellations: Cancellation Policy 

Course fees (self-paced)

Below are the fees for access to the online, self-paced version of this course. 

External delegates (non-UCL)£75
UCL staff, students, alumni£37.50 *
Staff from ICH/GOSH, and doctoral students from ICH/GOSH and SLMS †FREE *

* A valid UCL email address and/or UCL alumni number required. Please note, this category does not include hospital staff unless you have a formal affiliation with the university. To get this discount, please email ich.statscou@ucl.ac.uk to confirm your eligibility and receive a code that can be entered at the checkout.

† If you are a doctoral student from SLMS (School of Life and Medical Sciences), you can get access to this, and all other self-paced courses developed by CASC by filling in this online form.

Future live dates
Dates Time  Apply
1st of May 20249.30am - 5.00pmBook Now

^We recommend logging in 10 minutes prior to the scheduled start time to access materials and ensure the course can start promptly at 9.30am.

Online/self-paced materials

An online, self-paced version of this course is available that includes the following materials:

  • Full electronic notes
  • Short lecture videos (recorded outside of the classroom) that follow closely with the notes
  • Interactive multiple choice quizzes 
  • Extended practical exercises (with solutions) for further comprehension
  • Checklists to help with critically appraising papers

Support: The course includes unlimited support through a forum that will be manned by one of our teaching fellows. We aim to provide responses to all questions on Tuesday and Friday each working week. Note that questions can only relate directly to the course materials and should not be used as a consultancy service for your own projects.

Personalised certificates will be generated on completion.

UCL extend: The link below leads to the UCL extend store where this self-paced course is available for purchase. If you are eligible for a discount, then please email ich.statscou@ucl.ac.uk to receive a voucher code that can be used on checkout. UCL delegates should use their university email address to register, and external delegates can use any other account. 

Click to Register (online, self-paced)

Alternatively, if you are a doctoral student from SLMS (School of Life and Medical Sciences), you can get access to this, and all other self-paced courses developed by CASC by filling in this online form


“An excellent course - the content was really well delivered! Aimed at the correct level for my personal learning needs! Thank you!”

"I learned a lot in very few hours! I liked the use of voting buttons, which made the class more engaging. Practice exercises helped me understand things better.”

“I really enjoyed the day and content; [the teacher] was excellent and really knew what she was talking about. She was also very approachable so it was easy to ask questions if we didn't fully understand ditto the take away folder of notes-great to have as a follow up. I look forward to enrolling on another ICH a Stats course in due course”

"The voting button system was good. It was great to learn about statistics without having to worry about the maths side of things, it meant you could really focus on data/use/meaning.”

"This was an excellent lecture, interesting and useful information. The lecturer was fantastic, great at being encouraging and interactive and gave brilliant explanations.”

"The course was excellent and fun with the interactive voting and I would definitely attend another UCL course with no hesitation”