UCL Institute of Health Informatics


Research Methods in Healthcare

This course will enable students to carry out and appraise research and evaluation studies in health informatics and related areas of health services research. Students will be introduced to a wide range of quantitative and qualitative methods, primary and secondary research methods, and be able to select the appropriate methods for the question they are investigating. This includes an introduction to numeric methods, including understanding different forms of quantitative data and basic descriptive statistics.

Module code


UCL credits


Course Length

9 Weeks

Face to Face Dates

15th to 17th January 2020

Assessment Dates

10th February 2020

Module organiser

Dr Henry Potts Please direct queries to courses-IHI@ucl.ac.uk

Who can study this course?

MSc/PG Dip/PG Cert Health Informatics students, other UCL MSc/PG Dip/PG Cert students, Taster course students, Short course students.

Admission requirements

MSc/PG Dip/PG Cert students: Open to all UCL MSc/PG Dip/PG Cert Health Informatics, and to any UCL MSc/PG Dip/PG Cert students in a relevant subject.

Taster students: UK Bachelor’s degree in a relevant/allied subject awarded with a 1st or upper 2nd class Honours or an equivalent qualification. Two academic or professional reference letters.

Short course students: Professional work experience in a relevant area and/or UK Bachelor’s degree in a relevant/allied subject awarded with a 1st or 2 class Honours or an equivalent qualification.

In addition to the above, all students must demonstrate a good standard of English Proficiency with 6.5 in each of the subtests.


  • Quantitative Measurement Methods
  • Sampling
  • Descriptive & Correlational Studies
  • Qualitative Methods
  • Systematic Reviews
  • Intervention Studies

Teaching and learning methods

Blended learning: web-based distance learning in the UCL Virtual Learning Environment plus a 3-day face-to-face teaching session.


Summative assessment: Written report worth 100% of the overall module mark.

Selected reading list

Friedman CP, Wyatt JC (2010) Evaluation Methods in Biomedical Informatics. Springer, 2nd edition. Paperback: 2010; ISBN: 1441920722. Hardback: 2005; ISBN: 0387258892.

Boynton PM (2005) The Research Companion. Psychology Press. ISBN: 1841693057.

Bowling A (2009) Research Methods in Health. Open University Press, 3rd edition. ISBN: 0335233643.

Bowling A, Ebrahim S (ed.s). (2005) Handbook of Research Methods in Health. Open University Press. ISBN: 0335214606.

Greenhalgh T, Potts HWW, Wong G, Bark P, Swinglehurst D (2009) Tensions and paradoxes in electronic patient record research: A systematic literature review using the meta-narrative method. Milbank Quarterly. 87(4):729-88.

Furniss D, Randell R, O’Kane AA, Taneva S, Mentis H, Blandford A (2014) Fieldwork for Healthcare: Guidance for Investigating Human Factors in Computing Systems. Synthesis Lectures on Assistive, Rehabilitative, and Health-Preserving Technologies. 2(1):1-146.