UCL Division of Surgery and Interventional Science


Systematic Reviews in Health and Disease (Online)

Evidence-Based Healthcare MSc 3

Systematic Reviews in Health and Disease (Online)

This comprehensive online course aims to help medical students, doctors, nurses, and allied health professionals to write systematic reviews. 

It covers the following areas:

  • Introduction to systematic reviews
  • Formulating the research question
  • Selecting studies
  • Extracting data
  • Performing data analysis
  • Interpreting the results of data analysis

The course is available over a six-month period, but you can work through the material at your own pace. The tutor will be available to answer content-related questions by email, and there's an optional online seminar halfway through the course.

The course is CPD accredited for 10 points by the Royal College of Physicians (RCP).

Who this course is for

This distance-learning course is aimed at:

  • medical students
  • doctors 
  • nurses
  • allied health professionals

You don't need any prior statistical knowledge to take this course.

Benefits of taking this course

This course stands out because it:

  • is accredited by the Royal College of Physicians (RCP) for 10 CPD points
  • is delivered completely online
  • doesn't demand any prior statistical knowledge
  • provides plenty of practical examples in different fields of medicine, nursing, and allied healthcare
  • is hands-on
  • is delivered by an expert in the field who's written more than 100 Cochrane systematic reviews (considered the best quality of systematic review)
  • provides practice in evidence-based healthcare, which can result in improved outcomes for patients

UCL staff/student discount

The standard fee is £600. A 10% reduction is available for UCL staff and students. This will be applied automatically if you sign in with your UCL email address.

More information

Teaching, structure and dates

The course is made up of 18 sections and is delivered completely online. 

It's self-paced, so you can plan your learning schedule in a way that suits you. You'll have access to the learning materials for six months from the start of the course (though you can access the content as soon as you've paid).

You can email the tutor for content-related questions or clarifications during the 'active' six months of the course. 

Midway through the course (i.e. three months after the start date) there will be an optional online seminar to discuss any course-related questions you have. (The exact seminar date will be announced at least four weeks before the seminar).

These dates are subject to confirmation and you're advised to email the tutor for more information.


The course includes a quiz in the form of multiple choice and true or false questions, as well as ‘short answers’. These are used for formative assessment. 

For those who require a course completion certificate you'll need to complete a summative assessment. This also takes the form of a quiz with multiple choice and true or false questions.

Dr Kurinchi Gurusamy


Kurinchi completed his medical education in India. During his surgical training in the UK, he recognised that most surgical practice was based on ritualistic practice, which had no evidence to support it. He went on to learn about evidence-based medicine with the help of the Cochrane collaboration and started writing systematic reviews, generally considered to provide the highest level of evidence possible on a topic.

Having had no previous experience of research, Kurinchi initially found that writing systematic reviews can be a daunting task for the average doctor and for other healthcare workers with no prior knowledge of statistics. He's since gone on to participate in more than 100 Cochrane systematic reviews, which are generally considered to provide the highest quality of systematic review. He's also reviewed several other Cochrane reviews as a Cochrane editor, and he developed this CPD course with the help of Professor Brian Davidson and UCL's Digital Education department. It was created specifically with the average doctor and other healthcare workers (i.e. those with no prior knowledge of statistics) in mind. Kurinchi is a Reader at UCL and many of his systematic reviews have been used in national and international guidelines.

Professor Brian Davidson

Brian Davidson

Brian is an HPB and Liver Transplant Surgeon at the Royal Free Hospital and Professor of Surgery at UCL. He has a long track record in basic, translation and clinical outcomes research. He's an enthusiast for evidence-based healthcare and has encouraged the application of evidence to the management of patients with liver, biliary tract and pancreatic disease. He's worked with the Cochrane group for many years, producing reviews in the HPB field, and is one of the UK Editors for the Cochrane HPB group. He's worked with Dr Gurusamy on the development of the UCL MSc in Evidence-Based Healthcare and is the current course director.

This CPD course is an exciting new development for the team and is intended to bring the benefits of an understanding of evidence-based healthcare to a new and wider audience through its introduction. The aspiration is to help others to understand and perform systematic reviews aimed at improving the global standard of healthcare whilst reducing costs by stopping ineffectual treatments.