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0 About these materials


The materials are organised into 6 themes:

  1. Foundations of statistics
  2. Statistical inference
  3. Simple comparisons
  4. Study design and conduct
  5. Statistical modelling
  6. Special topics

Each theme contains a number of topics, and some topics contain a number of sub-topics. The themes are not of equal size, for example, the foundations theme is by far and away the largest. There is also an introductory e-lecture and a glossary of terms at the end (there's a lot of jargon in statistics as you'll discover)


  • These online materials are designed to cover statistical concepts and ideas in a structured and logical way, and are a compliment and pre-requisite to the face to face tutorials that form the other part of the course. The purpose of the face to face tutorials is to apply and bridge the concepts and ideas that you will hopefully learn about in these online materials .


  • There are approximately 30 short videos of 2-20min duration (the majority are no longer than 10 minutes), typically there is one video for each subtopic.
  • There are currently also 3 longer e-lectures of 20-60 minutes duration. Each video and e-lecture is accompanied by a set of learning objectives so that you are directly aware of what you need to understand and also to help you navigate your way around the content and self direct your learning.
  • The videos are interspersed with quizzes, mainly multiple choice questions, as a formative assessment to help you develop your understanding of the material covered in the video and to allow you to assess your understanding  and progress (nb; this part of the materials is under development so some quizzes are missing and some are sparse). 
  • There is a also list of statistical concepts and a list of connections with other material at the beginning of each topic. This information tries to distil key ideas in a nut shell and help you to link topics with other elements of statistics and research methods.
  • I have also included some extra resources, such as text boxes and key references (again this is under development so is sparse and incomplete).

How to use these materials and some tips

  • You should, as a minimum, watch the pre-requisite videos before each tutorial.
  • Some videos are fast-paced, so use the pause button to take notes.
  • Do not expect to understand all the material in a single viewing, expect to pause, watch again and reflect.
  • If you do get stuck then move on,. Many concepts are revisited in more depth in later videos, so it may just take a little more time or a different context or explanation to help you understand. Also try the quizzes, they may help.
  • See these materials as a resource  to be used throughout your course. So do come back, do take responsibility for your learning by checking the learning objectives and self directing.

Other text book resources

  • There is no solitary book to accompany these materials, but the following may be useful and have been referred to in elements of this resource:

"The following is a classic, it is fairly hard going and a little dry, but a very carefully written and thorough text. Possibly a useful reference book:"
Altman DG. (1991). Practical statistics for medical research. Chapman & Hall: London

"This book is useful for seeing the application of statistical ideas in science, particularly in experiments:
Diggle P, Chetwynd A. 2011. Statistics and Scientific Method: An introduction for students and researchers. OUP

"This book is very simple, it covers the bare minimum to understand or get a feel for different statistical concepts. A very useful starting place:"
Harris and Taylor. 2014. Medical Statistics made easy. 3rd edition. Scion: Banbury

"This is a comprehensive and clearly written book covering all the statistical topics in the course except study design. There is some formulae:"
Kirkwood BR & Sterne JAC. 2003. Essential Medical Statistics. Second Edition. Blackwell Science

"This is a useful book to dip into, consisting of many stand- alone chapters. It also highlights key statistical errors made in the literature:"
Motulsky H. 2014. Intuitive Biostatistics: A non-mathematical guide to statistical thinking. OUP

"This book is free as a pdf. Good overview for statistical elements:"
OpenIntro Statistics. 2nd Edition. (

"This is a well written book mainly for students of epidemiology; it covers many of the aspects of study design in the course:"
Webb P & Bain C. Essential Epidemiology: An introduction for students and health professionals. Cambridge.