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Unit information: Biostatistics (TTS-D1) in 2015/16

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Unit name Biostatistics (TTS-D1)
Unit code PANMM0020
Credit points 10
Level of study M/7
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 1 (weeks 1 - 12)
Unit director Dr. Harris
Open unit status Not open




School/department School of Cellular and Molecular Medicine
Faculty Faculty of Life Sciences

Description including Unit Aims

This unit aims to provide students with an understanding of research methodologies and knowledge of the appropriate use of statistics. Where possible examples are taken from transfusion and transplantation studies, but the principles and techniques apply equally to other areas of medicine. Concepts underlying statistical methods are introduced, and students gain sufficient knowledge to be able to identify an appropriate analysis method and recognise when statistics are being applied inappropriately. Mathematical formulae are kept to a minimum. The unit comprises a mixture of lectures, small group work, discussions and practical sessions. Students are expected to read around the subject and to use the published literature to support the unit. An assignments is set, which contributes to the final mark for the unit.


The unit aims to cover the following topics: Types of research design. Data Collection. Statistical concepts such as probability and hypothesis testing. Data Analysis. Correlation and regression. Diagnostic tests. Systematic reviews and critical appraisal of research literature.

Intended Learning Outcomes

At the end of the unit students should be able to:

  1. Describe the key elements of a well designed research study
  2. Define research hypotheses clearly
  3. Choose a suitable research design
  4. Decide on an appropriate statistical analysis method
  5. Carry out simple statistical methods and interpret the output produced
  6. Recognise when statistical methods have been used inappropriately
  7. Critically appraise the research literature
  8. summarise research findings clearly and concisely, using the correct terminology and present results in an appropriate way

Learning outcomes 1-8 will be evaluated via assignment and learning outcomes 1-6 and 8 will be evaluated via examination.

Teaching Information

The unit teaching methods comprise a mixture of lectures, small group work, discussions and practical sessions.

Assessment Information

One assignment (30%) and one 1hr exam (70%)

Reading and References

Practical Statistics for Medical Research by DG Altman, Second Edition (Chapman & Hall/CRC Texts in Statistical Science 2011)

An Introduction to Medical Statistics by M Bland (Oxford Medical Publications 2000)

Medical Statistics: A Textbook for the Health Sciences (Medical Statistics) by MJ Campbell, D Machin, SJ Walters (2007)

Medical Statistics at a Glance by by A Petrie, C Sabin. Wiley Blackwell (2009)