Skip to main content

Unit information: Statistics and Research Methods in 2021/22

Unit name Statistics and Research Methods
Unit code ORDSM0057
Credit points 20
Level of study M/7
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 1 (weeks 1 - 12)
Unit director Dr. Sam Leary
Open unit status Not open




School/department Bristol Dental School
Faculty Faculty of Health Sciences

Description including Unit Aims

  • To describe key features of study design and be able to formulate hypotheses and design effective studies to address common research questions
  • To describe the core statistical concepts necessary to be able to accurately interpret and present basic statistical analyses
  • To be able to review and critically appraise the scientific literature
  • To describe the important ethical elements of scientific and medical research

Intended Learning Outcomes

  • Interpret numerical and graphical summaries of data
  • Understand the nature of sampling variation and the role of statistical inference in helping to quantify and draw conclusions from data
  • Accurately interpret the results of analyses based on the principles of hypothesis testing (p-values) and estimation (confidence intervals)
  • Interpret the results from common regression models
  • Devise research questions and design effective studies/experiments
  • Offer a critical appraisal of the research methods elements of published scientific and clinical studies

Teaching Information


Synchronous discussion sessions

Self-directed study

Asynchronous discussion forums

Assessment Information

Coursework (contributing a total of 60% to the Unit):

(i) Write a short scientific report. This will assess your ability to select and present appropriate statistical analyses, accurately interpret results and draw sensible conclusions (35%).

(ii) Interpret and appraise a scientific paper (25%)

End of unit assessment (40%):

(i) A 2-hour closed book exam consisting of multiple choice and short open answer questions

The pass-mark for the unit will be 50%. However, students will be required to reach a minimum standard in both their coursework and their written exams. As such only 5% compensation between the total coursework element and the total exam element will be allowed.


If this unit has a Resource List, you will normally find a link to it in the Blackboard area for the unit. Sometimes there will be a separate link for each weekly topic.

If you are unable to access a list through Blackboard, you can also find it via the Resource Lists homepage. Search for the list by the unit name or code (e.g. ORDSM0057).

How much time the unit requires
Each credit equates to 10 hours of total student input. For example a 20 credit unit will take you 200 hours of study to complete. Your total learning time is made up of contact time, directed learning tasks, independent learning and assessment activity.

See the Faculty workload statement relating to this unit for more information.

The Board of Examiners will consider all cases where students have failed or not completed the assessments required for credit. The Board considers each student's outcomes across all the units which contribute to each year's programme of study. If you have self-certificated your absence from an assessment, you will normally be required to complete it the next time it runs (this is usually in the next assessment period).
The Board of Examiners will take into account any extenuating circumstances and operates within the Regulations and Code of Practice for Taught Programmes.