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Unit information: Experimental Design and Statistics in 2015/16

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Unit name Experimental Design and Statistics
Unit code ANAT32121
Credit points 20
Level of study H/6
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 1 (weeks 1 - 12)
Unit director Professor. Mike Adams
Open unit status Not open




School/department School of Anatomy
Faculty Faculty of Health Sciences

Description including Unit Aims

This 5-week unit is designed to give students training in the methodology and techniques of scientific research. It includes statistics and experimental design, a broad overview of a number of experimental techniques relevant to the medical sciences, IT skills, scientific paper review, interpretation and presentation of research findings, ethics and legal issues in animal experimentation, and public engagement with science.


  • To provide insight into the skills involved in evaluating the quality of a scientific paper
  • To introduce and provide a basic understanding of the issues surrounding the use of animals and humans in scientific research, including current legislation
  • To develop scientific problem-solving skills and the ability to draw valid inferences from measurements made of biological variables
  • Introduction to statistical tests and their use and interpretation
  • To introduce scientific engagement and the value of public discussion of science
  • To consider the concept of scientific method and its historical development

Intended Learning Outcomes

  • Describe the structure of a scientific report and explain the purpose of each section
  • Recognise and explain elements of experimental design including samples, sample sizes, populations, control groups, sampling techniques
  • Summarise simple data sets using graphs, tables, etc.
  • Understand the principles and processes involved in applying statistical tests on the basis of hypotheses to be tested, and the conditions to be satisfied
  • Abstract and critically evaluate a scientific report, both in scientific and in lay terms
  • Rationally and realistically discuss the ethical issues surrounding the use of animals and humans in research
  • Understand the history and development of science as a means of enquiry

Teaching Information

Lectures and seminars.

Assessment Information

  • Formative: Expt’l Design & Stats: Revision assessment
  • Formative: In-course Expt’l Design & Stats exam
  • Summative: Expt’l Design & Stats; 1.5hr exam, 100%

Reading and References

  • Medical statistics at a glance. Petrie A and Sabin C. (Eds). Blackwell Publishers,

ISBN 063207056

  • Rugg G. Using Statistics: A gentle introduction. Open University Press.

ISBN 0335222188