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2022/23 Taught Postgraduate Module Catalogue

MATH5090M Medical Statistics in Practice

15 creditsClass Size: 30

Module manager: Dr Duncan Wilson

Taught: Semester 2 (Jan to Jun) View Timetable

Year running 2022/23


MATH3860Introduction to Clinical Trials

This module is mutually exclusive with

MATH5747MLearning Skills through Case Studies
MATH5825MIndependent Learning and Skills Project

This module is not approved as an Elective

Module summary

Applying knowledge of statistical methods and their theoretical foundations to solve real medical problems requires a number of skills, both technical and otherwise. This module will prepare students for such applications by covering the essentials of statistical computation, communication and consultancy. Students will learn principles of good statistical programming, and apply these to implement and evaluate statistical methods. Working with clinical and statistical peers, students will gain experience in defining statistical research questions, managing projects (including using version control techniques), and communicating results in a clear and accessible manner.


This module aims to equip students with the necessary skills for the practical application of medical statistics when solving real problems, individually and as part of a multi-disciplinary team. These skills include writing and sharing efficient, transparent and reproducible code; communicating results to both statistical and clinical audiences; and working with non-statisticians to identify research questions and corresponding statistical problems.

Learning outcomes
By the end of this module, the student should be able to:
1.Understand the importance of:open, transparent and reproducible research practices; ethical approval; and reporting guidelines.
2.Implement and evaluate statistical routines.
3.Effectively manage and share statistical code.
4.Understand and apply the principles of effective oral and written communication to a variety of audiences.
5.Find, manage and appraise relevant statistical and clinical research literature.
6.Typeset mathematical text in both written reports and presentation slides.
7.Understand how to collaboratively identify research questions and the statistical methods required to answer them.


1.Statistical programming, including loops, conditionals, functions and simulation.
2.Version control; sharing statistical code online.
3.Mathematical typesetting for written reports and presentations.
4.Literature searching; bibliography management.
5.Critically appraising research articles.
6.Medical statistics consultancy project.

Teaching methods

Delivery typeNumberLength hoursStudent hours
Private study hours137.00
Total Contact hours13.00
Total hours (100hr per 10 credits)150.00

Private study

Two lectures covering MATH5825M.
One seminar will cover a consultancy session.
One seminar covering MATH5825M.
One practical covering MATH5825M.
Two programming workshops.

Students will be expected to complete programming worksheets and associated exercises while working through the statistical programming project. For the consultancy project, students will need to follow their two consultation sessions with private study to formalise their research question, plan their project, conduct necessary statistical analysis, and write a report and presentation. They will also be expected to write reflective logs based on their consultancy experience.

Opportunities for Formative Feedback

For the statistical programming project, students will be asked to upload their work for formative assessment at key points. These will include i) after setting up their online version control repository, to ensure they can progress to the next stage of programming; and ii) after implementing and testing the statistical routine, to ensure they can progress to the next stage of evaluation and writing the report.

Methods of assessment

Assessment typeNotes% of formal assessment
ReportProgramming project short report15.00
Group ProjectConsultancy project, jointly written medium-length report30.00
Oral PresentationConsultancy project, presented as a group15.00
PracticalProgramming project code and documentation30.00
Computer ExerciseTypesetting exercise, as in MATH5825M10.00
Total percentage (Assessment Coursework)100.00

Normally resits will be assessed by the same methodology as the first attempt, unless otherwise stated

Reading list

The reading list is available from the Library website

Last updated: 13/09/2022


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