MSc in EBHC Systematic Reviews

Course details

This is a course for health professionals who want to gain an understanding of the importance of systematic reviews in health care as well as the practical skills to conduct them. 

The Programme is delivered in partnership with Oxford's Nuffield Department of Primary Care Health Sciences,  one of the world's most important  academic centres for primary care, and leaders in world-class research and training  for over 20 years.  It is also supported by the Centre for Evidence-Based Medicine.  Find out more about the history of the centre and the Evidence-Based Health Care Programme here

Students will be provided with training in the fundamental principles of evidence-based health care and research design as well as more specific training in the conduct of basic and more complex systematic reviews.

This course is designed for health care professionals and researchers seeking to consolidate their understanding and ability in contextualising, carrying out, and applying systematic reviews appropriately in health care settings. Core modules will introduce the students to the principles of evidence-based health care, as well as the core skills and methods needed for research design and conduct. Further modules will provide students with specific skills in conducting basic systematic reviews, meta-analysis, and more complex reviews, such as realist reviews, reviews of clinical study reports and diagnostic accuracy reviews. Teaching is tailored to those with a minimal prior knowledge of systematic reviews and delivered by an experienced team of tutors from the University of Oxford, who actively work to advance the practice of evidence-based health care through the conduct and dissemination of systematic reviews.

This programme supports students through a training programme that includes core teaching modules and a dissertation, leading to an MSc qualification in EBHC Systematic Reviews.

Compared with the MSc in Evidence-Based Health Care, this degree will suit those with a particular interest in and requirement for training in the conduct of systematic reviews relevant to evidence-based health care.

Watch the following video for more information about the course:

 

Our Student Spotlights feature students' experiences both on and after their courses, and highlight the day-to-day life of study on the Evidence-Based Healthcare programmes.

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Programme details

The MSc in EBHC Systematic Reviews is a part-time course. There are four compulsory modules, two option modules and a dissertation, which will take the form of a systematic review. 

Compulsory Modules

Option Modules (two must be chosen)

The majority of modules are run over either an eight, or fifteen week learning cycle.  Most modules are either delivered fully online or in a blended format, however, some modules are only delivered with a blended format that includes a 5 day attendance in Oxford, and some are only run entirely online.  In any given year, not all delivery formats for a module may be available.

Blended format: an initial period of self-directed study is spent on introductory activities using a Virtual Learning Environment (VLE). This is followed by a week spent in Oxford for supported face-to-face teaching, and then a further period of Post-Oxford activities (a mixture of self-directed and supported distance learning also delivered through the VLE). The final week of each module is for self-directed personal study, shortly followed by the assignment submission.  

Fully online format: These are delivered through the VLE with the first week allocated to self-directed introductory activities. There is then either:

- a number of units to work through which are released week by week. Each unit includes a mixture of supported and self-directed learning with discussion forums, tasks and activities. Students then have five weeks of self-directed personal study with use of a revision forum and the requirement to submit an assignment electronically the following week.  Courses usually run over a 15 week period.

Or

- an intensive week of 5 consecutive days of synchronous and asynchronous teaching sessions, and then a further period of activities (A mixture of self-directed and supported distance learning also delivered through the VLE). The final week of each module is for self-directed personal study, shortly followed by the assignment submission.   Courses usually run over an 8 week period.

Part-time attendance details

As a part-time student, you will be required to attend a minimum of two modules (one of which must be a compulsory module) ‘in person’ in Oxford. Each ‘in person’ module requires you to attend a week (5 days) in Oxford for supported face to face teaching. Your other 4 modules can be made up of a mix of ‘in person’, or fully online modules. For additional note: All students are required to attend a minimum of one module in each academic year on course. This can either be ‘in person’ or fully online.

Assessment methods

Assessment for each module will be based on a written assignment, which shall not be of more than 4,000 words. Students for the MSc will also be required to complete a dissertation on a topic chosen in consultation with a supervisor and the Course Director. The dissertation should not normally exceed 15,000 words.

To complete the MSc students must:

  • Attend and complete the 4 compulsory modules and 2 option modules
  • Complete a dissertation on a topic chosen in consultation with a supervisor and the Course Director. The dissertation should normally not exceed 15,000 words.
  • Attend a viva voce examination at the end of the course of studies at the discretion of the examiners

Course aims

The course aims to provide health-care professionals with a structured training in designing, conducting, and interpreting high-quality systematic reviews in health care. Students will develop sufficient skills to conduct systematic reviews independently.

  • To introduce the basic concepts and skills of evidence-based health care, including how to formulate a clinical research question, search for evidence; critically appraise evidence for sources of bias, and apply evidence to health care settings.
  • To describe in detail different types of research methods and identify the strengths and weaknesses of different study designs. 
  • To learn how to design a systematic review research protocol.
  • To gain a more detailed understanding of the process involved in conducting a systematic review.
  • To develop the skills to conduct, report, and update a systematic review.
  • To gain a familiarity with basic and advanced techniques for the analysis of quantitative systematic review data: meta-analysis, meta-regression, network meta-analysis, diagnostic meta-analysis, individual patient data meta-analysis. 
  • To gain an understanding of and reasons for more complex systematic reviews in health care, such as realist reviews, reviews of clinical study reports, prognostic reviews, and meta-synthesis.
  • To explore new paradigms in systematic reviews and evidence synthesis.
  • To gain sufficient training to conduct systematic reviews independently.

Who should apply

To be eligible for the course you should:

  • be a graduate or have successfully completed a professional training course
  • have professional work experience in the health service or a health-related field
  • be able to combine intensive classroom learning with the application of the principles and practices of evidence-based health care within the work place
  • have a good working knowledge of email, internet, word processing and Windows applications (for communications with course members, course team and administration)
  • show evidence of the ability to commit time to study and an employer's commitment to make time available to study, complete course work and attend course and university events and modules.

For the full Selection Criteria please refer to the Graduate Admissions website.

Fees and funding

Fee rates for the academic year 2023-24*

*Rates for 2024/25 to be confirmed

These rates (in pounds sterling) are for students joining in the 2023-24 academic year and will increase annually.

The annual award fee is due for every academic year (or part-year) attended; module or dissertation fees are due in advance as invoiced. Fees must be paid in accordance with the Terms and Conditions for the programme.

  • Annual award fee: £7,695
  • Module fees: £2,340 (per taught module)
  • Dissertation fee: £7,020 (equivalent to 3 module fees)

Illustration for full programme (completing in three years, with six taught modules and a dissertation):

  • 3 annual award fees: £23,085*
  • plus 6 module fees: £14,040*
  • plus dissertation fee: £7,020*

Total: £44,145*

*Notes

  1. The fee rates listed are for the academic year shown, and you should be aware that these rates will increase annually.
  2. The Illustration is based on the fee rates for the academic year shown; however, fee rates for attendance in future years will increase, so students attending for more than one year should expect the total to be higher than is shown in the Illustration. The exact amount will depend on the fee rates set annually, and upon the years you are in attendance; these are normally published well before the start of each academic year, but for your own budgetary purposes you may wish to estimate a 8% annual increase on fee rates.
  3. Funding: Eligible applications completed before the January deadline will automatically be considered for a Clarendon Fund Scholarship.  

Scholarships

Details of funding opportunities, including grants, bursaries, loans, scholarships and benefit information are available on the Fees and Funding page.

How to apply

Applications for this course should be made via the University of Oxford Graduate Admissions website. This website includes further information about this course and a guide to applying

Early application for the programme is advised. Applications which have not been fully completed before the application deadline cannot be considered, so please ensure any applications are received by us in good time so that we may advise of missing or incorrectly completed elements. Shortlisted applicants will be invited to telephone interview, and asked to provide evidence of their funding for the programme.

Applications open on 1st September 2022 for entry in October 2023.  To see if this course is still open for applications for admission please visit the University of Oxford Graduate Admissions website. Courses with a green admission status are open for applications, amber means the course will be closing at 12 noon on the following Friday and red means it has closed to new applications.

For further information on applying, please refer to the Application Guide. Please read our Terms and Conditions before submitting your application. If you would like to discuss your application or any part of the application process before applying please contact:

Frazer Mackenzie (Course Manager)
Tel: +44 (0)1865 270453 - Email: cpdhealth@conted.ox.ac.uk