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An introduction to critical reading for statistics in Global Health*

Module Coordinator:Olga McDaid
ECTS Value: 5


This module teaches students how to interpret, evaluate and apply statistics relevant to the study of global health. The emphasis is on critical thinking regarding the practical application, relevance, and quality of statistical information as presented in global health literature. 

Learning Outcomes

  • On successful completion of this module, students will be able to

    • Describe the application of quantitative analysis in global health literature and reports
    • Identify key features of quantitative analysis including descriptive and inferential statistics in a range of study designs.
    • Evaluate the appropriateness of statistical approaches in a range of global health settings.
    • Critically assess the relevance and quality of statistics as applied in global health documentation.

Module Content

  • Introduction to statistical analysis
    • Describing statistics - why are they relevant?
    • Overview of statistical concepts
  • Graphing statistics
    • Tables, charts and graphs
    • Spatial analysis
  • Statistical analysis in research design
    • Descriptive studies
    • Cohort studies and survey design
    • Case control studies
    • Systematic reviews
    • Randomised control trials
    • Economic evaluations
  • Appraising statistics in the global health setting
    • Social patterning of health
    • Global health and development
    • Case study on global mental health
  • Moving from p-values to policy and practice

Methods of Teaching and Student Learning

The module will run for 20 hours during a one-week intensive course, and will be devoted to practical exercises with students working in groups with assistance from the lecturer. Great importance is attached to the practical sessions, as the development of practical skills in statistics depends in large part on deciding how to interpret results.


* Students may also choose to attend introductory statistics classes or advanced research methods classes at the School of Nursing and Midwifery, which will complement this class.

Last updated 23 November 2016 School Web Administrator (Email).