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Home>Study at York>Postgraduate taught>Courses 2019/20>Health Research and Statistics (PG Cert)

PGCert Health Research and Statistics

Gain a solid grounding in the quantitative methods used in health, medical and social sciences research.

Year of entry: 2019


1 year full-time,
2 years part-time

Start date

September 2019 (term dates)

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This course is focused on helping you gain the skills you need to undertake analytical research in the fields of healthcare, medicine, or social sciences. 

The course is very broadly applicable and you will be given the chance to get hands-on with real datasets, as well as getting to grips with the theory behind the practice. 

This course is very flexible, with some of the modules being available as distance learning options - so you don't necessarily need to come to campus the whole time you are studying with us, making it a great choice for those who wish to work alongside furthering their studies.

Based in the Department of Health Sciences, which boasts an international reputation for health services research, you will undertake analyses for a variety of health related data using suitably chosen software packages.

Upon successful completion of this course you will be able to carry statistical analyses using appropriate software on real data sets. You will also have the skills to present statistical work in a report format. If you take the optional modules focused on statistics, you'll learn how to use the statistical packages, SPSS and STATA, and carry out complex analyses on ordinary as well as hierarchical and clustered data.

If you choose a range of methods modules you will gain the skills to be able to, for example, carry out systematic reviews including a meta-analysis, write a protocol for a randomised controlled trial, carry an economic analysis, or gain further insight into epidemiological study designs. These are skills that will enhance your ability to carry out and evaluate research in your workplace.


REF 2014

Our department is ranked first in the country for our research environment and 7th nationally for public health, health services and primary care in the Times Higher Education's ranking of the latest REF (2014).

Expert tuition

​Our world-leading experts help improve human health and prevent illness through the analysis and delivery of leading research.

Course content

The PG Cert in Health Research and Statistics is made up of 60 credits. The course can be taken full-time (over one year) or part-time (over two years). If you decide, like many of our students, to do the course over two years, you can take either 30 or 40 credits in Year 1 and the remaining 20 or 30 credits in Year 2. This ensures that you have the flexibility to fit your studies in around other commitments such as work.


The compulsory modules worth 30 credits are:

These are taken in Year 1 on the part-time route. In Year 1 you will also be given the option to then take an additional 10 credit module from the optional list below.

In Year 2, on the part-time route, you will be able to choose optional modules worth either 20 or 30 credits (to bring you up to a total of 60) from the following:

Please note, modules may change to reflect the latest academic thinking and expertise of our staff.

The York approach

Every course at York is built on a distinctive set of learning outcomes. These will give you a clear understanding of what you will be able to accomplish at the end of the course and help you explain what you can offer employers. Our academics identify the knowledge, skills, and experiences you'll need upon graduation and then design the course to get you there.

Students who complete this course will be able to:

  • critically appraise and interpret findings from different health research study designs
  • evaluate and frame clear health research questions and consider which study designs, including systematic reviews, might be suitable to address them
  • make informed decisions about the design of a health research study using the most appropriate quantitative methodology (eg clinical trial, case control study or cohort study)
  • plan and execute quantitative data analyses, using the most appropriate statistical tests and employing common statistical packages (eg SPSS and STATA)
  • prepare the statistical part of a health research report in accordance with journal standards

Fees and funding

Annual tuition fees for 2019/20

Study modeUK/EUInternational
Full-time (1 year) £3,910£8,690

Students on a Tier 4 Visa are not currently permitted to study part-time at York.

Additional costs

There are unlikely to be significant extra costs for this course; all reading materials are provided in the library or within the VLE. If you wish to buy your own textbooks, we recommend that you set aside approximately £100 for textbooks and printing costs. This is not mandatory, however.

Fees information

UK/EU or international fees? The level of fee that you will be asked to pay depends on whether you're classed as a UK/EU or international student.

Funding information

Discover your funding options to help with tuition fees and living costs.

If you've successfully completed an undergraduate degree at York you could be eligible for a 10% Masters fee discount.

Home/EU students

International students

Living costs

You can use our living costs guide to help plan your budget. It covers additional costs that are not included in your tuition fee such as expenses for accommodation and study materials.

Teaching and assessment

You’ll work with world‐leading academics who’ll challenge you to think independently and excel in all that you do. Our approach to teaching will provide you with the knowledge, opportunities, and support you need to grow and succeed in a global workplace.

Teaching format

You will be taught via a variety of different methods throughout the course, including lectures, workshops, practical computer lab sessions, and small group tutorials.

Up to 40 credits of the course can be taken as distance learning modules.

The compulsory modules are designed to enable you to learn at your own pace. Regardless of your background, you will be supported throughout the course with different media, such as the Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) tools, blogs, email contact, and face-to-face meetings. The course is organised to give you a solid foundation in health research methods with either a focus in applied statistics or a more general overview of health research methodology. It will provide you with opportunities to develop your knowledge in the field and build your applied statistical skills, knowledge of health research methodology, and scientific writing skills.


You will have access to computer labs mainly based within the Department of Health Sciences, including a dedicated computer lab space purely for the use of students. 

Teaching location

This course is based in the Department of Health Sciences located on Campus West. The vast majority of teaching takes place in Alcuin college, with some locations on Campus West also being used.

About our campus

Our beautiful green campus offers a student-friendly setting in which to live and study, within easy reach of the action in the city centre. It's easy to get around campus - everything is within walking or pedalling distance, or you can always use the fast and frequent bus service.

Assessment and feedback

We use a variety of different assessment methods throughout this course. These include both closed and open-book exams, report and protocol writing. You'll find yourself undertaking the tasks that a real quantitative health researcher would, and the assessments aim to replicate those skills. 

Careers and skills

Many of our students are already in their chosen field of work when they begin this course, however, it will give you practical skills in appraising the literature and evolving evidence-based practices enabling you to progress your career in health, social and medical fields.

Career opportunities

  • Medical doctor
  • Data analyst
  • PhD study
  • Trial Manager
  • Systematic Reviewer
  • Researcher

Transferable skills

  • Statistical report writing
  • Knowledge of statistical packages
  • Time management
  • Systematic reviews
  • Protocol writing for randomised controlled trials
  • Health-economic analysis

Entry requirements

Qualification Typical offer

You should normally be a graduate with a 2:1 degree or higher, or equivalent from an overseas university, and be able to demonstrate that you have the necessary knowledge of and interest in a relevant area of health sciences. Applicants are assessed on a case-by-case basis, and we follow the University’s Equal Opportunities policy.

Other qualifications

English language

If English isn't your first language you may need to provide evidence of your English language ability. We accept the following qualifications:

  • IELTS: Overall of 6.5 with a minimum of 6.5 in writing and no less than 6.0 in any other component

For more information see our postgraduate English language requirements

If you've not met our English language requirements

You may be eligible for one of our pre-sessional English language courses. These courses will provide you with the level of English needed to meet the conditions of your offer.

The length of course you need to take depends on your current IELTS scores and how much you need to improve to reach our English language requirements.

After you've accepted your offer to study at York, we'll confirm which pre-sessional course you should apply to via You@York.


You can apply and send all your documentation electronically through our online system. You don’t need to complete your application all at once: you can start it, save it and finish it later.

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