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PGCert Health Research and Statistics

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

Year of entry: 2021 (September)


1 year full-time,
2 years part-time

Start date

September 2021 (term dates)

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Develop the skills you need to undertake analytical research in the fields of healthcare, medicine, or social sciences. 

The course gives you 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 available as distance learning options, making it a great choice for those who wish to work alongside furthering their studies.

By the time you finish, you'll be ready to carry out statistical analyses using appropriate software on real data sets. You will also have the skills to present statistical work in a report format. 


Research excellence

Our department is ranked 7th nationally for public health, health services and primary care in the Times Higher Education's latest ranking of the Research Excellence Framework (2014).

Expert tuition

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

Course content

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.

If you take the option 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.


You can take the course full time (over one year) or part time (over two years).

If you decide to do the course over two years, you'll take either 30 or 40 credits in Year 1 and then complete the remaining credits in Year 2. This flexibility ensures that you can fit your studies in around other commitments such as work.

Core modules

You'll take two core modules. If you're on the part-time route, you'll take these in Year 1.

Option modules

You'll take up to 30 credits of option modules. If you're studying part time, you'll have the option to take one 10-credit option module during Year 1, or to take all of your option modules during Year 2.

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 2021/22

Study modeUK (home)International and EU
Full-time (1 year) £4,220£9,350
Part-time (2 years)
This is the year 1 fee. Fees for future years are subject to confirmation.

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

For courses which are longer than one year, the tuition fees quoted are for the first year of study. Fees for subsequent years are subject to increase (no more than 2% each year).

Fees information

UK (home) or international fees? The level of fee that you will be asked to pay depends on whether you're classed as a UK (home) or international student. Check your fee status

Find out more information about tuition fees and how to pay them.

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. It's not compulsory to buy your own textbooks, but if you want to we estimate that this will cost about £100. 

As a student at the University, you'll be able to purchase the STATA software at a discounted price. 

Funding information

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

We'll confirm more funding opportunities for students joining us in 2021/22 throughout the year.

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

Departmental Funding 

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.

Impact of coronavirus (COVID-19)

We hope to deliver this course as advertised for 2021/22 entry, but it’s unclear when we’ll be able to return to a normal timetable. For an idea of how this course might be affected, see our changes for 2020/21 entry.

Teaching format

You'll learn through a variety of different methods throughout the course, including lectures, workshops, practical computer lab sessions, and small group tutorials.

You can take up to 50 credits of the course 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. 


You will have access to computer labs mainly based within the Department of Health Sciences.

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 provides practical skills in appraising 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
Undergraduate degree 2:1 or equivalent with the ability 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 international qualifications Equivalent qualifications from your country

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:

Qualification Minimum requirement
IELTS 6.5, minimum 6.5 in Writing and 6.0 in all other components
PTE Academic 61, minimum 61 in Writing and 55 in all other components
C1 Advanced and C2 Proficiency 176, minimum 176 in Writing and 169 in all other components
TOEFL 87, minimum 23 in Writing and 21 in all other components
Trinity ISE III Merit in all components
Duolingo 110, minimum 110 in production and 100 in all other components

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 English language test 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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