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MSc Evidence-Based Health Care / Course details

Year of entry: 2020

Course description

Our distance learning MSc Evidence-Based Health Care course is relevant for healthcare professionals and health scientists from all fields of healthcare, and will enable you to interpret and communicate research evidence as applied to a variety of settings.

You will specifically focus on the design and conduct of systematic reviews and the development and application of evidence-based guidelines into practice.

This course will help clinicians to provide optimal patient care and provides a sound basis for health science researchers to progress to doctoral study. The content has been designed by international leaders in the field of evidence-based healthcare.

In addition, the course allows you to study flexibly in your own time and is integrated with our Master of Public Health and Master of Dental Public Health courses.

An optional two-day face-to-face residential course is offered to first year students at the start of their studies. Attendance is not mandatory, but the event provides a helpful introduction to the course, tutors and to fellow students. All the induction materials from this event are made available online.


This course aims to give students an understanding of the process of systematic reviews and guideline development and implementation.

For those taking the PGDip and MSc courses, you will also learn how to critically interpret systematic reviews and apply the findings in healthcare settings by developing and implementing evidence-based guidelines.

MSc students will also be trained in evidence synthesis process to enable you to conduct most aspects of a systematic review.

Special features

Publication potential

The dissertation will be either a systematic review, development of guidelines, an assessment of the use of guidelines in practice or the development of an intervention to support the translation of guidelines into practice. For students who receive a distinction for a dissertation that is a systematic review, there will be an option to support the publication of the review where appropriate.

Teaching and learning

All of the course content is delivered through Blackboard, our online learning platform, and includes articles, videos, discussion boards and reflective learning logs.

Coursework and assessment

The assessment of each unit is by assignment. Each unit will usually have two assignments, a mid-term assessment and a final assessment.

While the word count for these varies between 1,000 and 4,000 words, typically assignments will be around 2,000 words each, with mid-term assignment making up 50% of the final unit grade and the final assignment making up the remaining 50%.

Additionally, some assessment may be made of your contribution to online discussion.

The dissertation should be between 10,000 and 15,000 words in length.

Course unit details

The MSc is made up of eight units and a dissertation. Five of the units are compulsory for the MSc and PGDip:

  • Evidence Synthesis: Systematic Reviews;
  • Guideline Development and Implementation;
  • Evidence-based Practice; 
  • Fundamentals of Epidemiology;
  • Biostatistics.

The remaining three units can be chosen from an extensive list in consultation with the programme director, current optional modules include:

  • Oral Health & Disease in Populations
  • Implementing Strategy in Dental Services
  • Health Promotion Theory & Methods
  • Working with Communities
  • Health Economics
  • Advanced Epidemiology
  • Communicable Disease Control
  • Health Systems Challenges in Low and Middle Income Countries
  • Global Health into the 21st Century
  • Global Health in the 21st Century
  • Global Women's Public Health
  • Primary Health CareQualitative Research Methods
  • Emergency Planning, Response & Resilience
  • Impact, Information and Evaluation
  • Implementation Sciences
  • Health Services Management
  • Intercultural Public Health

Course unit list

The course unit details given below are subject to change, and are the latest example of the curriculum available on this course of study.

TitleCodeCredit ratingMandatory/optional
Evidence Synthesis: Systematic Reviews DENT68001 15 Mandatory
Guideline Development and Implementation DENT68012 15 Mandatory
Biostatistics DENT70001 15 Mandatory
Evidence Based Practice POPH60041 15 Mandatory
Research Methods DENT61010 15 Optional
Oral Health & Disease in Populations DENT76061 15 Optional
Implementing Strategy in Dental Services DENT76072 15 Optional
Fundamentals of Epidemiology POPH60991 15 Optional


This course is delivered through online distance learning. You will have normal access to online library facilities.

Disability support

Practical support and advice for current students and applicants is available from the Disability Advisory and Support Service .

CPD opportunities

We offer units from this MSc as standalone courses for continuing professional development (CPD). Please see the Evidence-Based Health Care CPD units page for more information.