How does health research go on to inform health practice and policy?

Join us from anywhere in the world and develop your understanding of health-based research.

  • Develop an in-depth understanding of research and how it influences your practice.
  • Learn from experienced health researchers and clinicians who advise government on national policy.
  • Gain a strong career advantage as a researcher or health professional.

This course is a perfect foundation for clinical leadership roles, whether in medical, nursing or the allied health professions.

You’ll learn with a university awarded the Queen’s Anniversary Prize for 40 years of excellence in health services research.

Build credits towards a Masters degree

This online course is part of:

You can use the credits you earn on this short course towards any of these postgraduate qualifications.

What you’ll study

Our Evidence-Based Health course is designed to give you a solid foundation in the understanding and application of evidence-based health at an individual and population level.

It focuses on the use of systematic reviews to synthesise evidence. You’ll also explore how evidence is used to inform health practice and policy.

You’ll learn how to:

  • systematically review papers and other literature to source your evidence
  • quality assess and synthesise your evidence using different tools
  • implement your results with an individual patient, or in the form of guidelines for a service provider or other organisation, including a whole population at national level.

In the first half of the course, you’ll develop the skills to search literature, identify evidence, quality assess and extract data.

Learning to synthesise your data, you’ll see how it can be used to shape health policy and practice, both at the level of organisations and individual clinical encounters.

In the second half of the course, we’ll help you format your synthesised evidence as guidelines, and explore how to implement them, considering the possible barriers and facilitators.

By the end of this course, you’ll be able to…

  • Evaluate evidence-based health at an individual and population level.
  • Source and translate evidence, putting it into practice with an individual patient, or with a whole population through national guidelines.
  • Systematically review papers and other literature.
  • Synthesise data so that you can use it to shape health policy and practice.
  • Turn evidence into guidelines.
  • Explain how guidelines can be implemented.

How you’ll study

Online learning

Our distance learning Evidence-Based Health course is delivered flexibly, 100% online. You can study with us anywhere in the world and manage your study hours to suit you.

Your teaching

This course is taught at Masters level.

Your teaching is delivered through MyAberdeen, our online Virtual Learning Environment (VLE). It holds all the materials, tools and support you’ll need in your studies. Take a look around MyAberdeen.

You can access your learning materials on computer, smartphone and laptop, 24 hours a day. You’ll find a range of resources at your fingertips, including:

  • videos
  • podcasts
  • interviews with clinicians
  • tutorials via Powerpoint with audio
  • reading materials
  • discussion boards with classmates
  • the online resources of our award-winning Sir Duncan Rice Library.

The first week of your course will be pre-course reading, and your final week will be for revision prior to your final online assessment.

Your tutors

You’ll learn from an experienced team of health researchers and clinical academics from our School of Medicine, Medical Sciences and Nutrition.

Your teaching team

Where this will take you

Towards a Masters

You’ll earn 15 credits at Masters level (SCQF Level 11) with this course. You can use these credits towards our:

Build your learning

We have a range of online healthcare and medicine short courses you can use to build your skills.

Many carry credits you can build up into postgraduate qualifications, including Masters degrees:


As a graduate in health sciences or a practising researcher, this course will help you develop your research career.

If you’re a practising health professional, gaining skills in systematic reviewing, synthesising and using guidelines will enhance your career options and prospects.

The course is a perfect foundation for clinical leadership roles. These could include:

  • team leader roles
  • ward manager roles
  • clinical project management
  • service development
  • National Guideline Centre development committee membership.

As someone with a non-clinical background, completing this course could allow you to join national policy development groups.

Your employer or professional institute may recognise this course for Continuing Professional Development (CPD). Talk to your employer or institute to find out more.

Free career support

Access our free careers service while you study.

  • 1:1 appointments
  • CV checks
  • Interview prep
  • Job opportunities

See how our careers service can help you.

Entry requirements

This course includes many of the same learning outcomes as our on-campus Systematic Reviewing short course. We do not recommend studying both. If progressing to a related Masters, credits will only count from one of these courses, not both.

Entry guidance

This course has no formal entry requirements. You decide if it’s suitable for you.

The course is delivered at Masters level. At this level, you’d usually have at least:

  • a 2:2 (second-class) degree
  • or relevant experience that supports this level of study.

Apply for this course

Start date
18 September 2023
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