Learn to design effective, rigorous and ethical healthcare research projects.
Join an online Postgraduate Certificate in Research Methods for Health that will prepare you to carry out healthcare research.
You’ll develop the skills and confidence to design and undertake research in your own workplace, and be more competitive in securing external funding for research projects.
You’ll learn to:
- critically appraise research evidence (including systematic reviewing)
- develop a research question and justify an appropriate study design
- select the most suitable statistical method for analysis
- choose the right methods to generate, handle and analyse qualitative data
- interpret your findings.
You’ll be supported by internationally experienced active researchers. Their work informs government and healthcare organisations. They’ll share their experience and expertise with you as you build your skills.
Who is this online PgCert for?
This distance-learning PgCert is designed to help healthcare professionals, policymakers and early-career researchers improve their research qualifications in their spare time. Studying part-time online, there’s no need to relocate or take a career break.
Fits around full-time work
This PgCert is designed to fit around work. With part-time hours and 24/7 study access.
You’re in expert hands
We’ve been delivering online and distance learning for decades.
NHS and alumni discounts
NHS staff get 10% off this qualification. University of Aberdeen alumni get 20% off.
What you’ll study
You can choose to study for a:
- Postgraduate Certificate (60 credits)
- or start with one of the short courses that make up this PgCert (15 credits).
How you’ll study
Research Methods for Health is delivered flexibly, 100% online.
Your online teaching is delivered through MyAberdeen, our 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:
- discussion boards
- journal articles
- online access to our award-winning Sir Duncan Rice Library.
This online PgCert is designed and led by our Institute of Applied Health Sciences. You’ll learn from a dedicated, interdisciplinary team of experienced researchers. Each course has its own specialised coordinator.
We actively encourage engagement with other students, so you’ll also learn from your peers across countries and disciplines.
This PgCert is assessed entirely online. We use several types of assessment, including multiple-choice quizzes, short online tests, essays, presentations and peer review.
Hours for taught courses
A 60-credit PgCert takes around 600 hours of study and assessment time to complete.
If you plan to study part-time, we recommend you take no more than 30 credits per term. Students typically take one or two 15-credit short courses per term.
- Around 150 hours of study and assessment time to complete.
- You’ll study 10 – 15 hours per week per term.
- Around 300 hours of study and assessment time to complete.
- You’ll study 20 – 30 hours per week per term.
This is an indicative guide to the time required for a typical student at this level to achieve the learning outcomes.
You can largely set your own study hours each week to cover the materials. MyAberdeen is available 24/7, so you can log in and study when it suits you.
Activities at fixed times
There may be some activities scheduled at fixed times, such as online meetings with your tutor or assessments with deadlines. But otherwise, you can access and work through each course at your convenience.
When you study with us, you can expect a first-class support structure so that you’re never alone in your studies.
But learning online does mean you have to motivate yourself and manage your own time.
Your most important commitment to your course will be time – the time to work through, reflect on and understand your teaching materials.
Before you start a course that involves a high degree of independent study, we recommend looking at the time you will be able to devote to your course each week:
- Be realistic
- Create a weekly schedule as a guide
If you have any questions about studying online, get in touch with our friendly team. We’re here to help.
Our first-class support structure will ensure that you aren’t alone in your studies. You’ll have contact with your tutors via MyAberdeen and email. You can use social media and discussion boards to chat with your fellow students too.
We provide a wide range of services to support you in your studies and beyond:
- Careers and Employability Service – including one-to-one advice sessions
- Disability support
- IT support
- Library support
- Student Support Service – help with finances, stress, wellbeing and non-academic issues
- Student Learning Service – study support, with advice sessions available via phone or Skype
- Aberdeen University Students’ Association (AUSA) – run by students for students
- Toolkit – clever apps and free training that can make your study life easier
Wherever you are in the world, you’ll feel part of our very special Aberdeen learning community.
Your support team
Our friendly team are here to answer any queries you have before, during and after your studies.
Professor Amanda Lee
Amanda is co-programme coordinator. She’ll be on hand to answer any questions about course content before you start and to help you throughout your studies.
Dr Kirsty Kiezebrink
Kirsty is co-programme coordinator. She’ll be on hand to answer any questions about course content before you start and to help you throughout your studies.
Clare is part of the School’s postgraduate teaching support team. She’ll be there throughout your studies to answer any of your non-academic queries.
Get in touch
Our online education team is here to answer any questions you have right now about this qualification, or about studying online.Ask us a question
Where this will take you
Towards a PgDip and Masters
This PgCert underpins many of our online degrees. You can use it to continue on to our:
- PgDip and MSc in Clinical Nutrition
- PgDip and MSc in Health Economics for Health Professionals
- Master of Public Health (MPH).
You can also use your PgCert as the first stage in gaining an MSc in Applied Health Sciences.
Your qualification will be recognised by healthcare employers and learning institutions around the world. Your PgCert will give you the skills to:
- confidently carry out health research and lead improvements in your workplace
- be more competitive in securing external funding for projects to improve health and reduce health inequalities.
You’ll also have broadened your network of professional contacts.
Lifelong career support
Our careers support doesn’t stop when you graduate.
You have access to our free careers service while you study, and beyond.
We’re here with 1:1 appointments, CV checks, interview prep, and to connect you with job opportunities around the world.
Fees and funding
The fee quoted above is based on you starting your studies with us in the 2023/24 academic year.
Fees for future academic years are provisional. Our indicative cost assumes a 5% fee rise each year.
Pay as you go
Don’t worry, you do not have to pay the full PgCert fee upfront.
You can pay for your PgCert one term at a time. This gives you a flexible way to spread the cost.
Pay as you go allows you to spread payments over several terms.
When you pay
You make a payment before the start of each term.
How much you pay
You only pay for the credits you want to study in the upcoming term.
It’s up to you how many credits you take each term. This gives you control over your costs and your workload.
- Taking fewer credits will increase the length of your studies.
We break down the total cost of this qualification into cost per 15 credits.
Cost per 15 credits for this degree, starting in academic year 2023/24
- £1,230 in academic year 2023/24.
- £1,290 in academic year 2024/25 (provisional).
- £1,355 in academic year 2025/26 (provisional).
Tuition fees typically rise a little each academic year. The fees quoted for 2024/25 and 2025/26 are provisional and subject to change.
Access to all the books and resources you need are included in your tuition fee. They’ll be made available to you online and you do not have to buy your own copies.
You may wish to set aside a small budget for printing, depending on how you like to work.
There are several ways you may be able to get help funding your studies:
- Employer sponsorship – we accept full and partial fee payments from sponsors
- Student loans
- Scholarships – search our funding database for scholarships
Find out more about funding options.
All our students are entitled to a University of Aberdeen student card. This gives you access to a range of student discounts around the city and online.
20% Alumni discount
You’re entitled to 20% off our postgraduate taught degrees and short courses if you have a degree from the University of Aberdeen. View Alumni discount details and eligibility criteria.
10% NHS discount
NHS staff receive 10% off online postgraduate degrees and short courses offered by our School of Medicine, Medical Sciences and Nutrition; and our School of Psychology.
How discounts work
Discounts are applied during your application process. Only one discount can be used per application. If you are eligible for more than one discount, we will apply the largest discount for you.
Why study health research online with the University of Aberdeen?
1st in Scotland
We’re rated 1st in Scotland for Public Health, Health Services and Primary Care in the UK’s most recent Research Excellence Framework (REF 2021).
Our work has changed clinical practice, policy, legislation and academic method, directly impacting the lives of millions of people.Our research impact
We’re proud winners of the Queen’s Anniversary Prize, the highest national honour for a UK university, for sustained excellence in health services research over the last 40 years.
- A 2:2 (lower-second) health-related honours degree
- or be able to demonstrate evidence of equivalent experience in healthcare practice or research.
These are our minimum entry requirements. They are given as a guide and do not guarantee entry.
Short course route to PgCert Research Methods for Health
If you do not meet these entry requirements, or are not ready to commit to a full PgCert, you may be able to use our online short courses as a route into the PgCert instead.Find out about our short course route to entry
You apply through our online Applicant Portal. It allows you to upload relevant qualifications and documents.
Applying to the University of Aberdeen is always free.
What you need to apply for this degree
- Degree transcript
- Personal statement
- Degree certificate
- CV / Resume
Start with our step-by-step guide. It explains degree transcripts, what to write in your personal statement and how to use our Applicant Portal.
You can apply to start in either January or September.
Apply as early as you can. This is so we have time to review your application and get a decision to you. We also want to ensure you have time to enrol before teaching starts.
September 2023 intake
Teaching starts on 18 September 2023.
Application deadlines will be announced in due course.
January 2024 intake
Teaching starts on 22 January 2024.
Application deadlines will be announced in due course.
We welcome students from all over the world.
See the minimum entry requirements above. If you do not have qualifications from the UK, check equivalent qualifications from your country.
You do not need a visa to study online with us.
Do you need to provide evidence of your English language proficiency?
Teaching is delivered in English.
We can assess your English language proficiency through your:
- qualifications, or
- a recognised English language test.
Use our English requirements checklist to find out if we need to see evidence of your English language proficiency when you apply.
English language tests and scores
If you do need to provide English language test scores, these are the tests and minimum scores we accept.
These are our Postgraduate Higher requirements.
IELTS Academic and IELTS Online (not IELTS Indicator or IELTS General Training)
- 6.5 overall
- 5.5 for listening and speaking
- 6.0 for reading and writing
TOEFL iBT and TOEFL iBT Home Edition
- 90 overall
- 17 for listening
- 21 for reading
- 20 for speaking
- 21 for writing
- TOEFL DI code is 0818
Cambridge English: B2 First, C1 Advanced, or C2 Proficiency
- 176 overall
- 162 for listening and speaking
- 169 for reading and writing
LanguageCert International ESOL B2 Communicator (Written and Spoken)
- Overall High Pass
- 33 for listening, reading and speaking
- 38 for writing
PTE Academic (online test not accepted)
- 62 overall
- 59 for listening, reading, speaking and writing
For more information about language qualifications see our English Language Requirements page.
You will need access to:
A computer (PC, laptop or Mac) operating on either:
- Windows 10 or later
- macOS 10.15 (Catalina) or later.
Most teaching materials are smartphone- and tablet-friendly. But we recommend a proper laptop or desktop for completing assignments comfortably.
Reliable internet access
- a wired connection
- a minimum download speed of 2 Mbps so you can take part fully in live sessions.
Speakers or headphones
- We recommend a headset with built-in microphone and earphones if you’re likely to study in an environment with background noise.
- A webcam is optional, but you may like to use one from some interactive sessions.
We’ll give you access to Office365 applications. This means you can use online versions of Microsoft Word, Excel, and PowerPoint and install these programs on up to five personal devices.
If your course requires specialist software, we’ll provide you with access to this and a licence that lasts throughout your studies.
See our detailed IT requirements for more information.
NEW: Try our degree scheduler
Choose your courses
See all the courses that are part of this degree and choose what you want to study.
Manage your study schedule
Control the pace and cost of your degree. Decide how much you want to study each term.
Save to your wishlist
Save your schedule to your wishlist so you can view and edit anytime.
This indicative cost is based on 30 credits of study per term, starting in September 2023.
Apply for this programme
- Start month
- September or January
- INDICATIVE COST
This indicative cost is based on 30 credits of study per term, starting in September 2023.Apply via our Applicant Portal