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Applied Health Statistics


This course will enable you to understand statistical principles. It will provide you with the practical skills to apply and interpret the range of statistical methods that are widely used in health related disciplines.

Closing date: For entry Sept 2014, apply before 18th July 2014, if you need a visa to study in the UK

Why study Applied Health Statistics at Dundee?

The application of statistical methods plays an essential role within the medical sciences and health related disciplines. This course will provide students with the understanding and practical expertise in applying cutting-edge statistical methods that are widely used in health and medical research and in epidemiology.

A major strength of the course is that it focuses on the application of statistical methods, giving students the experience in handling and analysing data.

This course shares core modules with the Master of Public Health course.

Flexible Degrees

The table below shows the flexibility of the degrees offered:

Degree Length of study
Full time Part time
MSc 12 months 24 months
PGDiploma 9 months 18 months

What's so good about studying Applied Health Statistics at Dundee?

Dundee is ideally placed to deliver this course. Co-Director of the course, Professor Peter Donnan, leads the Dundee Epidemiology and Biostatistics Unit (DEBU) and is Co-Director of the Tayside Clinical Trials Unit (TCTU) which has UK registration.

The Division also houses the internationally renowned Health Informatics Centre (HIC) which provides researchers access to anonymised record-linked routinely collected NHS patient datasets for the whole population. Students will therefore be working in a research rich environment for both observational studies and clinical trials where a variety of study designs and data analyses are used to improve health and the quality of healthcare.

Who should study this course?

The course is particularly apposite for researchers working in health related areas or the pharmaceutical industry; for health professionals who are interested in study design or data interpretation; and for information analysts.

Related courses

Teaching & Assessment

This course is taught by staff from the School of Medicine.

This course has one start date - September.

How you will be taught

A variety of teaching methods will be used, including: lectures, practical classes and demonstrations; small group teaching, supervised study, tutorial sessions, seminars, presentations, invited speakers and discussion groups.

What you will study

The course is comprised of a taught component, which takes approximately six months, followed by a period of research and writing a dissertation.

Components of the taught programme are:

  • Statistical methods (general)
  • Statistical methods (advanced)
  • Applied statistics for routine health datasets
  • Applied statistics for clinical trials
  • Epidemiology
  • Research methods
  • Statistical software
  • Health Informatics
  • e-health records research
  • Research governance

Dissertation projects will be supervised by researchers based in the Dundee Epidemiology and Biostatistics Unit (DEBU), the Health Informatics Centre (HIC) and Population Health Sciences as well as elsewhere within the medical school. It is envisaged that many students may be able to work in conjunction with researchers on commissioned research projects.

Examples of projects that led to high impact publications using the Tayside data:

Donnan et al. Development of a decision support tool for primary care management of patients with abnormal liver function tests without clinically apparent liver disease: a record-linkage population cohort study and decision analysis (ALFIE).
Health Technol Assess 2009; 13(25): 1-156

McCowan et al. Cohort study examining tamoxifen adherence and its relationship to mortality in women with breast cancer.
Br J Cancer, 2008; 99: 1763-8.

Donnan et al. Development and validation of a model to Predict Emergency admissions Over the Next Year (PEONY): A UK historical cohort study.
Arch Int Med 2008; 168: 1416-1422.

How you will be assessed

One-on-one supervision of the dissertation by a single tutor is designed to promote continuity in the learning experiences provided.

Assessment will include exams, oral and written presentations, problem-solving assignments and feedback, and computer assignments.


The MSc in Applied Health Statistics is designed for students wishing to pursue a career applying statistical methods within medicine, the health services, government or policy organisations, industry or academia. Students will be also ideally placed to pursue further postgraduate study at PhD level.

Entry Requirements

Applicants are normally required to hold a first class or upper second class degree in a health related topic and/or in subjects with some mathematical or statistical components including medicine, the social sciences, biology or physics.

English Language Requirement: IELTS of 6.5, with minimum of 6.0 in the Writing component and a preferred 6.0 in the other three components (no component below 5.5) (or equivalent), if your first language is not English. Please check our Language Requirements page for details of equivalent grades from other test providers, and information about the University of Dundee English Language courses.

English Language Pre-Sessional Programmes

We offer Pre-Sessional programmes and Foundation Programme(s) which are designed to prepare you for university study, the 24 week and 10 week programmes provide additional English Language tuition for students who do not meet our minimum English Language requirements by up to 1.0 IELTS and 0.5 IELTS respectively. Successful completion of these programmes guarantees progression to various degrees at the University of Dundee as long as you hold a relevant offer. The 30 week (one Academic Year) Foundation Programme(s) allow applicants who have not met our typical academic entry requirements, and require additional English Language support by up to 1.0 to 1.5 IELTS, to gain the necessary qualifications to enter the University of Dundee degree programmes in the following year.

Fees and Funding

Academic Year Home/EU Overseas
2012-13 £4,600 £12,750
2013-14 £4,600 £12,750

Sources of Funding

The School of Medicine is not currently offering any school scholarships.

Other sources of funding for postgraduate students can be found on our Scholarships webpage.

Living Costs

  • Dundee is ranked as one of the most affordable places for students to live in the UK, and the cost of living is around 15% cheaper than the UK average.
  • Increasing numbers of students are successfully undertaking part-time work to supplement their income. You can get advice from our Careers Service, both about job opportunities and how to find a suitable study/work/life balance. EU and international students are also allowed to work up to 20 hours per week.
  • As a student in Scotland, you have free access to the National Health Service. Visits to doctors and hospitals, as well as prescriptions, sight tests and dental checkups, are available free of charge.

Your Application

How to Apply

Apply online via UKPASS

You must read the information regarding how to upload relevant documents to UKPASS before proceeding with your application.

Course Co-director

Dr Linda Irvine
Population Health Sciences
University of Dundee
Mackenzie Building
Kirsty Semple Way

Telephone: 01382 383752 (from the UK)
Telephone: +44 1382 383752 (from outside the UK)

Fax: 01382 383802 (from the UK)
Fax: +44 1382 383802 (from outside the UK)


Course Co-director

Professor Peter Donnan
Dundee Epidemiology and Biostatistics Unit (DEBU)
Population Health Sciences
University of Dundee
Mackenzie Building
Kirsty Semple Way

Telephone: 01382 383703 (from the UK)
Telephone: +44 1382 383703 (from outside the UK)

Fax: 01382 383802 (from the UK)
Fax: +44 1382 383802 (from outside the UK)