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J81 Systematic Reviews: Meta-Analysis, Qualitative Synthesis, Mixed Methods Synthesis

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J81 Systematic Reviews: Meta-Analysis, Qualitative Synthesis, Mixed Methods Synthesis

This UCL Institute of Education (IOE) distance-learning short course is designed for experienced researchers who want to gain an advanced working knowledge of synthesis methods for systematic reviews. It's designed to run over 13 weeks.

Course Code

CFHEG182C

Course Dates

18th April 2017 – 16th July 2017

Course Leader

Alison O’Mara Eves

Course Fee

£670.00
Course Description

Course aims and overview

This UCL Institute of Education (IOE) distance-learning short course is designed for experienced researcherswho want to gain an advanced working knowledge of synthesis methods for systematic reviews. It's designed to run over 13 weeks.

It provides you with critical and technical skills essential for working in the field of evidence-informed policy and practice. You'll study alongside researchers from a diverse range of public policy sectors and disciplines.

As well as the established method of statistical meta-analysis there are many possible ways of combining the results of studies in a systematic review, in what has become known as a synthesis (eg meta-ethnography, thematic synthesis, critical interpretive synthesis).

You'll learn about, and use, both established and emerging methods that you can then employ in your own research (including statistical meta-analysis, thematic synthesis, realist synthesis, and mixed methods synthesis).

UCL's EPPI-Centre (Evidence for Policy and Practice Information and Co-ordinating Centre) is recognised world-wide for its work developing methods for diverse kinds of systematic review and for the production of policy-relevant research.

Who this course is for

This distance-learning course is for experienced researchers who want to develop highly sought-after skills and knowledge in a flexible online learning format. 

It supports career development in those academic, policy or practice settings where systematic reviews are used and produced.

The course is relevant for those in academia, government and the voluntary sector

Our students have a wide range of interests, including health and social care, as well as social work, criminology and education.

Course content

During this course you'll cover:

  • statistical methods for synthesis in systematic reviews, including data extraction and calculating effect sizes, heterogeneity, and statistical model
  • the synthesis of ‘qualitative’ research, including data extraction, the ‘translation’ of concepts, and ‘line of argument’ synthesis
  • the role and methods of quality assessment, including separating ‘quality’ and ‘relevance’, and quality in the context of a study and a systematic review
  • combining different types of study in the same synthesis (both statistical and narrative approaches)
  • developing a critical understanding of the role that different methods of synthesis can play.

Teaching and structure

This course is run in an online format and you'll study entirely at a distance.

You'll study individually and with other students, using the course virtual learning environment (VLE).

Every one or two weeks, you'll cover a new course ‘unit’ where you'll carry out a set of learning activities. You can carry out these activities at your own pace and at times of your own choosing as long as you complete the specified tasks by the deadlines set.

Typical activities include:

  • reading a journal article or book chapter and identifying key themes
  • critically appraising reports of qualitative and quantitative research
  • using software to practice meta-analysis and key stages in the synthesis of ‘qualitative’ research
  • drafting short summaries on a topic, sometimes on your own, sometimes with fellow students
  • posting comments and observations on your own reading and learning and providing feedback to other students.

You can request a certificate on completing the course.

You'll have access to the systematic review software EPPI-Reviewer.

Eligibility

You should have previously taken the UCL IOE course, 'Systematic Reviews for Policy and Practice' (RMSEVI_01) or an equivalent course, or have a working knowledge of research synthesis. 

You'll need access, from the start of the course, to a copy of the SAGE textbook, 'An introduction to systematic reviews', edited by David Gough, Sandy Oliver and James Thomas. The first edition, published 2012, is available now; a second edition of the book is due to be released in April 2017 and can be pre-ordered through the publisher.

Check what computer access you'll need for the course.

 

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