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Introduction to Study Skills and

Research Methods
Unit Code: HL10040

Unit Leader: Dr James Betts


J.Betts@bath.ac.uk
Objectives:
Develop your computer skills
Introduce you to the scientific method
Expand your understanding of research design
Learn to describe and analyse data appropriately
Gain the ability to independently assess the value
of scientific evidence
Improve your ability to write scientifically.
Lecture Schedule
Tuesdays 1115
All in room 3WN 3.7 (i.e. here)
Weeks 1-9.
Reading for next week:
Greenhalgh 2006 (at least Ch. 3 & 4)
Lecture Schedule
Week Topic
2 Recognising Research
3 Descriptive Statistics I
4 Descriptive Statistics II
5 Reliability and Validity
6 Measurement Errors
7 Mid-Term Test
8 Hypothesis Testing
9 Revision Session
Computer Laboratory Classes

Wednesdays 0915 am
Surnames A-O
Room 2E 1.14

Wednesdays 1015 pm
Surnames P-Z
Room CB 5.13

Weeks 2-10.
CPU Lab Schedule
Week Topic
2 Literature Searching
3 Computer Skills I
4 Computer Skills II
5 Information Retrievals
6 Introduction to SPSS
7 Descriptive Statistics
8 Normal Distribution
9 Inferential Statistics I
10 Inferential Statistics II.
Seminars and Tutorials
These are scheduled for on Tuesdays at 0915
Exact time and location dependant on personal tutor
Seminars in weeks 4, 7 & 10 (PG)
Tutorials in weeks 5, 8 & 11 (Personal Tutor)

Topics:

Critically Evaluating Scientific Literature


Seminars and Tutorials
These are scheduled for on Tuesdays at 0915
Exact time and location dependant on personal tutor
Seminars in weeks 4, 7 & 10 (PG)
Tutorials in weeks 5, 8 & 11 (Personal Tutor)

Topics:

Referencing Styles
Seminars and Tutorials
These are scheduled for on Tuesdays at 0915
Exact time and location dependant on personal tutor
Seminars in weeks 4, 7 & 10 (PG)
Tutorials in weeks 5, 8 & 11 (Personal Tutor)

Topics:

Scientific Writing
www.bath.ac.uk/~jb335/
Assessment
Mid-Term Test (40%)
A variety of short answer questions covering the
lecture material delivered up to week 7.

Coursework (60%)
A range of research scenarios will be described to
you in week 6 (3rd November)
You will need to review the area of investigation,
analyse the data and evaluate the research design.
Scientific
Truth
-Women expend >50,000 kcal
during childbirth

-Your body is made up of 10 x


more microbes than human cells

-The gastrointestinal tract is the


largest endocrine organ
Research Questions:
1 - Does smoking cause cancer?
2 - Is it safer to give birth at home or in hospital?
3 - Does regular breakfast facilitate weight-loss?
4 - Does homeopathy alleviate backache?
5 - Does the MMR vaccine cause autism?
6 - Do Statins reduce heart disease risk?
Possible Considerations:
-Study Population (who, how many & why?)
-Experimental Design (what to compare & how?)
-Context (where, when & why?)
-Intervention (define and justify)
-Outcomes (define and justify)
-Sources of Bias
-Ethics
J.Betts@bath.ac.uk @DrBSteamjets