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This MSD Skills training course consists of online pre-recorded videos and self-directed practical exercises arranged into 7 modules covering a wide range of statistical methods. All course content can be approached using the statistical programmes of R, Stata, or SPSS. Once registered with the course, all students are able to access content for whichever modules and statistical software programmes suit their needs. Each module contains approximately 2-hours of pre-recorded lecture material (split into short videos), one hour of practical content, readings in an online textbook and multiple choice quizzes.

Which course is for me?

MSD Skills runs several courses in statistics that have similar titles to this course. Here is a short description of this course vs other available courses to help you decide if you should sign up:

  • FoSSA (this course): Online, at your own pace. Gives a brief overview of statistical theory and how to carry out a wide variety of statistical tests in R, Stata, or SPSS.
  • Introduction to Statistics: In-person, runs over 4 days. Gives an in-depth understanding of fundamental statistical theory. Does not use any software. Students may want to take this course prior to signing up for FoSSA.
  • Intro to R for Biologists: Online, runs over 2 days. Gives a more in-depth understanding to use the software R and make basic plots. Covers some basic statistical tests. You could take this course before or after taking FoSSA; FoSSA will show you how to run a wider variety of statistical tests in R.
  • Data Analysis & Visualisation in R: Online, runs over 3 days. This is a more advanced course covering programming, data wrangling and visualisation in R. It does not cover statistical tests but shows how statistical information can be visualised in plots.


The course aims to provide an introduction to a wide range of statistical tests used in the medical sciences, as well as the statistical software code needed to run them. Early modules assume no prior knowledge of statistics, but more advanced modules assume that the earlier modules have been completed. This course will use a variety of quantitative datasets from population health and veterinary science as it leads you from the basic theory through the execution and interpretation of the tests in the statistical software of your choice.


By the end of the module(s) you choose, you will be able to:

  • Understand the underlying principles of statistics
  • Identify which statistical tests are appropriate for different situations
  • Calculate a range of statistical tests on different types of data
  • Interpret the output of a wide range of statistical tests
  • Perform a range of statistical tests on the software of your choice (Stata, R, or SPSS)

More detailed learning objectives for each module (and any necessary prerequisites) are listed in this PDF . 


Each module in this course has the following structure:

  • Approximately 2 hours of pre-recorded lecture videos, split into short videos of about 5-15 minutes at a time
  • Approximately 1-2 hours of practical exercises; practical exercises are written in Stata, R, and SPSS
  • Recommended readings
  • End of module multiple-choice quiz


There is no limit to participants registered for this course.


When you apply for this course, you will receive a booking email confirmation with a link to the Canvas site for the following 7 modules. 

  • Module A1: Introduction to statistics using R, Stata or SPSS
  • Module A2: Power & sample size calculation
  • Module B1: Linear regression
  • Module B2: Multiple comparisons and repeated measures
  • Module B3: Non-parametric measures
  • Module C1: Binary data and logistic regression
  • Module C2: Survival data

You can sign up for the course any time. Online material for all modules will be available from the moment you are registered, and access to the online content will not expire. 


Acess to Canvas and your software of choice (R (version 4.0 or higher), Stata (version 15.0 or higher) or SPSS).


It is a requirement that you complete a short survey after passing the end of module quiz. Once you have submitted the survey, you will be sent an email with a link to your attendance certificate. This is to ensure we receive the feedback we need to evaluate and improve our courses. Survey results are downloaded and stored anonymously. You can receive a certificate for each module quiz you have passed.


Where no cost is indicated in the shopping trolley, no deposit is required. Please refer to our Terms and Conditions for further information.