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Courses & seminarsMSc in Sys Rev for Public Policy and PracticeCourse mapMethods for Research Synthesis course (MRS3)
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Short course/MSc module Systematic reviews: meta-analysis, qualitative synthesis, and mixed methods synthesis*

Systematic reviews: meta-analysis, qualitative synthesis, and mixed methods synthesis

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 (e.g. meta-ethnography, thematic synthesis, critical interpretive synthesis).

This course is designed for experienced researchers who wish to gain an advanced, working knowledge of synthesis methods. You will learn about, and use, both established and emerging methods that you can then employ in your own research. This course will provide you with highly sought after skills and knowledge, supporting career development in those academic, policy or practice settings where systematic reviews are used and produced.

This course will equip you with the skills and understanding to undertake a range of quantitative, qualitative or mixed-method syntheses and use judgments about quality in a systematic review. On successful completion, you will be familiar with the aims and rationale for different methods of critical appraisal and research synthesis.

The module aims to develop understanding in:

  • theory, purpose and practicalities of numerical approaches to reviewing including statistical meta analysis of effect sizes;
  • theory, purpose and practicalities of narrative and conceptual approaches to synthesis such as meta narrative reviews and meta ethnography;
  • theory, purpose and practicalities of quality appraisal of primary studies for different types of synthesis;
  • arguments in favour and against different approaches to systematic synthesis.

This module is run as a fully online course (details)  

This module complements the introductory course Systematic Reviews for Policy and Practice and the Research Engagement, Participation and Impact module.

'The training was an invaluable experience that will certainly enrich both my research and my teaching.'
Andrea A. N. MacLeod, Université Laval, Canada

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Entry requirements:

  • Direct entry requirements: Second-class degree in health, education or another area of social science or social policy, or other professional qualification e.g. for teaching, police force, health care, social work.
  • Qualifying tests/papers for applicants not meeting direct entry requirements: If you have qualifications other than those specified above you may be eligible but we may ask you to take a qualifying test.

Module title: Systematic reviews: meta-analysis, qualitative synthesis, and mixed methods synthesis (RMSEVI_03) (dates)

Master’s programme: MSc in Systematic Reviews for Public Policy and Practice; MSc in Social Policy and Social Research 

Name of module tutor: Alison O'Mara-Eves

Assessment method (for those taking the module as an MSc course): Coursework

Credits (for those taking the module as an MSc course): 30 

* 'Systematic reviews: meta-analysis, qualitative synthesis, and mixed methods synthesis' was previously called 'Methods for research synthesis'

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