As I have just finished another Statistics Course offered by the Institute of Child Health (ICH), I decided to write a few things about these courses.
The courses offered
ICH offers a number of courses. I won’t list them here as they are perfectly laid out on their website. Have a look here.
As you can see, courses range from introductory stats courses to more specific, in-depth courses. I have attended the “Introduction to Research Methods and Statistics”, “ANOVA” and “Introduction to Dealing with Missing Data”. I found all these three courses very helpful and informative. Before attending, I wasn’t feeling very confident about my quantitative research skills. These courses are very well designed in a way that theory and practice go hand-in-hand. They are mostly focused on practice, of course. But even though theory doesn’t go into deep waters, it is sufficient to help the attendees make sense of everything. Therefore, the balance between theory and practice is very well balanced.
These courses are held in ICH in London and are open for everyone. Fees vary according to your status. For example, ICH or GOSH staff/ students attend for free, while external applicants need to pay the full amount. UCL students get a 50% discount. Even if one has to pay the full price I still think the fees are quite reasonable and worth the cost. You get so much out of it and at the end of the course you get to keep a file with everything that was presented and discussed. I find that to be extremely helpful. When I first attended the ANOVA course I did not get to put into practice an ANOVA analysis (for my study) until after almost 4 months following the course. This meant that you start forgetting what you grasped during the course. However, the notes are a life-saver as they are very clearly written, well structured and follow the flow of the course. Therefore, you can go back and read the handouts and quickly remember what you’ve learned months ago. Finally, the practice sections of the notes are described step-by-step with screenshots, making it very easy to follow.
The majority of courses are using SPSS to do the analysis, but there are a few courses which use R (a free stats software).
Choose the right courses
These courses are, of course, highly recommended by me, so long as you choose the right course for you. For instance, if you’re just starting with statistics, taking the ANOVA course would complicate things and probably discourage you from continuing with statistics. But if you take an introductory course to start with, then you could move on to a more advanced course with fewer complications. Similarly, if you have some stats knowledge, then skipping the introductory courses might be a good idea, as you might think you are wasting your time going to the introductory courses.
I have used many resources to build up my stats skills and I find this courses to be a very way to do so. I will come back with other tips on statistics, but without question these ICH courses are a great way to get into statistics.