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Cambridge MRCPsych Critical Review Course

Designed for MRCPsych Paper B

Saturday 29th February & Sunday 1st March 2020

Dr. Paul Wilkinson, University Senior Lecturer and Consultant Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist at the University of Cambridge, will deliver this weekend course. He has been running a crash course for the MRCPsych Critical Appraisal exams since 2003. 

This course will thoroughly prepare candidates for the epidemiology, statistics and research methodology components of the MRCPsych Paper B.  The RCPsych curriculum for Critical Review will be used as a basis for what is taught.  The course will teach General Research Methodology and all specific research types e.g. RCTs, health economics, aetiology, qualitative research etc.  After each mini topic there will be MCQ/ EMQ practice and discussion.  The course will cover all statistical tests that are likely to come up in the exam, e.g. Mann-Whitney, multiple regression, and discuss how to interpret them and answer questions on them.  The statistics will be scattered through the day, presented together with the relevant study design, to keep it in small doses!  Teaching will include essential calculations e.g. NNT, sensitivity, specificity, likelihood ratio.  Candidates will have plenty of opportunities to practise these calculations.  The course will conclude with MCQs and EMIQs that test knowledge across study designs e.g. Which is the best statistical test to use in a specific situation?  What type of bias would occur in this situation?  Which is the most appropriate study design?  And finally there will be some practice on the sets of questions that accompany an excerpt from a real research paper.


We shall use a bank of more than 300 questions including MCQs and EMIQs from recent exams, the pilot exams, questions adapted from the old-style exam and questions written by the Cambridge team.  Full paper handouts will be given of questions; answers and explanations; and slides used to teach theoretical material.  Some questions will be sent to candidates before the course, so they can try them in advance if they so wish.



Fee: £300  (£240 for internal Cambridge MRCPsych course candidates)

We offer a reduced fee of £200 (£160 for internals) for candidates coming to the course on a second occasion.

Contact: Mitchell Brookes-Jones <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>, 07976 811706.









9:30 – 10:00         Registration

10:00 – 1:00         General research methodology

                                                Presentation of results and distributions

                                                Sample selection

                                                Statistical significance and confidence intervals


Problems of statistical tests

Measurement, reliability and validity

1:00 – 1:45           LUNCH

1:45 – 5:00           Treatment studies

                Types of treatment studies

                Sample recruitment

                Treatment allocation

                Carrying out treatment

                                                Measuring outcome

                                                Analysing data

                                                                Statistics of comparing two (or more groups)

                                                                Number needed to treat

                                                                Survival analysis

                                                                Dealing with drop-outs (from treatment or analysis)

                                                Special types of treatment studies

                                                Economic analysis



9:30 – 12:30         Epidemiology studies

                Prevalence and incidence

                                                Standardised mortality ratio

Aetiology Studies

                                                Types of study – cohort vs case-control

                                                Relative risk and odds ratio

                                                Appraisal of studies

                                                Adjusting for confounding

                                                Correlational statistics

                                                Multiple regression

Ecological studies

                                Screening studies

                                                Sensitivity and specificity

                                                Positive and negative predictive value

                                                Likelihood ratios

                                                ROC curves


12:30 – 1:15         LUNCH

1:15 – 4:00           Combining studies and meta-analysis

                                                Forest plots

                                Diagnosis studies

Qualitative studies

General MCQs and EMIQs

                                Suggestions for further studying


Last Updated on Wednesday, 06 November 2019 14:59


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