Move into health data science

Health data science is a rapidly-growing area offering abundant opportunities for those wanting to move into the field. HDR UK and the University of Birmingham are working together to develop bespoke training courses enabling people to gain the skills and insights needed to launch a rewarding career where they can make a real difference to health and care.

This intensive course will explore many aspects of health study design. Participants will also hear from academic and industry-based experts about how they implement studies in the real-world.

Study topics

Each day will focus on a particular topic:

  • The scientific method in health sciences
  • Randomised controlled trials and interventional data
  • Mendelian randomisation and instrumental variables
  • Observational studies and dealing with bias
  • Designing an experimental study.

Mornings will consist of lessons and activities, introductions to essential concepts and guest-speaker talks that illustrates a real-world example.

Afternoons will consist of practical computational activities allowing participants to put their new knowledge into practice.

What you will learn

On completion you will:

  • Have an understanding of how health studies are conducted
  • Understand the difference between interventional and observational health studies
  • Be able to identify some suitable study designs for specific health problems
  • Understand how study design impacts the potential uses of health data
  • Have been introduced to the use of genetics in health studies
  • Have applied statistical techniques to account for forms of bias in observational studies
  • Be able to design simple interventional studies to test for a particular hypothesis.

Necessary background and experience

This course is suitable for candidates who:

  • Have a first degree in a quantitative discipline
  • Are currently enrolled in a program of advanced study (e.g. PhD or MRes)
  • Have little or no prior experience in Health Data Science
  • Are familiar with¬†programming in Python or R (or are familiar with programming in general and have the ability and willingness to learn Python or R).


If you have any queries about the immersion weeks, please email

Register your interest

Apply and find out more here.