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Research and evidence (Educational line)


Admission requirements

Bachelor degree and admission to Master Vitality & Ageing.


The ability to interpret results of research and to critically appraise scientific articles is a necessary academic skill. In this educational line, students learn the principles and techniques of different types of research, including biomedical research, epidemiological research and behavioural research. The students will learn the principles of quantitative and qualitative methods and they will apply these principles on various research questions. The students will learn to interpret study results and to define new valid research questions. The students will be able to design and write scientific research plans and to peer review the study designs of fellow students and researchers. To learn interpreting biomedical evidence, the students will focus on three main questions, which run through the course:
1) are the results of this study valid? (study design)
2) are the valid results of this study important?
3) are the valid, important results of this study applicable to my ‘situation’?
The overall aim of the line Research and Evidence is to prepare the students to do a scientific internship and to write a thesis. The course consists of some integrated lectures with the modules of the programme, one week course about quantitative research methods, one week course about qualitative research methods and a quantitative or qualitative e-learning (advanced course of choice). The final product of this course is a written thesis plan, as preparation for the internship.

Course objectives

The student:

  • is able to review international scientific literature

  • defines a valid research question

  • applies the principles of clinical research to various research questions

  • explains various types of clinical epidemiological study designs

  • shows insights in the background and premises of qualitative research

  • draws up a scientific hypothesis, designs and writes a scientifically sound research plan and evaluates this plan using peer review of fellow students and/or researchers

Mode of instruction

Lectures, working groups, activities, self-study, (practical) assignments, e-learning.

This educational line is integrated in the modules of the programme Vitality and Ageing.

Course Load

The total course load is: 5 EC x 28 hours= 140 hours

  • Interactive lectures, working groups and activities: 64 hours

  • Preparation lectures, working groups and activities: 10 hours

  • Writing assignments: 10 hours

  • E-learing: 28 hours

  • Thesis plan: 28 hours

Assessment method

  • Scientific essay

  • Oral presentations (individually and in groups)

  • Thesis plan

  • Completion of compulsory assignments described in the assessment plan


The final grade is based on the scientific essay (20%), group presentation about quantitative research methods (20%), group presentation about qualitative research methods (20%), thesis plan (40%). Credits will only be given if all compulsory assessments are completed.

The scientific essay will also be assessed separately by Biology of Vitality and Ageing and Communication in Science.

Participation and attendance

Students are expected to be actively engaged in discussion of the content and in the activities scheduled in the programme.


If an assessment or mandatory part of the course is not passed or completed, the student will get a retake or revision or has to fulfil an alternative assignment.

Exam review

How and when a review of the assessments will take place will be disclosed together with the publication of the results at the latest.
More information will be published on blackboard.

Reading list

Will be published on blackboard.