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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, to critically appraise scientific articles, to define a valid research question and to design and perform a scientific study is a necessary academic skill. The line Research and Evidence is designed to help the students prepare for writing their research application and performing their scientific internship, from searching systematically for scientific information, critical appraisal of the literature, formulating a valid research question, designing and executing their own study, and performing the data-analyses themselves.

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.

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 epidemiological and qualitative research to various research questions in the field of Vitality and Ageing

  • explains various types of clinical epidemiological study designs

  • performs frequently encountered (basic) statistical analyses for clinical epidemiological studies

  • shows insights in the background and premises of qualitative research

  • designs and performs a qualitative study and presents the results to peers

  • draws up and presents a scientific hypothesis, designs and writes a scientifically sound research plan

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-learning: 28 hours

  • Thesis plan: 28 hours

Assessment method

  • Scientific essay

  • Oral presentations (individually and in groups)

  • Presentation 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%), and presentation of the 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.