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This is a free, online, purely self-taught course covering a range of statistics tests in R, Stata and SPSS. It teaches the basic statistical code for a range of tests and regression models, but offers little training regarding the interpretation of data for epidemiology or other health-related disciplines.

who is the course for?

Study online, at your own pace. This course provides a brief overview of statistical theory and how to carry out a wide variety of statistical tests in R, Stata, or SPSS and provides limited teaching on the interpretation of data (beyond what the p-values mean). It does not connect the interpretation of data to conducting epidemiological or other health-related research.

course content

The course consists of online pre-recorded videos and self-directed practical exercises arranged into seven modules covering a wide range of statistical methods. All course content can be approached using the statistical programmes of R, Stata, or SPSS. Once registered, all students can access content for whichever modules and statistical software programmes suit their needs. Each module contains approximately two hours of pre-recorded lecture material (split into short videos), one hour of practical content, readings in an online textbook and multiple choice quizzes.

The course aims to provide an introduction to a wide range of statistical tests used in the medical sciences, as well as the statistical software code needed to run them. Early modules assume no prior knowledge of statistics, but more advanced modules assume that the earlier modules have been completed. This course will use a variety of quantitative datasets from population health and veterinary science as it leads you from the basic theory through the execution and interpretation of the tests in the statistical software of your choice.


By the end of the module(s) you choose, you will be able to:

  • understand the underlying principles of statistics
  • identify which statistical tests are appropriate for different situations
  • calculate a range of statistical tests on different types of data
  • interpret the output of a wide range of statistical tests
  • perform a range of statistical tests on the software of your choice (Stata, R, or SPSS).

how it will work

When you register for this course, you will receive immediate access to these seven modules: 

  • Module A1: Introduction to statistics using R, Stata or SPSS
  • Module A2: Power & sample size calculation
  • Module B1: Linear regression
  • Module B2: Multiple comparisons and repeated measures
  • Module B3: Non-parametric measures
  • Module C1: Binary data and logistic regression
  • Module C2: Survival data

Access to the online content will not expire. 


If you are a student or member of staff at Oxford University, you can access the FoSSA course through the MSD Skills training website 

If you don't study or work at Oxford, you can access the FoSSA course through our collaboration with the Global Research and Analyses for Public Health (GRAPH) Network  The GRAPH Network offers a range of other high-quality free courses in R.

course fees

We offer the FoSSA course free, to help build the global capacity in statistical analysis.

We suggest that you use FoSSA as a supplement to other training courses in statistical analysis. FoSSA works well as an introduction to statistics, as a refresher course, or as an extension of established statistical expertise to a new software programme (like R, Stata or SPSS). However, the training provided by FoSSA may not be sufficient on its own if you aim to conduct independent statistical analyses.


If you have any queries regarding this course, please contact Jennifer Carter.