Skip to main navigationSkip to main content
The University of Southampton
Southampton Health Technology Assessments Centre

Introduction to Systematic Reviews in Health Course

Fantastic course, highly recommended for anyone planning to write or assess systematic reviews. Brilliant tutors and course materials.

Join us for a packed day to learn about systematic reviews

This popular one day course is delivered by Southampton Health Technology Assessments Centre (SHTAC).

The course will provide an introductory overview of the key aspects of systematic reviewing the effectiveness of health interventions and is designed for health professionals, academics and decision makers who have an understanding of health and related research.  Although this course relates to health, the principles can be applied to other disciplines (e.g. education, environmental sciences, social sciences).

The course is presented by members of the SHTAC team, who are highly experienced in conducting systematic reviews.  The day comprises slide presentations interspersed with small group interactive practical exercises. The concepts are brought to life with examples from published systematic reviews.

Course dates

Introduction to Systematic Reviews in Health 24/03/2020 Chilworth Manor Hotel Booking now - maximum 18 places available
Introduction to Systematic Reviews in Health 17/11/2020 Chilworth Manor Hotel Booking now - maximum 18 places available

Course bookings can be made online via the University of Southampton online store.   Payments can be accepted by credit or debit card, and by Paypal.   If you are unable to book online and require an invoice, or you are a current University of Southampton staff member or student, please download and complete a course booking form.

Book course - pay onlineBook course - download booking formNot ready to book - subscribe for updates

Why learn with SHTAC?

With extensive experience of conducting systematic reviews, our team can provide a unique insight into a successful review and use real examples and exercises to assist your learning.

Meet our trainers

Course leaders: Dr Jonathan Shepherd & Dr Jo Picot | Course Administrator: Angela Vincent | Click here for staff profiles of all the training team.

2018/2019 participant quotes

"Very useful and to the point. Will give a good grounding on systematic reviews for novices." 

"Excellent course!"

"Useful summary, well set out, well organised."

"Excellent well planned and executed course which introduces the topic well."

"A clear and in depth breakdown of the systematic review process.  This is the first time that I've fully understood how to carry out a systematic review correctly.  10 out of 10.  I cannot recommend the course enough."

"Great informative course, helpful for anyone interested in writing SRs or will have to use them for practice."

"Really helpful day much better than the books on this subject as can discuss difficult areas in person."

"A lot covered in a day course.  Useful for conducting reviews."

"This course will have a significant impact on my day-to-day research activities."

Course content

What is a systematic review?

We start the day with a brief discussion of what features of an evidence review make it systematic.

The day is split into sections and each section covers a key stage of conducting a systematic review. 

Scoping the research question

We then discuss the factors that need to be considered when starting a review, including setting a good question, writing a protocol, and planning effective and efficient management processes. 

Literature searching

Our information specialist describes a 10-step process for planning and conducting your literature search. A Medline search strategy is presented showing some of the features available in the Ovid search interface. 

Inclusion/exclusion screening

In this session the process of screening references identified from the literature search is described, with short practical exercises to help you understand some commonly encountered issues.  The importance of documenting the decisions made and reasons for inclusion/exclusion of references are covered.

Data extraction & critical appraisal

Methods for extracting relevant information from included studies are presented, and the concepts of critical appraisal of study bias and quality are introduced. You will have the opportunity to critically appraise the quality of a published clinical trial using standard criteria.

Data synthesis

Key methods for the analysis of included studies are presented, including narrative synthesis and meta-analysis. You will have the opportunity to look at a published meta-analysis ‘forest plot’ and discuss what its results mean.

Course pack

Course pack

You will receive a comprehensive course pack when you attend the course.

SHTAC logo

Introduction to Health Economics

Available to book as a two day course, including Introduction to Health Economics, 17-18 November 2020.  Click here for further details.

General terms

Fees per course

The fee includes all training day materials, lunch and refreshments throughout the day. 

A cancellation fee of £50 will be incurred for cancellations up to 4 weeks before the course date, cancellations after this date are non-refundable. Substitutions can be made, new delegate details should be emailed to the Course Administrator In the event that the course is cancelled for any reason, our liability is limited to the course fee only which will be refunded in full. We recommend delegates have adequate insurance cover for any travel or personal expenses.


Overnight accommodation is available at Chilworth Manor Hotel, a special public sector rate is available on request. Please book directly with Chilworth Manor Hotel on 02380 767333

Privacy Settings