autumn 2023
HEL-8031 Systematic Reviews - 2 ECTS

Type of course

PhD course. This course is available for both program students and course students.

The course is organised by the Clinical Research Department at the University Hospital of Northern Norway (UNN) in Tromsø and the Department of Clinical Medicine at the Faculty of Health Sciences, UiT The Arctic University of Norway.

Admission requirements

PhD students and students at the Student Research Programme, or holders of a Norwegian master´s degree of five years or 3+2 years (or equivalent) may be admitted.

External applicants apply for the right to study by June 1st for courses that are taught in the autumn semester. Application is sent through SøknadsWeb. Please use the appliction code "9301 - Singular courses at the PhD level". If granted admission to the course students must register for class and exam in Studentweb by September 1st for autumn semester.

This course has a maximum capacity of 10 students.

If there are more applicants than available seats in the course, students will be given priority from category 1 to 4:

  • PhD students, research fellows and students participating in the Student Research Programme at UiT The Arctic University of Norway
  • Research fellows at the University hospital, UNN·
  • Participants in the Associate Professor Programme.
  • PhD students and students at a Medical Student Research Programme at other universities
  • Applicants who have minimum a master's degree or equivalent, but have not been admitted to a PhD programme.

Course content

The course will provide learning and practical experience for many aspects of systematic reviewing, including question formulation, setting the eligibility criteria, searching and critical appraisal of studies, data extraction, analysis, and reporting. Examples used to illustrate the key steps will be relevant to the participants, who should leave the course with much greater ability to use systematic reviews for decision-making and more confidence in their ability to conduct a systematic review.

Recommended prerequisites

HEL-8018 Introduction to Randomised Control Trials (RCT)

Objectives of the course


Students will:

  • have the knowledge they need to search widely for studies for a systematic review, including the choice of sources to search and the words or phrases to use in the search.
  • know how to assess the quality of potentially eligible studies and be able to identify suitable tools to use to assess quality and risk of bias.
  • understand the basic principles of the meta-analyses techniques used for systematic reviews (including heterogeneity).


Students will be able to:

  • state the research question for a systematic review, to cover key aspects of, for example, the population, interventions or exposures and outcome measures.
  • choose the inclusion and exclusion criteria for a systematic review, including the types of participant, types of intervention or exposure (where appropriate) and types of outcome measure.
  • set the eligibility criteria.
  • plan the data extraction for a systematic review, and to design a simple data extraction form.


Students will be able to:

  • understand the practical aspects of doing a systematic review.
  • use this knowledge to appraise systematic reviews.

Language of instruction and examination


Teaching methods

Interactive lectures and group work.


Examination: Date: Duration: Grade scale:
Off campus exam 11.09.2023 09:00 (Hand out)
09.10.2023 13:00 (Hand in)
3 Weeks Passed / Not Passed

Coursework requirements:

To take an examination, the student must have passed the following coursework requirements:

Attendance at classes Approved – not approved
UiT Exams homepage

More info about the coursework requirements

Participation in all lectures and group work is mandatory.

Re-sit examination

Re-sit examination is offered for the course.
  • About the course
  • Campus: Tromsø |
  • ECTS: 2
  • Course code: HEL-8031
  • Tidligere år og semester for dette emnet