Critical appraisal of the scientific literature - standalone online learning course (Faculty of Science)
Duration Accessible at any time during academic year
Team Researcher Academy

This standalone online course is run by the Researcher Academy  as part of the Faculty of Science Training Programme and the Medicine and Health Science Training Programme

Target audience: 
Postgraduate researchers (PGRs) in the Faculty of Science and Medicine and Health Sciences


This course provides a background to the concepts of critical analysis, and a structured introduction to the principles of how to critically appraise a scientific paper.

This course focuses on published, peer-reviewed scientific literature that is relevant to a researcher in the Faculty of Science.

To help you to read and critically appraise published information with an introduction into the peer-review process.


By the end of the course you should be able to:

  • identify those elements that should be present in a good paper
  • assess whether the experimental method was appropriate
  • know whether the methods of analysis used were appropriate
  • judge whether the conclusions drawn were appropriate to the results
  • know how to assign significance to different research findings
  • understand how peer-review is undertaken
  • know how to construct your written response of the review to the editor

This course is delivered entirely online via Moodle and is self-study. You may access the course as often as you like until the end of the academic year.

Researchers in the Faculty of Science and M&HS can self-enrol on this course in Moodle by following this link:

Please note, attendances for courses will be recorded. There are no training points associated with courses run by the Researcher Academy.


The following table shows a summary of what is needed to participate in the course. 

If you feel you will experience any difficulties participating, please let us know via the ‘special requirements’ tab, providing as much information as possible. The special requirements tab can be completed when you book your place. Alternatively, you can contact us directly at

Course open throughout the year
Access to Moodle
Engage with online materials
Complete a reflections document/ workbook (optional)
Full completion of the Moodle course will result in being marked as 'Attended' on your training record
LocationStart DateAll DatesTimesPlaces AvailableBook