Rapid Review Methods

New dates TBC

There are currently no dates for this course.  Register your interest here and we will be in touch when we have new dates.

About the course

Rapid reviews are increasingly undertaken to meet the demands of decision-makers, who need timely evidence to inform their decisions. Under such constraints, the time required to undertake a traditional systematic review may be prohibitive. Limited budgets to fund systematic reviews, may also increase pressure to fund a rapid review. If the review is to be delivered in a shorter time frame or a smaller budget, it may seem inevitable that it will no longer be able to remain transparent, rigorous, exhaustive and comprehensive. What are the implications of any shortcuts that might be taken? Can we measure the impact of such shortcuts? Which methods might be adopted when undertaking a rapid review? What do commissioners want? What is the balance between working smarter and short changing the commissioners? How do you create a team that can work together more efficiently within a shorter timescale? These questions will be explored through a detailed examination of tools that can be used and adapted to meet the particular needs of each rapid review.

Who will benefit from this course?

This online short course is primarily for you if you are currently undertaking, or you anticipate embarking upon a rapid review. The aim of the course is to equip you with a greater insight into the range of rapid review methods that can be used for, and adapted to, your particular review. The purpose is to enable you to deliver methodologically rigorous reviews, that continue to meet the needs of decision-makers. The short course may also be of value for you if you commission reviews, or use rapid reviews to inform evidence-based practice. The course will facilitate you to assess the quality of rapid reviews, and help you to appraise rapid review proposals

Feedback from previous attendees

"Informed and experienced professionals tackling the issue from multiple angles, very interesting!"

"Excellent on methods and tools - lots to look at further and try out."

"So pleased to participate. I learned a lot"

Course programme:

Day 1

  • What is a Rapid Review?  Introduction to Rapid Review Methods
  • What do commissioners want?
  • Decision tool for SelecTing Approaches for Rapid Reviews
  • Planning Your Rapid Review
  • ​Searching for and reference management of studies
  • Selecting Studies & Data Extraction
  • Quality Assessment
  • Tools to help you work quicker and smarter: Part 1 (searching, screening, data extraction, quality assessment)

 D​ay 2

  • Synthesis, analysis and write up
  • Tools to help you work quicker and smarter: Part 2 (synthesis, analysis, write up)
  • Cutting the review to match the cost
  • Using existing reviews - exercise referral schemes
  • Day 2 also includes a practical exercise


Dates and times



The fee for this course is £249 per person.

Current UOS Staff/Students

Current University of Sheffield staff and students are eligible to book at a reduced rate of £210 per person. An active @sheffield.ac.uk email address is required to book at this reduced rate.   

Please see Booking and payment section for further details.

All fees are VAT exempt.

Booking and Payment

Payment can be made via credit / debit card or PayPal. Please visit the Online Store to make your booking.  

Non-University of Sheffield applicants - If your employer is paying your fees and they require an invoice, please ensure you have your purchase order details before making your booking. 

Current University of Sheffield staff and students – If you would prefer to be invoiced or to pay via an internal transfer, a purchase order will be required before you make your booking.  Please contact your department administrator or finance team for help with this.

Difficulties making your booking?

If you are having difficulties making your booking, please contact the Online Store directly at onlinestore@sheffield.ac.uk

Course delivery and requirements

This course will be delivered using the University's 'Blackboard' platform.

* NHS staff - important note: We are aware of issues caused by NHS firewalls.  We recommend registering with an alternative/non-NHS email and using a non-NHS device when attending the course if possible. Thank you *


  • Reliable and stable internet connection.
  • A PC or laptop
  • Webcam and microphone (preferably a USB headset)
  • Mouse 
  • A quiet room where there will be no/minimal disruption.
  • Ability to access Google applications (e.g. Google Docs, Google Sites, Google Sheets).

For further information please do not hesitate to contact us:

Email at scharr-scu@sheffield.ac.uk

The content of our courses is reviewed annually to make sure it is up-to-date and relevant. Individual modules are occasionally updated or withdrawn. This is in response to discoveries through our world-leading research, funding changes, professional accreditation requirements, student or employer feedback, outcomes of reviews, and variations in staff or student numbers. In the event of any change we'll consult and inform students in good time and take reasonable steps to minimise disruption.

Information last updated: