Studying online

There are now 2 possible online modes for units:

Units with modes Online timetabled and Online flexible are available for any student to self-enrol and study online.

Click on an offering mode for more details.

Unit Overview


This unit describes and discusses applications of basic biostatistical methods in public health and clinical practice and research. Topics include summarising and presenting data, estimation and hypothesis testing for means, proportions, odds ratios, rates, rate ratios, survival curves and sample size determination. There is an emphasis on developing an in-depth understanding of the role, use and interpretation of basic biostatistical methods and critical appraisal of statistical aspects of health and medical publications. The unit provides the essential foundation of applied knowledge needed for quantitative analyses of health and medical data and for critical reading of literature.

6 points
(see Timetable)
Semester 1UWA (Perth)Face to face
Semester 1OnlineOnline flexible
Semester 2UWA (Perth)Face to face
Semester 2OnlineOnline flexible

Students are able to (1) interpret the statistical content of articles in general health and medical literature; (2) present summarised data to enable ready interpretation by others; (3) calculate confidence intervals for means, proportions, incidence rates and survival; (4) conduct hypothesis tests for comparison of means, proportions, incidence rates and survival curves,; (5) calculate correlation coefficients; (6) apply linear regression; (7) apply specific statistical methods appropriately using standard statistical software; (8) interpret confidence intervals, hypothesis tests, correlation coefficients and linear regression; (9) identify appropriate methods for power and sample size calculations; and (10) use the IBM SPSS Statistics package for entering data, calculating data summaries and for statistical analysis.


Indicative assessments in this unit are as follows: (1) assignments (which involve computing) and (2) tests. Further information is available in the unit outline.

Student may be offered supplementary assessment in this unit if they meet the eligibility criteria.

Unit Coordinator(s)
Dr Kevin Murray {00047617} ~ Dr Charley Budgeon {00075066}
Unit rules
enrolment in
or postgraduate courses
Advisable prior study
knowledge of basic algebra, familiarity with handheld calculators and familiarity with computing in the Windows environment
Contact hours
lectures: 2 hours per week
tutorials: 1.5 hours per week
Students require a handheld scientific calculator. Unless students have access to the IBM SPSS Statistics package elsewhere, they will use it in the School of Population and Global Health computer laboratories.

Altman, D. G. Practical Statistics for Medical Research, (any edition): Chapman & Hall 

Blair, R. C. and Taylor, R. A. Biostatistics for the Health Sciences, (any edition): Pearson International

Dawson, B. and Trapp, R. G. Basic and Clinical Biostatistics, (any edition): Lange

De Veaux, R. D. et al. Stats: Data and Models, (any edition): Pearson Education 

Ennos, A. R. Statistical and Data Handling Skills in Biology, (any edition): Longman

Glantz, S. A. Primer of Biostatistics, (any edition): McGraw Hill

Pagano, M. and Gauvreau, K. Principles of Biostatistics, (any edition): Duxburry 


  • The availability of units in Semester 1, 2, etc. was correct at the time of publication but may be subject to change.
  • All students are responsible for identifying when they need assistance to improve their academic learning, research, English language and numeracy skills; seeking out the services and resources available to help them; and applying what they learn. Students are encouraged to register for free online support through GETSmart; to help themselves to the extensive range of resources on UWA's STUDYSmarter website; and to participate in WRITESmart and (ma+hs)Smart drop-ins and workshops.
  • Unit readings, including any essential textbooks, are listed in the unit outline for each unit, one week prior the commencement of study. The unit outline will be available via the LMS and the UWA Handbook one week prior the commencement of study. Reading lists and essential textbooks are subject to change each semester. Information on essential textbooks will also be made available on the Essential Textbooks. This website is updated regularly in the lead up to semester so content may change. It is recommended that students purchase essential textbooks for convenience due to the frequency with which they will be required during the unit. A limited number of textbooks will be made available from the Library in print and will also be made available online wherever possible. Essential textbooks can be purchased from the commercial vendors to secure the best deal. The Student Guild can provide assistance on where to purchase books if required. Books can be purchased second hand at the Guild Secondhand bookshop (second floor, Guild Village), which is located on campus.
  • Contact hours provide an indication of the type and extent of in-class activities this unit may contain. The total amount of student work (including contact hours, assessment time, and self-study) will approximate 150 hours per 6 credit points.