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 provides students with the data management and analysis skills required for research in a range of natural sciences, including agricultural science, botany, conservation biology, ecology, environmental science, marine science, natural resource management, agricultural and environmental economics, and zoology. The first part of the unit provides essential foundation knowledge and skills for all students, while in the second part of the course, there are several options and students select the options most relevant to their research area and interests. The whole course takes an applied approach, focussing on developing clear hypotheses or questions; designing experiments or surveys to address these questions; exploring, understanding and analysing the resulting data; and finally drawing relevant and justifiable conclusions. The statistical software program R is introduced as a powerful tool for managing, presenting, and analysing biological, environmental and economic data. The course covers the classical analysis methods likely to be of most use to natural scientists, such as t-tests, proportion tests, chi-squared tests, linear regression, analysis of variance, and general linear models, with an emphasis on the applicability and limitations of different methods in different situations. The options in the second part of the course will include approaches for dealing with situations such as more complex experimental designs; multivariate species abundance data; species count data; germination data; growth data; human, environmental or ecological survey data; and survival data, through methods such as generalised linear models, mixed-effects models and multivariate analysis.

6 points
(see Timetable)
Semester 1UWA (Perth)Face to face
Semester 1OnlineOnline timetabled
Semester 2UWA (Perth)Face to face
Semester 2OnlineOnline timetabled
Semester 1AlbanyFace to face
Semester 1OnlineOnline timetabled
Semester 2AlbanyFace to face
Semester 2OnlineOnline timetabled
Details for undergraduate courses
  • Honours core unit in Agricultural Science; Botany; Conservation Biology; Environmental Science; Marine Biology; Marine Science; Natural Resource Management; Zoology [Bachelor of Science (Honours)]
  • Honours option in Marine Science [Bachelor of Science (Honours)]

Students are able to (1) develop clear questions or hypotheses regarding natural or agricultural systems; (2) design experiments or surveys to collect data to address these questions; (3) have a broad overview of the analysis methods likely to be of most use to natural scientists; (4) have a more detailed understanding of linear modelling including regression and analysis of variance (ANOVA) approaches and more sophisticated approaches relevant to their research area; (5) appreciate the applicability and limitations of different analysis methods in different situations; (6) use computer software to manage, present and analyse data appropriate to their research area; and (7) draw relevant and justifiable conclusions based on their data analysis.


Indicative assessments in this unit are as follows: (1) quizzes and (2) assignments. 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 James Fogarty and Dr Michael Renton
Unit rules
Enrolment in
HON-CONBI Conservation Biology
or HON-ZOOLY Zoology
or HON-BOTNY Botany
or HON-AGSCI Agricultural Science
or HON-ENVSC Environmental Science
or HON-NRMGT Natural Resource Management
or HON-MARSC Marine Science
or 72510 Master of Agricultural Science
or 72520 Master of Biological Science
or 72530 Master of Environmental Science
or 72540 Master of Hydrogeology
or 73530 Master of Agricultural Economics
or 70550 Master of Bioinformatics
or 74230 Graduate Certificate in Bioinformatics
or 74540 Master of Marine Biology
and Successful completion of
any one STAT1400 Statistics for Science
or STAX1400 Statistics for Science
or STAT1520 Economic and Business Statistics
or STAX1520 Economic and Business Statistics
or SCIE1104 Science, Society and Data Analysis
or SCIE4401 Data Use in Science
or ENVT4422 Research Methods in Environmental Science
Contact hours
5 days (1 day per fortnight). The total workload for the unit is 150 hours.
  • 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.