3 x 2.5-hour independent studies weekly
2 x 1-hour on-line exercises weekly
1 x 1-hour on-line tutorial weekly
Assumed knowledge
Basic numeracy skills.
Assignment(s); Test(s)
Topic description

This topic is intended to meet the needs of those researchers wishing to gain knowledge of quantitative methods used in Epidemiological research. It is also designed to assist in meeting the core competencies for the Australasian Faculty of Public Health Medicine (AFPHM) for clinicians wishing to become Public Health Physicians.

Educational aims

This topic aims to:

  • Provide health researchers with the knowledge required to understand the rationale behind the use of specific statistical tests used in health research
  • Encourage health researchers to formulate their own statistically testable research hypotheses for quantitative health data
  • Provide health researchers with the skills required to perform appropriate statistical tests in health research
  • Assist in meeting the entrance requirements for Domain 3 (Information, Research and Evaluation) of the Australasian Faculty of Public Health Medicine (AFPHM) core competencies for clinicians wishing to become Public Health Physicians
Expected learning outcomes
On completion of this topic you will be expected to be able to:

  1. Describe data appropriately using graphs and descriptive statistics. Use appropriate measures of central tendency and measures of dispersion for the given data
  2. Accurately describe the normal and binomial probability distributions commonly used in biostatistics, and the central limit theorem. Understand what is meant by the null hypothesis and alternative hypothesis, p-values and confidence intervals
  3. Perform sample size and power calculations for survey precision, the comparison of 2 proportions and the comparison of 2 means. Understand Type 1 and Type 2 error rates and the relationship between them
  4. Know how to test for associations for continuous data using correlation coefficients, simple linear and multivariate linear regression
  5. Perform appropriate tests of differences in means of normally distributed data between groups for independent and dependent samples
  6. Accurately compare proportions for binary and categorical data
  7. Know how to perform logistical regression, and interpret an odds ratio
  8. Know how to compare rates using Poisson regression and interpret a hazard ration

Key dates and timetable

(1), (2)

Each class is numbered in brackets.
Where more than one class is offered, students normally attend only one.

Classes are held weekly unless otherwise indicated.


If you are enrolled for this topic, but all classes for one of the activities (eg tutorials) are full,
contact your College Office for assistance. Full classes frequently occur near the start of semester.

Students may still enrol in topics with full classes as more places will be made available as needed.

If this padlock appears next to an activity name (eg Lecture), then class registration is closed for this activity.

Class registration normally closes at the end of week 2 of each semester.

Classes in a stream are grouped so that the same students attend all classes in that stream.
Registration in the stream will result in registration in all classes.
  Unless otherwise advised, classes are not held during semester breaks or on public holidays.