On Campus
1 x 2-hour lecture once-only
2 x 2-hour computer labs per semester
19-hours online exercises per semester

Distance Online
1 x 2-hour online lecture once-only
23-hours online exercises per semester
PHCA9511A - Social Statistics in Public Health – Part A
Enrolment not permitted
1 of PHCA8511, PHCA8927, PHCA9511 has been successfully completed
Assumed knowledge
Basic understanding of both the social determinants of health and epidemiological research design
Course context
Available to students enrolled in any graduate award
Topic description
Within public health, there is a need for researchers, practitioners and policy makers to understand and interpret statistical findings from research. In part A, PHCA9511A, students became familiar with the statistical program SPSS and are now able to manipulate data, perform descriptive and bivariate analyses, and understand the underpinning concepts of bivariate and multivariate statistical analyses. This topic, PHCA9511B, provides the opportunity for students to build on their understanding of these statistical approaches and to apply the techniques in undertaking a full analysis and preparing and presenting findings. It is widely recognised that many research questions in the social world cannot be addressed using purely bivariate analyses, since relationships between variables tend to be multi-factorial with a number of competing, and often conflicting, associations/ relationships. Therefore, this topic uses publicly available public health datasets to undertake descriptive and inferential bivariate analyses, in addition to more advanced multivariate statistical techniques.
Educational aims
The aims of the topic are to enable students to:

  1. Make informed and justified decisions over the choice of statistical techniques for the analysis of public health data
  2. Employ a range of bivariate and multivariate statistical analyses (descriptive and inferential), based on nominal, ordinal and interval level data
  3. Independently use the SPSS software package in undertaking social statistical analysis
  4. Critically interpret the results of statistical analyses, and to gain confidence in relating them to relevant literature in their academic disciplines.
Expected learning outcomes
On completion of this topic, students will be expected to be able to:

  1. Plan and undertake a secondary analysis of an existing public health dataset
  2. Justify the use of a range of statistical techniques, including making informed decisions in selecting statistical approach
  3. Critically understand the range of alternatives in SPSS for bivariate and multivariate statistical analysis
  4. Critically apply a range of bivariate and multivariate statistical techniques applicable to nominal, ordinal and interval level variables
  5. Critically evaluate the use of statistical techniques in published work.