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TM5516 - Biostatistics for Public Health

Credit points: 3
Year: 2012
Student Contribution Band: Band 2
Administered by: Sch Public Health,Trop Medicine&Rehabilitation Sc

Available to all postgraduate students in health science programs.

This subject introduces students to biostatistics as applied to Public Health. It delivers the basic technical qualifications necessary for analysing data on a descriptive and bivariate level. Topics covered include the theory of probability, statistical aspects of diagnostic tests including sensitivity, specificity and predictive values, theoretical and empirical distributions, measures of central tendency and dispersion, basic principles of statistical inference, principle of statistical testing, confidence interval, common bivariate statistical tests and their proper application, and survival analysis. The most important means of graphical display are introduced, including histogram, stem-and-leaf plot, bar chart, scattergram and box-and-whisker plot. Students are introduced to the computerised statistical package, SPSS. Intensive use of examples and exercises will help to enhance the practical understanding of these techniques. It is strongly recommended that students have successfully completed mathematics at year 12 level. Proficiency with the use of a scientific calculator is strongly recommended.

Learning Outcomes

  • to acquire basic technical qualifications necessary for analysing data sets on a descriptive and on a bivariate level;
  • to be able to describe different types of data appropriately by means of summary statistics and graphics;
  • to be able to formulate bivariate hypotheses and test them with appropriate statistical test procedures;
  • to develop a fundamental understanding of the principles of biostatistics.

Graduate Qualities

  • The ability to think critically, to analyse and evaluate claims, evidence and arguments;
  • The ability to calculate, produce, interpret and communicate numerical information.


Townsville, Study Period 5, Block
Census Date 03-May-2012
Face to face teaching 16-Apr-2012 to 27-Apr-2012 (2 week block includes the weekend)
Coordinator: <Person not found>
Lecturers: <Person not found>, <Person not found>.
Workload expectations:
  • 60 hours lectures
Assessment: other exams (60%); assignments (40%).

Study Period 2, External
Census Date 23-Aug-2012
Coordinator: <Person not found>
Lecturers: <Person not found>, <Person not found>.
Method of Delivery: Printed materials
Assessment: end of semester exam (60%); assignments (40%).

Note: Minor variations might occur due to the continuous Subject quality improvement process, and in case of minor variation(s) in assessment details, the Subject Outline represents the latest official information.