Bayesian Statistical Methods


This course will provide students with an understanding of the logic of Bayesian statistical inference (i.e. the use of probability models to quantify uncertainty in statistical conclusions) and allow them to acquire skills to perform practical Bayesian analysis relating to health research problems.

This course is offered in conjunction with the Biostatistics collaboration of Australia (BCA).


Distance Education - Callaghan

  • Semester 2 - 2016

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of the course students will be able to:

1. Have a thorough understanding of Bayesian statistical inference;

2. Be able to compare Bayesian methods to standard statistical methods;

3. Be able to apply appropriate Bayesian statistical methods to the analysis of health/medical related data.


The first component of the course is an introduction to simple one-parameter models with conjugate prior distributions, which are fundamental to Bayesian statistics. This knowledge is built upon by introducing students to standard models containing two or more parameters, including specifics for the normal location-scale model. Once students have this knowledge, they will then be shown the relationship between Bayesian methods and the standard approaches to statistics. The next component of the course will provide students with practical experience using computational techniques for Bayesian analyses via common statistical software. Finally, students will be exposed to the application of Bayesian methods for fitting hierarchical models to complex data structures.


Must be enrolled in Graduate Diploma of Medical Biostatistics or Master of Medical Statistics to enrol in this course. Pre-requisites: must have successfully completed BIOS6020, BIOS6040, BIOS6050, BIOS6070, BIOS6170, and EPID6420.

Assessment Items

Practical Demonstration: Practical Exercises

Case Study / Problem Based Learning: 2 x case study assignments

Contact Hours

Distance Education - Callaghan

Self-Directed Learning

Self-Directed 6 hour(s) per Week for Full Term

As an indication only, students may expect to spend 8-10 hours per week on study.