The University of Newcastle, Australia
Available in 2019

Course handbook


The aim is to provide students with an understanding of statistical reasoning and its application to epidemiological studies and the ability to read and critically evaluate the statistical section of journal articles. The course introduces basic statistical concepts of data presentation, probability distributions, confidence intervals hypothesis testing, sample size and power.

Availability2019 Course Timetables


  • Semester 1 - 2019


  • Semester 2 - 2019
  • Semester 1 - 2019

Learning outcomes

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

1. understand the use of and be able to calculate probabilities associated with commonly used distributions, such as Normal, Binomial and t distributions and be able to determine if data are normally distributed;

2. understand processes involved in data analysis and carry out exploratory data analysis;

3. be familiar with the use and assumptions of confidence intervals and be able to calculate and interpret confidence intervals for means and proportions;

4. understand the concepts of hypothesis testing (test statistics, p-values, and significance/Type I error rate) and be able to undertake hypothesis tests relating to means and proportions;

5. discuss the difference between statistical and medical significance;

6. understand the concept of study power and the importance of considering the Type II error rate;

7. understand the importance of calculating sample size before commencing a study and be able to calculate sample size for common situations relating to means and proportions; and

8. interpret results of commonly used statistical methods as they are presented in published literature.


  • OV1: Introduction
  • STATA Resource Kit
  • S1: Exploratory data analysis
  • S2: Sampling distributions and confidence intervals
  • S3: Hypothesis testing
  • S4: Sample size
  • OV2: Overview: Statistical Methods

The course includes practical exercises to illustrate the different concepts outlined, self-assessment exercises, progress assignments with model answers, practical computing exercises requiring interpretation and presentation of results.

Assumed knowledge

Basic computer skills and mathematics (high school level algebra and functions)

Assessment items

Quiz: Quiz 1

Written Assignment: Assignment 1

Quiz: Quiz 2

Written Assignment: Assignment 2

In Term Test: Final Online Examination

Contact hours



Face to Face On Campus 2 hour(s) per Week for Full Term


Online Activity

Online 2 hour(s) per Week for Full Term

Self-Directed Learning

Online 8 hour(s) per Week for Full Term