The University of Newcastle, Australia
Available in 2020

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.

Availability2020 Course Timetables


  • Semester 1 - 2020


  • Semester 1 - 2020
  • Semester 2 - 2020

Learning outcomes

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

1. Use properties of the probability distribution function to calculate Normal probabilities and Z-scores.

2. Apply exploratory data analysis methods to describe/summarise a distribution and assess whether data are normally distributed.

3. Calculate and interpret Confidence Intervals for means and proportions and state the assumptions on which they are based.

4. Conduct hypothesis tests relating to means and proportions and explain the role of the test statistic, p-value, and significance/Type I error rate.

5. Discuss the difference between statistical significance and clinical significance.

6. Describe the importance of considering power and the Type II error rate during study design.

7. Perform sample size calculations relating to means and proportions for common study designs.

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


Self-Directed Learning

Self-Directed 8 hour(s) per Week for Full Term


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

Self-Directed 8 hour(s) per Week for Full Term