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MPH1031 - Introductory statistics

6 points, SCA Band 2, 0.125 EFTSL

Postgraduate Faculty of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences

Leader: Dr J Simpson


Alfred Hospital First semester 2007 (Day)


Descriptive statistics - graphs and tables. Theoretical and empirical probability distributions - chi-square, student's-t, binomial, Poisson, standard normal. Basic statistics - mean, median, mode, minimum, maximum, standard deviation, proportion. Standard errors, confidence intervals and their construction. Paired and unpaired t-tests. Chi-square and Fisher's exact for contingency tables. Non-parametric tests, correlation and bivariate regression. Relative risks and Odds ratios.


On completion of this unit students should be able to:

  1. perform simple statistical analyses of small data sets by hand;
  2. identify the appropriate technique for data analysis;
  3. obtain p-values from tables;
  4. distinguish between clinical and statistical significance;
  5. understand the concept of a Type I and Type II error and identify where these may have occurred;
  6. calculate and explain the interpretation of simple confidence intervals.


Mid-semester multiple choice examination 25%
Final examination 50%
assignment 25%.

Contact hours

2 contact hours per week at Melbourne University