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Monash University

Monash University Handbook 2010 Postgraduate - Course

This course entry should be read in conjunction with information provided in the 'Faculty information' section of this Handbook by the Faculty of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences

Managing facultyMedicine, Nursing and Health Sciences
Abbreviated titleMBiostats
Total credit points required72
Standard duration of study (years)3 years PT
Study mode and locationMulti-modal (Alfred Hospital)
Contact details

Professor Andrew Forbes, The Alfred Hospital: telephone +61 3 9903 0580

Postgraduate Office: telephone +61 3 9903 0563; email or visit

Course coordinator

Professor Andrew Forbes


  • This course is not available to international students.
  • Part-time study only.
  • Students will be required to complete compulsory block attendance requirements.


This course, offered by Department Epidemiology and Preventative Medicine, provides a sound understanding of the theory and application of biostatistics relevant to professional practice. The degree will assist the acquisition of skills and experience in complex statistical analyses, identifying and implementing appropriate statistical methodology, communicating biostatistical results and understanding biostatistical literature. The course develops the technical skills for commencement in a professional career as a biostatistician.


On completion of this course, students will have:

  • developed a sound understanding of the theory and application of the major areas of biostatistics relevant to professional practice
  • acquired skills in complex statistical analyses using modern statistical techniques and software
  • developed skills to identify the relevant statistical issues in practical problems in medical/health settings and to propose and implement an appropriate statistical design and/or analysis methodology
  • developed skills and had experience in communication of biostatistical issues with clinical/health personnel and the presentation of statistical results in a format suitable for publication in health-related journals or professional reports
  • acquired the technical skills to be able to read the biostatistical literature and implement new methodology described therein
  • developed the technical skills to commence professional careers as biostatisticians and/or to progress to further postgraduate research studies.


Assessment includes written assignments, practical exercises, examinations, portfolio and final report.


The course consists of 10 core units and one elective unit.


Core units

  • EPM5002 Mathematical background for biostatistics
  • EPM5003 Principles of statistical inference
  • EPM5004 Linear models
  • EPM5005 Data management and statistical computing
  • EPM5007 Design of experiments and clinical trials
  • EPM5009 Categorical data and generalised linear models
  • EPM5010 Survival analysis
  • EPM5011 Biostatistics practical project - double unit, or EPM5015 Biostatistics practical project - single unit
  • EPM5014 Probability and distribution theory
  • MPH1040 Introductory epidemiology

Elective units

One of:

  • EPM5001 Health indicators and health surveys
  • EPM5006 Clinical biostatistics
  • EPM5008 Longitudinal and correlated data analysis
  • EPM5012 Bioinformatics
  • EPM5013 Bayesian statistical methods
  • EPM5016 Advanced clinical trials

Progression to further studies

Students who complete this course and achieve a distinction (70 per cent) average may qualify for admission into higher degrees by research (HDR) including the Master of Philosophy and Doctor of Philosophy, among others.

Alternative exit(s)

Students may exit this course with a Graduate Certificate in Biostatistics or Graduate Diploma in Biostatistics providing all requirements of that award have been met.


Master of Biostatistics