Faculty of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences

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Monash University Handbook 2011 Postgraduate - Unit

6 points, SCA Band 2, 0.125 EFTSL

Refer to the specific census and withdrawal dates for the semester(s) in which this unit is offered.

FacultyFaculty of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences
OfferedAlfred Hospital First semester 2011 (Off-campus)
Coordinator(s)Professor A Forbes & Associate Professor J Carlin


This unit will develop statistical models for longitudinal and correlated data in medical research. The concept of hierarchical data structures will be developed, together with simple numerical and analytical demonstrations of the inadequacy of standard statistical methods. Normal-theory model and statistical procedures i.e. mixed linear models are explored using SAS or Stata statistical software packages. Extension to non-normal outcomes emphasising clinical research question. Case studies contrast generalised estimating equations and generalised linear mixed models. Limitations of traditional repeated measures analysis of variance and non-exchangeable models.


On completion of this unit students should be able to:

  1. Recognise the existence of correlated or hierarchical data structures, and describe the limitations of standard methods in these settings;
  2. develop and analytically describe an appropriate model for longitudinal or correlated data based on unit matter considerations;
  3. be proficient at using a statistical software package (eg Strata or SAS) to properly model and perform computations for longitudinal data analyses, and to correctly interpret results; and
  4. express the results of statistical analyses of longitudinal data in language suitable for communication to medical investigators or publication in biomedical or epidemiological journal articles.


Written assignments
Practical exercises.

Chief examiner(s)

Professor Andrew Forbes


MPH1040, EPM5002, EPM5003, EPM5004, EPM5009 & EPM5014


This unit is only available to students enrolled in the Graduate Certificate, Graduate Diploma or Masters of Biostatistics.

Additional information on this unit is available from the faculty at: