Faculty of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences

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Monash University

Monash University Handbook 2011 Postgraduate - Unit

6 points, SCA Band 0 (NATIONAL PRIORITY), 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 (Day)
Alfred Hospital First semester 2011 (Off-campus)
Coordinator(s)Dr B Billah


This unit is taken concurrently with MPH1040. Together they are prerequisites for clinical epidemiology elective units. Contents includes: classification of medical data; summarizing data using simple statistical methods and graphical presentation; sampling distribution, quantifying uncertainty in the sample results and statistical distributions; comparing two groups/methods using hypothesis test or p-value and 95% confidence interval; assessing the association between outcome and exposure using chi-squared test; risk comparison (RR & OR); prediction of an adverse event or identifying risk factors for some event of interest (event is recorded in continuous scale); prediction of an adverse event or identifying risk factors for some event of interest (event is recorded in binary scale); sample size calculation.

Students are required to have access to a calculator equipped with elementary scientific functions (eg Casio FX-100) and a statistical package for data analysis e.g. SPSS, PRISM, STATA (help will be available for SPSS only. Note: Students don't have provision to borrow SPSS CD from Monash; they may have to lease/buy it from SPSS.


On the completion of this unit, students will have developed the ability to:

  1. Describe, summarise, and graph data appropriately;
  2. Analyse elementary data using a statistical computer package;
  3. Identify different probability distributions and their parameters;
  4. Quantify uncertainty in research results using biostatistical methods;
  5. Apply the appropriate statistical methods to basic research questions;
  6. Perform simple statistical analyses, report their findings and interpret their results;
  7. Critically appraise the statistical aspects of research publications in health care.


Written assignments (90%)
2 online / tutorial tests (10%)

Chief examiner(s)

Dr Baki Billah

Contact hours

2 contact hours per week for on-campus students.

Off-campus attendance requirements

3 day on-campus block for off-campus students.



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