Faculty of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences

Monash University

Postgraduate - Unit

This unit entry is for students who completed this unit in 2014 only. For students planning to study the unit, please refer to the unit indexes in the the current edition of the Handbook. If you have any queries contact the managing faculty for your course or area of study.

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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, or view unit timetables.

FacultyFaculty of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences
Organisational UnitDepartment of Epidemiology and Preventive Medicine
OfferedAlfred Hospital First semester 2014 (Day)
Alfred Hospital First semester 2014 (Off-campus)
Coordinator(s)Dr Baki Billah


This unit is taken concurrently with MPH5040. 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/more 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 event or identifying risk factors for an event of interest where the event is measured in continuous scale; prediction of an event or identifying risk factors for an event of interest where the event is recorded in binary scale (yes/no); sample size calculation.

Students are required to have access to a calculator equipped with elementary scientific functions (e.g. Casio FX-100) and a statistical package for data analysis e.g. SPSS, PRISM, STATA (help will be available with 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.


Assignment 1 (15%)
Assignment 2 (25%)
Assignment 3 (40%)
Online test (40 MCQ) (invigilated) (20%)

Chief examiner(s)

Workload requirements

2 contact hours per week for on-campus students.

Off-campus attendance requirements

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


MPH5040 and must be enrolled in a course taught by Department of Epidemiology and Preventive Medicine. Students in other courses require permission to enrol in this unit.

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