Faculty of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences

Monash University

Postgraduate - Unit

This unit entry is for students who completed this unit in 2015 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.

FacultyFaculty of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences
Organisational UnitDepartment of Epidemiology and Preventive Medicine
OfferedAlfred Hospital First semester 2015 (Day)
Alfred Hospital First semester 2015 (Off-campus)
Coordinator(s)Dr Baki Billah


Students do not have provision to borrow SPSS CD from Monash University; they have to lease/buy it from IBM SPSS.


This unit is taken concurrently with MPH5040. Together they are prerequisites for clinical epidemiology elective units. Contents includes: classification of health data; summarizing data using simple statistical methods and graphical presentation; sampling distributions, quantifying uncertainty in results from a sample; statistical distributions; comparing two/more groups/methods using hypothesis tests and confidence intervals; assessing the association between outcome and exposure using chi-squared test; risk comparisons; 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 measured on a binary scale (yes/no); sample size calculations.

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.


Upon successful completion of this unit, students should be able 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%)
2 x Online test (20 MCQ each test) (10% each test)

Workload requirements

2 contact hours per week for on-campus students.

See also Unit timetable information

Chief examiner(s)

Off-campus attendance requirements

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

This unit applies to the following area(s) of study


MPH5040, except for students enrolled in courses 3896 (Perioperative stream), or 2312.


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