Faculty of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences

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This unit entry is for students who completed this unit in 2016 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.

Monash University

6 points, SCA Band 2, 0.125 EFTSL

Postgraduate - Unit

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


Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences

Organisational Unit

Department of Epidemiology and Preventive Medicine


Professor Gillian Heller


Alfred Hospital


Biostatistical applications of survival analysis with emphasis on underlying theoretical and computational issues, practical interpretation and communication of results. Case studies, students will explore the various methods for handling survival data. Kaplan-Meier curve definition and its extension, survival prospects using logrank test and confidence intervals for relative risks, graphical displays and assessing underlying assumptions. Mantel-Haenszel method's connection to survival analysis. Cox proportional hazards model for handling continuous covariates. Various extensions of this model, including time-dependent covariates, multiple outcomes and censored linear regression model.


Upon successful completion of this unit, students should be able to:

  1. Understand the major theoretical and computational issues underlying survival analysis.
  2. Develop appropriate survival analysis strategies based on unit matter considerations, including choice of models, control for confounding and appropriate parameterisation.
  3. Be proficient at using at least two different statistical software packages (e.g. Strata, Excel) to perform survival analysis.
  4. Understand the construction, use and interpretation of appropriate graphs for showing results and checking statistical assumptions.
  5. Express the results of statistical analyses of censored data in language suitable for
    1. communication to medical investigators
    2. publication in biomedical or epidemiological journals
  6. Appreciate the role of newer techniques including parametric non-modelling, floating odds ratios and competing risks.


Written assignments (100%)

Chief examiner(s)



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: