PBH2002 - Foundations of biostatistics - 2019

6 points, SCA Band 2, 0.125 EFTSL

Undergraduate - 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

School of Public Health and Preventive Medicine

Chief examiner(s)

Dr Baki Billah


Nassif Hossain

Unit guides



  • Second semester 2019 (On-campus)


Must be enrolled in an Undergraduate Degree




This unit introduces students to the basic principles and methods used in biostatistics as applied to public health and clinical research.

The key concepts covered include the technical qualifications necessary for analysing and interpreting data on a descriptive and bivariate level.

The unit will cover topics which include classification of health data, sampling methods;, study design, summarizing data using simple statistical methods and graphical presentation, sampling distributions, quantifying uncertainty in results from a sample, statistical distributions (normal and t-distribution), comparing two independent/paired groups using t-test (p-value) and confidence intervals, comparing more than two groups using Analysis of variance (ANOVA), non-parametric tests for comparing two or more groups when normality assumptions do not hold, assessing the association between an outcome and an exposure using the chi-squared test, and risk comparisons (RR & OR).


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

  1. Examine and explain the importance of biostatistics in public health studies
  2. Classify data into appropriate measurement types.
  3. Present data using relevant tables, graphical displays, summary statistics, and quantifiable uncertainty in study results.
  4. Formulate and evaluate research hypotheses into a statistical context in public health studies.
  5. Accurately interpret statistical methods and results reported in health publications.
  6. Analyse data output generated using a statistical software package.


NOTE: From 1 July 2019, the duration of all exams is changing to combine reading and writing time. The new exam duration for this unit is 2 hours and 10 minutes.

  • Written report (1500 words, excluding data analysis output and tables) (25%)
  • Data analysis report (1800 words, excluding data analysis output and tables) (30%)
  • Online quiz (MCQ) (30 minutes) (10%)
  • Examination (MCQ/SAQ) (2 hours) (35%)

Hurdle Requirement: 80% attendance at tutorials and participation in online tasks.

Workload requirements

6 hours of teacher directed study per week, this includes 3 hours of workshop and 3 hours of directed online student learning activities.

6 hours per week of self-directed study.

Total per week = 12 hours

See also Unit timetable information

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