Master of Biostatistics - 2019

Postgraduate - Course

Commencement year

This course entry applies to students commencing this course in 2019 and should be read in conjunction with information provided in the 'Faculty information' section of this Handbook by the Faculty of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences.

Other commencement years for this course: 2018 and 2017

Unit codes that are not linked to their entry in the Handbook are not available for study in the current year.

Course code


Credit points


Abbreviated title


Managing faculty

Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences

Admission and fees


Course progression map

M6025 (pdf)

Course type

Master by coursework

Standard duration

3 years PT

You have a maximum of 5 years to complete this course including any periods of intermission and suspension, and must be continuously enrolled throughout.

Mode and location

Off-campus (Alfred Hospital)


Master of Biostatistics

Alternative exits

Graduate Certificate of Biostatistics

Graduate Diploma of Biostatistics

Refer to 'Alternative exits' entry below for further requirements and details.


  • Not available to international students.


This course, offered by the Department of Epidemiology and Preventive Medicine, provides a sound foundation in the theory and application of biostatistics relevant to professional practice. The degree will provide necessary skills in complex statistical analyses, the identification and implementation of appropriate statistical methodology, the communication of biostatistical results, and the understanding of biostatistical literature. The course develops the technical skills for commencement in a professional career as a biostatistician.

Units in this degree are offered in conjunction with partner universities in the Biostatistics Collaboration of Australia (BCA), a consortium of leading universities in Australia established to jointly develop and deliver a distance-based program in biostatistics.


These course outcomes are aligned with the Australian Qualifications Framework level 9 and Monash Graduate AttributesAustralian Qualifications Framework level 9 and Monash Graduate Attributes (

Upon successful completion of this course it is expected that you will be able to:

  1. integrate a sound understanding of epidemiological study design principles with the theory and application of the major areas of biostatistics relevant to professional practice
  2. synthesise biostatistical knowledge with critical analysis and expert judgment to autonomously propose and implement an appropriate statistical design and/or analysis methodology for addressing practical problems in clinical/health research
  3. combine statistical theory with ethical considerations to devise strategies for collection and management of complex data, and for application of quality control procedures
  4. consolidate knowledge, current research and computing skills to perform complex analyses for a variety of practical problems using modern statistical techniques and software
  5. effectively communicate theoretical and practical biostatistical issues with clinical/health personnel and present statistical results in a format suitable for publication in health-related journals or professional reports
  6. critically reflect on and evaluate methodological research papers in the biostatistical literature and apply the methods described therein to practical problems
  7. integrate biostatistical knowledge, expert judgement and autonomy to display an array of problem-solving skills in biostatistics, characterised by an adaptability of approach
  8. apply professional codes of conduct and ethical standards such as those of the Statistical Society of Australia
  9. synthesise knowledge, technical skills and implementation of best-practice methods to commence professional careers as biostatisticians and/or to progress to further postgraduate research studies.

Professional recognition

Students graduating with this master's degree obtain automatic accreditation status as Graduate Statistician (GStat) upon application to the Statistical Society of Australia.


The course is structured in two parts: Part A. Core Biostatistics studies and Part B. Advanced practice studies. All students complete Part A and Part B.

Part A. Core biostatistics studies

These studies will provide you with the core epidemiological, mathematical and statistical foundations required for biostatistical practice and study of advanced biostatistical methods. Part A units provide theoretical and practical experience in calculus, probability distributions, computing and statistical inference and are followed by applications of these principles to fundamental study areas for biostatistics such as clinical trials and regression modelling.

Part B. Advanced practice studies

These studies involve two core units plus one or two elective units. The first core unit is survival analysis, which synthesises and extends the statistical and practical foundations in the Part A units. The second core and the capstone biostatistics practical project unit extends the knowledge and skills developed in Part A units into a specific practical research problem guided by a professional biostatistician, enabling a rich work experience opportunity. You can choose between 6 and 12 credit point options for the practical project, and correspondingly choose either one or two advanced topic electives.


The course comprises 72 points structured into two parts: Part A. Core biostatistics studies (48 points) and Part B. Advanced practice studies (24 points).

Note: If you are eligible for credit for a core unit from prior studies you may elect not to receive the credit and complete an alternative elective unit in its place. This practice is encouraged to enable a broader learning experience.

The course progression mapcourse progression map ( provides guidance on unit enrolment for each semester of study.

Units are 6 credit points unless otherwise stated.

Part A. Core biostatistics studies (48 points)

You must complete:

  • EPM5002 Mathematical background for biostatistics
  • EPM5003 Principles of statistical inference
  • EPM5004 Linear models
  • EPM5005 Data management and statistical computing
  • EPM5007 Design of experiments and clinical trials
  • EPM5009 Categorical data and generalised linear models
  • EPM5014 Probability and distribution theory
  • MPH5040 Introductory epidemiology

Part B. Advanced practice studies (24 points)

You must complete:

and one of the following two options:

  • EPM5015 Biostatistics practical project (6 points) and two elective units from the list below
  • EPM5011 Biostatistics practical project (12 points) and one elective unit from the list below

Elective units

  • EPM5001 Health indicators and health surveys
  • EPM5006 Clinical biostatistics
  • EPM5008 Longitudinal and correlated data analysis
  • EPM5012 Bioinformatics
  • EPM5013Not offered in 2019 Bayesian statistical methods

Alternative exits

You may exit this course early and apply to graduate with one of the following awards, provided you have satisfied the requirements for that award during your enrolment in this master's course:

  • Graduate Certificate of Biostatistics after successful completion of MPH5040 and 18 points of study from Part A or Part B
  • Graduate Diploma of Biostatistics after successful completion of Part A.

Progression to further studies

Successful completion of this course may provide a pathway to a higher degree by research program.