Postgraduate Certificate in Biostatistics

Course 642-AA (2009)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2009. Search for this in the current handbook

Year and Campus: 2009
Fees Information: Subject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date
Level: Graduate/Postgraduate


Professor John Carlin
Centre for Molecular, Environmental, Genetic and Analytic Epidemiology
Tel: +61 3 8344 0733


Academic Programs Office
School of Population Health
Tel: +61 3 8344 9339
Fax: +61 3 8344 0824
Course Overview:

This course is a subset of the Master of Biostatistics (see that heading for further information). On completion of the Postgraduate Certificate in Biostatistics, students will usually have completed an introductory range of subjects that are required for the Postgraduate Diploma and Master of Biostatistics, and will have acquired an understanding of the principles of epidemiology and some aspects of biostatistics.

Objectives: On completion of this course, graduates will:
  • Be able to demonstrate a broad understanding of the value and basic principles of biostatistical methods in health and medical research
  • Be able to demonstrate an understanding of the principles of epidemiology and its biostatistical underpinnings
  • Have acquired skills in data management and basic statistical analyses
  • Have developed the practical and technical skills to progress to further postgraduate studies in biostatistics

Course Structure & Available Subjects:

This course is available on a part-time basis only, and at a maximum rate of 2 subjects per semester (4 subjects in total) requires 1 year to complete (50 credit points).

Subject Options:


Students must complete the following CORE subject:

Study Period Commencement:
Credit Points:
Semester 1, Semester 2


Students must complete THREE subjects from the following list of electives:

Study Period Commencement:
Credit Points:
Semester 1
Semester 1
Semester 1, Semester 2
Semester 1, Semester 2
Semester 1, Semester 2
Semester 1, Semester 2
Semester 2
Semester 2
Entry Requirements:
  • An undergraduate degree with an average mark of at least H2B (70%) over the degree and two years of documented work experience relevant to the use of quantitative methods in health research; OR an undergraduate degree in mathematics, statistics, health or other sciences that includes tertiary-level mathematics, with an average mark of at least H2B (70%) over the degree.
  • A demonstrated capacity for advanced mathematical work, indicated for example by a high level of achievement in secondary or tertiary mathematics.
  • Successful completion of a tertiary-level statistics subject or demonstrated equivalent prior knowledge of statistics.
The Selection Committee may conduct interviews or tests or may call for referee reports or employer references to elucidate any of the matters listed above.
Core Participation Requirements:

For the purposes of considering request for Reasonable Adjustments under the Disability Standards for Education (Cwth 2005), and Student Support and Engagement Policy, academic requirements for this subject are articulated in the Subject Overview, Learning Outcomes, Assessment and Generic Skills sections of this entry.

It is University policy to take all reasonable steps to minimise the impact of disability upon academic study, and reasonable adjustments will be made to enhance a student's participation in the University's programs. Students who feel their disability may impact on meeting the requirements of this subject are encouraged to discuss this matter with a Faculty Student Adviser and Student Equity and Disability Support:

Graduate Attributes: The Melbourne Experience enables our graduates to become:

Academically excellent:

  • have a strong sense of intellectual integrity and the ethics of scholarship
  • have in-depth knowledge of their specialist discipline(s)
  • reach a high level of achievement in writing, generic research activities, problem-solving and communication
  • be critical and creative thinkers, with an aptitude for continued self-directed learning
  • be adept at learning in a range of ways, including through information and communication technologies

Knowledgeable across disciplines:

  • examine critically, synthesise and evaluate knowledge across a broad range of disciplines
  • expand their analytical and cognitive skills through learning experiences in diverse subjects
  • have the capacity to participate fully in collaborative learning and to confront unfamiliar problems
  • have a set of flexible and transferable skills for different types of employment

Leaders in communities:

  • initiate and implement constructive change in their communities, including professions and workplaces
  • have excellent interpersonal and decision-making skills, including an awareness of personal strengths and limitations
  • mentor future generations of learners
  • engage in meaningful public discourse, with a profound awareness of community needs

Attuned to cultural diversity:

  • value different cultures
  • be well-informed citizens able to contribute to their communities wherever they choose to live and work
  • have an understanding of the social and cultural diversity in our community
  • respect indigenous knowledge, cultures and values

Active global citizens:

  • accept social and civic responsibilities
  • be advocates for improving the sustainability of the environment
  • have a broad global understanding, with a high regard for human rights, equity and ethics

Generic Skills: Please refer to the Course Objectives.
Links to further information:

All subjects are taught by distance education, via a consortium of universities known as the Biostatistics Collaboration of Australia (BCA). For further details, see the BCA website:
This course is available to International students by distance only.

Mid year entry is available.

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