Mathematics Background for Biostatistics

Subject POPH90015 (2014)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2014.

Credit Points: 12.50
Level: 9 (Graduate/Postgraduate)
Dates & Locations:

This subject has the following teaching availabilities in 2014:

Semester 2, Parkville - Taught online/distance.
Pre-teaching Period Start not applicable
Teaching Period not applicable
Assessment Period End not applicable
Last date to Self-Enrol not applicable
Census Date not applicable
Last date to Withdraw without fail not applicable

Distance only

Timetable can be viewed here. For information about these dates, click here.
Time Commitment: Contact Hours: None
Total Time Commitment:

8-12 hours total study time per week





Recommended Background Knowledge:


Non Allowed Subjects:


Core Participation Requirements:

For the purposes of considering request for Reasonable Adjustments under the Disability Standards for Education (Cwth 2005), and Students Experiencing Academic Disadvantage Policy, academic requirements for this subject are articulated in the Subject Description, Subject Objectives, Generic Skills and Assessment Requirements of this entry.
The University is dedicated to provide support to those with special requirements. Further details on the disability support scheme can be found at the Disability Liaison Unit website.



Academic Programs Office
Melbourne School of Population and Global Health
Tel: +61 3 8344 9339
Fax: +61 3 8344 0824


Biostatistics Collaboration of Australia

Subject Overview:

Basic algebra and analysis; exponential functions; calculus; series, limits, approximations and expansions; matrices and numerical methods.

Learning Outcomes:

On completion of this unit students will be able to follow the mathematical demonstrations and proofs used in biostatistics at Masters degree level, and to understand the mathematics behind statistical methods introduced at that level. The intention is to allow students to concentrate on statistical concepts in subsequent units, and not be distracted by the mathematics employed.


Three written assignments to be submitted during Semester: Two worth 40% each covering calculus, and matrices and numerical methods (approx 12 hrs work each). One worth 20% covering functions (approx 8 hrs work)

Prescribed Texts:

1. Anton H, Bivens I, Davis S. Calculus Early Transcendentals 10th edition. Wiley 2012.

2. Anton, Howard. Elementary Linear Algebra. 10th edition, Wiley 2010.

Resources Provided to Students: Printed course notes and assignment material by mail, email, and WebCT Discussion groups.

Special Computer Requirements: Microsoft Excel or Stata statistical software.

Recommended Texts:

Healy, M.J.R. Matrices for Statistics, 2nd edition. Oxford University Press, 2000. (ISBN 978-0-19-850702-4)

Breadth Options:

This subject is not available as a breadth subject.

Fees Information: Subject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date
Generic Skills:

Independent problem solving, facility with abstract reasoning, clarity of technical expression

Links to further information:

This subject is not available in the Master of Public Health.

Related Course(s): Master of Biostatistics
Postgraduate Certificate in Biostatistics
Postgraduate Diploma in Biostatistics

Download PDF version.