Graduate Certificate in Biostatistics

Course GC-BIOSTAT (2016)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2016.

This is a
New Generation course
, part of the
Melbourne Model
and is available from 2008
Year and Campus: 2016
Fees Information: Subject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date
Level: Graduate/Postgraduate
Duration & Credit Points: 50 credit points taken over 6 months


Professor John Carlin


Academic Programs Office
Melbourne School of Population and Global 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 Graduate Certificate in Biostatistics, students will usually have completed an introductory range of subjects that are required for the Graduate Diploma and Master of Biostatistics, and will have acquired an understanding of the principles of epidemiology and some aspects of biostatistics.

Learning Outcomes:

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:

Core Subjects

Students must complete the following CORE subject:

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

Elective Subjects

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

Study Period Commencement:
Credit Points:
Semester 1
Semester 1, Semester 2
Semester 1, Semester 2
Semester 1, Semester 2
Not offered in 2016
Entry Requirements:

1. In order to be considered for entry, applicants must have completed:

  • an undergraduate degree in a relevant discipline, such as statistics, mathematics, science, psychology, medicine, pharmacy, health sciences or economics, with a weighted average mark of at least H2B (70%); and
  • a demonstrated capacity for advanced mathematical work, indicated for example by a high level of achievement in high-school or undergraduate mathematics; and
  • a tertiary-level subject in statistics or biostatistics, or demonstrated equivalent prior knowledge of statistics at an introductory level.

Meeting these requirements does not guarantee selection.

2. In ranking applications, the Selection Committee will consider:

  • prior academic performance.

3. The Selection Committee may seek further information to clarify any aspect of an application in accordance with the Student Application and Selection Procedure.

4. Applicants are required to satisfy the university’s English language requirements for postgraduate courses. For those applicants seeking to meet these requirements by one of the standard tests approved by the Academic Board, performance band 6.5 is required.


  1. Students need to complete three specified subjects within the first 50 points of the program with a weighted average mark of at least H2B (70%) to be permitted to continue in the Postgraduate Diploma of Biostatistics or the Master of Biostatistics. The Postgraduate Certificate in Biostatistics is available as an exit award for students who complete 50 points of study but do not meet this hurdle requirement due to their subject selection or their average mark.
  2. Successful applicants with prior cognate study at tertiary level may receive up to 50 points of advanced standing (with or without credit) towards the Postgraduate Diploma in Biostatistics or the Master of Biostatistics.
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 course are articulated in the Course Description, Course Objectives and Generic Skills 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.

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


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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