This unit introduces students to the fundamental concepts of biostatistics and fundamental statistical methods used in public health research. Focusing on global nutrition and active living students learn how to apply statistical methods to research questions, how to use statistical software to perform a range of statistical analyses and how to appraise statistical methods described and applied in the public health literature.

Unit details

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Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this unit, students will be able to:
  1. Elaborate fundamental concepts in biostatistics in public health emphasizing the disciplines of nutrition and active living;  
  2. Appraise the commonly used methods of analysis of data and exhibit specialised skills in handling data sets;  
  3. Apply appropriate statistical methods to the design of a public health research study;  
  4. Perform basic statistical analyses and present findings in a clear, concise and logical manner accessible to specialist and non-specialist audiences; and  
  5. Critically evaluate statistical methods described and applied in global nutrition and active living literature in order to substantiate their potential contribution to the broader public health evidence-base.  


Assessment type Description Grade
Test Quizzes throughout unit (1,500 words equivalent) 20%
Assignment Written assignment (2,000 words) 30%
Report Public health data analysis and report (2,500 words) 50%

Required reading

Basic biostatistics: Statistics for public health practice 2nd ed.
Gerstman, B.B., (2015)
Burlington, MA: Jones & Bartlett Learning

Where to next?

As part of a course

This unit is studied as part of the following courses. Refer to the course page for information on how to apply for the course.

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