Master of Biostatistics
The information on this page applies to future students. Current students should refer to their faculty handbooks for course information.
Biostatistics is the application of statistical techniques to scientific research in health-related fields, including medicine and public health. Biostatisticians play essential roles in designing studies, analysing data and creating methods to solve research problems. Biostatistics can be used to show the most effective treatment, discover or isolate factors in the spread of diseases, or determine risk factors in genetic inheritance and mutation.
The Biostatistics program is offered at three award levels – graduate certificate, graduate diploma and master’s degree. It is only available part-time and fully online.
Applicants must have a proven strong aptitude for advanced mathematics and must have already passed an introductory course in statistics. You should upload a completed Student Contact, Choice of Units of Study & Credits/Waivers form with your application.
Why study Biostatistics with us?
- Study in areas including epidemiology, design of randomised controlled trials, generalised linear models, longitudinal and correlated data analysis and survival analysis.
- Learn a more sophisticated knowledge of statistics in health-related fields.
- Learn a more thorough understanding of statistical applications in health and medicine.
- Tailor your study schedule around your lifestyle with advanced online learning and part time study.
The Master of Biostatistics consists of 72 credit points (cp), including at least nine core units of study (54cp) and one or two workplace project units (6-12cp) and one or two elective units (6-12cp) offered by the course, subject to meeting prior learning requirements and timetabling. The Master of Biostatistics is a three-year part-time degree. The course is delivered predominantly via distance learning (electronically and by mail) and is taught by a group of senior academic biostatisticians based in universities around Australia.
The only units of study not available via distance learning are the elective, PUBH5215 Introductory Analysis of Linked Data and the workplace project, for which study must be supervised by a biostatistician approved by the University of Sydney.
Further course information
All students complete a 6 or 12 credit point workplace project portfolio as the capstone experience.
The aim of these units of study is to give students practical experience, usually in the workplace, in the application of knowledge and skills learnt throughout the degree. Students submit a portfolio comprising a preface and one or two project reports.
Course outcomes and further study
The Master of Biostatistics will provide you with advanced biostatistical training ensuring that you are well placed to obtain employment in a wide range of health, pharmaceutical, university, government and non-government organisations.
If you are already working as a biostatistician, then study at postgraduate level will enhance your career development opportunities. The Master of Biostatistics degree is accredited by the Statistical Society of Australia.
Outstanding graduates may be eligible to pursue a higher degree by research in the courses of Doctor of Philosophy and Master of Philosophy offered by Sydney Medical School.
Other study options
Sydney Medical School offers a wide range of short professional development courses for health professionals through its clinical schools, disciplines and associated research institutes.
Many of the courses offered are pre-accredited for Continuing Medical Education (CME) points, and other courses may be awarded CME points on request to your relevant association or professional body. For further information and a list of courses available please see the Sydney Medical School website.
A successful applicant for admission to the Master of Biostatistics will:
(a) hold a bachelor’s degree in statistics, mathematics, science, psychology, medicine, pharmacy, economics, health sciences or other appropriate discipline from the University of Sydney or equivalent qualification; and
(b) have a proven aptitude for advanced mathematical work - indicated, for example, by a high level of achievement in high school or undergraduate mathematics; and
(c) have already passed an introductory course in statistics covering, at least, the estimation of means and proportions with confidence intervals, and the comparison of means and proportions between two groups using hypothesis tests (i.e. t-tests and chi-squared tests for 2x2 tables). Note that this course must be separately and formally assessed, and that the amount and level of statistics covered in the usual medical degree is not sufficient to meet this criterion.
In exceptional circumstances the dean may admit applicants without this qualification who, in the opinion of the school, have qualifications and evidence of experience and achievement sufficient to successfully undertake the award.
How to apply
How to apply
Applications are made directly to the University and assessed by the Faculty.
How to apply
Overseas applicants may apply directly to the University. As an off-shore international student, you will be studying for your degree in your own country. It is not possible to complete these courses as an international student in Australia unless you have a work visa.
Off-shore international students are not accepted directly into the Masters degree, but may apply for the Graduate Diploma. You may then upgrade to the Masters when eligible if suitable arrangements can be made for supervision of the workplace project(s).
Postgraduate Domestic Tuition Fee
This 2016, tuition fee for a domestic postgraduate student represents the fee that is payable by you in the calendar year you commence your course, commencing in 2015 for a standard annual full time load of 48 credit points (1.0 EFTSL). If your study load is more or less than the 1.0 EFTSL your fee will differ.
Annual review for postgraduate domestic tuition fee
Importantly, tuition fees are subject to annual review by the University, and are likely to increase each year of your period of study, effective at the start of each calendar year.
Additional incidental fees
For some courses there are incidental fees additional to the student contribution and/or course fee. Some of those fees are significant, for example, faculty-specific materials, tools, protected clothing and equipment. For further information about these additional incidental fees, please visit the University's Future Students' website.
Potential for inaccuracy
Whilst every reasonable effort has been made to include correct and up to date information in this prospectus, you are also advised to consult directly with the Student Centre for domestic students or the International Office for international students so that they can provide you with specific and up to date information about those fees.
The academic requirements that are displayed are applicable to currently available courses only, and are updated annually in October and may be changed without notice. The Faculty Handbook and the University of Sydney Calendar are the official legal source of information relating to study at the University of Sydney, and you are referred to those documents
Please note that if you are classified by the University as a Research Training Scheme student in accordance with the Other Grants Guidelines (Research) 2010, you will be exempt from the payment of any SCA or tuition fees for courses undertaken as part of a Research Masters degree and Research Doctoral degree. More information about your eligibility for this Scheme is available here.
International tuition fees for postgraduate students
This 2016, tuition fee for international postgraduate students represents the fees that are payable by you in the calendar year you commence your course, commencing in 2016, for a standard annual full time load of 48 credit points (1.0 EFTSL). If your study load is more or less than the 1.0 EFTSL your fee will differ.
Importantly, tuition fees are subject to annual review, and are likely to increase each year of your period of study, effective at the start of each calendar year.
Additional incidental fees and health insurance
For some courses there are incidental fees additional to the tuition fees. Some of those fees are significant, for example, faculty-specific materials, tools, protected clothing, and equipment. The University's Future Students' webpage has further information about these additional incidental fees for postgraduate coursework students and postgraduate research students.
In addition to the fees indicated here for the course of study, International Students studying on an Australian Student Visa must have appropriate health insurance for the duration of their studies on a Student Visa through an approved provider of the Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC) scheme. This is a requirement of the Australian Government, unless otherwise exempted by the Government.
Potential for inaccuracy
Whilst every reasonable effort has been made to include correct and up to date information here, you are also advised to consult directly with the Student Centre for domestic students or the International Office for international students so that they can provide you with specific and up to date information about those fees.