Multiple Regression and Statistical Computing - Professional Development Course


The course will develop the knowledge and skills learnt in Introductory Biostatistics for situations where the linear relationship between a continuous outcome variable and several continuous or categorical predictor variables is being investigated.

It lays the foundation for more advanced biostatistical subjects such as Categorical Data Analysis (where the outcome variable is categorical) and Survival Analysis (where the outcome variable represents time until an event).

Topics covered include: simple and multiple linear regression; one-way analysis of variance to compare more than 2 groups; analysis of covariance to compare groups adjusting for confounders; testing for effect modification; calculating adjusted means; strategies for selecting the 'best' regression model; examination of residuals; regression to the mean; associated SAS programming.

Each topic is covered by a 1 hour statistics lecture, a 1 hour SAS lecture, a 1 hour SAS practical and a 1 hour statistics tutorial to discuss the interpretation of the results. Each fortnight there is an exercise on the material covered in the statistics lecture.

The SAS practical allows the necessary computing to answer the questions for the statistics tutorial the following week.

The assignments will involve practical analysis and interpretation of a data set and between 10% and 20% of the marks for each assignment are for the SAS computing program.

Course aims

At the end of this unit students will be able to:

  • Recognise when multiple linear regression techniques would be appropriate.
  • Interpret the results of a multiple regression analysis.
  • Understand the key concepts of confounding and effect modification, how to test for them and how to analyse data in their presence.
  • Use the principles of multiple regression to best analyse a set of data, depending on the research question.
  • Conduct a multiple regression analysis using the SAS software package.


Unit coordinator:
Dr Kevin McGeechan,
School of Public Health


Semester 2 - 2014

Application deadline

Semester 2 courses - 31 May
Late applications may be considered.

More information

Office for Teaching and Learning
Room 329, Level 3
Edward Ford Building (A27)
The University of Sydney
NSW 2006 Australia

Phone: +61 2 9351 4366