Study Biostatistics at the University of Sydney


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.

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, and
  • Tailor your study schedule around your lifestyle with advanced online learning and part time study.

Who should study this course?

For those who are interested in advanced training in the statistical analysis of health and medical data. Applicants must have a strong aptitude for advanced mathematics and have already passed an introductory course in statistics. The biostatistics program is available to all students regardless of their location. However, off-shore students are required to apply initially for the Graduate Diploma or Graduate Certificate before upgrading to the Masters. The upgrade is dependent on making suitable arrangements for supervision of the workplace project(s). 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.

To do one of the courses you should have:

  • a Bachelor degree in statistics, mathematics, science, psychology, medicine, pharmacy, economics, health sciences or other appropriate discipline from an approved university (or equivalent qualification)
  • a proven aptitude for advanced mathematical work, indicated for example by a high level of achievement in high school or undergraduate mathematics, and
  • already passed an introductory course in statistics, such as PUBH5018 Introductory Biostatistics, 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).

Graduate opportunities

The Biostatistics program will provide you with the knowledge and skills to obtain employment in a wide range of health organisations including pharmaceutical companies, clinical research organisations, academic institutions, government and non-government organisations such as the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, Bureau of Health Information and state departments of health. If you already work as a biostatistician, the Biostatistics program will enhance your career development opportunities.

Course Options

These courses are offered online and part-time only.

Professional Recognition / Accreditation

Statistical Society of Australia

The graduate diploma and masters program are accredited with the Statistical Society of Australia.

Unit of Study Information

  • A complete list of available units of study with their pre-requisites and co-requisites is here.
  • Recommended study schedules are available here.
  • Further information regarding the Biostatistics Research Project is here.

Meet our alumni


Master of Biostatistics, 2011

"Some of my colleagues had already completed this program and were very positive about it so I decided to look into the course. It was very well designed to cater to the needs of students from different backgrounds, specifically, to study biostatistics systematically. The subjects were delivered online which not only makes it possible for me to juggle work, study and family commitments, but it also gave me access to the best teaching staff across all of Australia.

The Master of Biostatistics provided me with the opportunity to fill gaps in my statistical knowledge and enhance my understanding of other topics. The subjects on epidemiology and public health were very enjoyable, practical and relevant to my work as a biostatistician. This course has significantly enhanced my career prospects and in the future I am keen to apply my statistical and research skills in a range of different areas and develop my career as a statistician and researcher.

I highly recommend the course to those interested in biostatistics, epidemiology, and public health."