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Master of Biostatistics

Discover biostatistics at the University of Sydney

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Overview

Biostatistics is the application of statistical techniques to scientific research in health-related fields, including medicine and public health. Biostatisticians play an essential role in designing research studies, managing and analysing data, interpreting the results, as well as developing new approaches and methods to analysing data.

Biostatistics can, for example, 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.

At the completion of this course, you will be qualified as a professional biostatistician.

Why study biostatistics with us?

  • First class teaching - Our biostatistics programs are offered in alliance with the Biostatistics Collaboration of Australia, a consortium of biostatistical experts from around Australia, with representatives from universities, government and the health industry. Our units of study are taught by experienced academic biostatisticians based in universities around Australia. The Collaboration has recently received the President's Award for Leadership in Statistics from the Statistical Society of Australia. 
  • Flexible study - You can tailor your study schedule around your lifestyle with online learning and part-time study.
  • In-depth knowledge and advanced methods - Learn how to design research studies in health and medicine, such as randomised controlled trials. Learn the theory of, as well as how to apply, standard and advanced state-of-art statistical methods used in biostatistics. Topics include data management, statistical computing, methods for analysing different types of data, including, continuous data, categorical data, survival or time-to-event data, longitudinal or correlated data, bioinformatics and genomics.
  • Accreditation - Our biostatistics programs are accredited with the Statistical Society of Australia.
  • Unique electives - We offers unique electives compared to other universities, such as how to analyse linked data and health economics.
  • Scholarships - We offer scholarship prizes, such as the Judy Simpson Biostatistics Scholarship.

Who should study this course?

Our biostatistics programs are designed for someone who:

  • has a degree from a relevant discipline (maths/statistics or a qualification in medicine, health or science)
  • has an aptitude for mathematics
  • has successfully completed an introductory course in statistics or biostatistics.

Subject areas

There are no specialisations available for this course.

Entry, fees, funding & how to apply

Depends on your qualification, citizenship status
The details on this page based on your selections are a guide only, and are subject to change.

Your fee

Scholarships

How to apply

What you'll study

The biostatistics program is offered at three award levels graduate certificate, graduate diploma and master's degree.  Completion of either the graduate certificate or graduate diploma programs can be used as credit towards the Master of Biostatistics degree.

The Master of Biostatistics is a three-year part-time degree, consisting of 72 credit points, including :

  • Core units PUBH5010 (semester 1) or BSTA5011 (semester 2), BSTA5001, BSTA5002, BSTA5004, BSTA5006, BSTA5007, BSTA5008,  BSTA5023, BSTA5009. One or more of these units may be waived, leaving room for elective units of study.
  • One or two project units BSTA5020, BSTA5021 and BSTA5022. Guidelines for the project are here.

The biostatistics units of study are predominantly delivered online. The only units of study which are not available online are:

  • PUBH5215 Introductory Analysis of Linked Data (5-day workshop)
  • PUBH5312 Health Economic Evaluation (on-line components and 4 non-consecutive workshop days)
  • The biostatistics research projects (BSTA5020, BSTA5021 or BSTA5022).

A complete list of available units of study with their pre-requisites and co-requisites is here.

Some suggested study schedules are available here.

Units of Study

Admission criteria

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.

As part of your application you will be required to submit a completed `Student Contact, Choice of Units of Study & Credits/Waivers form for the Biostatistics Collaboration of Australia (BCA), which is a supplementary form required in the admissions process. You will also need to provide a copy of your passport (or proof of residency), a copy of your bachelor degree testamur and your academic transcript.

Course options

Completion of either the graduate certificate or graduate diploma programs can be used as credit towards the Master of Biostatistics degree.

Related courses

The content in our biostatistics units of study are both theoretical and applied. If you would prefer to study biostatistics at an applied but less theoretical/mathematical level, you may wish to consider the following:

Professional accreditation

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

Career Pathways

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.

 

Meet our alumni

Ling
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."

Meet your teachers

 

Domestic students

Indicative Postgraduate Student Contribution Amount


The student contribution amount for a Commonwealth Supported Place is an indication only of the amount payable in Year 1 for a standard full time load of 48 credit points (1.0 EFTSL). The exact student contribution that you pay will depend on the calendar year in which you undertake your study, and the specific units of study in which you ultimately enrol. For further information about how to calculate your specific total student contribution, please refer to the University's Tuition Fees website.

Annual review and fee increases


Importantly, student contribution amounts are subject to annual review by the University, and will increase each year of your period of study (subject to a Commonwealth specified cap), effective at the start of each calendar year.

Indicative Postgraduate Domestic Tuition Fee


The tuition fee for a domestic postgraduate student is an indication only of the fees payable in Year 1 for a standard full time load of 48 credit points (1.0 EFTSL). Depending on the calendar year in which you undertake your study, and if your study load is more or less than the 1.0 EFTSL, your tuition fee will differ from the indicative amount.

Annual review and fee increase


Importantly, tuition fees are subject to annual review by the University, and will increase each year of your period of study, effective at the start of each calendar year.

Additional incidental costs


For some courses there are incidental costs additional to the student contribution and/or course fee. Some of these incidental costs are significant, for example, course-specific materials, tools, protected clothing and equipment. Further information about these costs is available from https://sydney.edu.au/students/materials-and-equipment.html.

Visa/MasterCard surcharge


Please note that a surcharge of 1.53% will apply for payments made by Visa or MasterCard. The surcharge is subject to review and may change. Information about payment methods and the surcharge is set out at: http://sydney.edu.au/study/finances-fees-costs/fees-and-loans/paying-your-fees.html.

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 so that they can provide you with specific and up to date information about fees.

International students

Indicative International Tuition Fees for Postgraduate Students


The tuition fee for international postgraduate students is an indication only of the fees payable in Year 1 for a standard full time load of 48 credit points (1.0 EFTSL). Depending on the calendar year in which you undertake your study, and if your study load is more or less than the 1.0 EFTSL, your tuition fee will differ from the indicative amount.

Annual review and fee increases


Importantly, tuition fees are subject to annual review, and will increase each year of your period of study, effective at the start of each calendar year.

Additional incidental costs and health insurance


For some courses there are incidental costs additional to the tuition fees. Some of these incidental costs are significant, for example, course-specific materials, tools, protective clothing, and equipment. Further information about these costs is available from https://sydney.edu.au/students/materials-and-equipment.html. 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 a government approved provider of the Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC) scheme. This is a requirement of the Australian Government, unless otherwise exempted by the Government. Further information is available from https://sydney.edu.au/study/finances-fees-costs/living-costs/health-insurance.html.

Visa/MasterCard surcharge


Please note that a surcharge of 1.53% will apply for payments made by Visa or MasterCard. The surcharge is subject to review and may change. Information about payment methods and the surcharge is set out at: http://sydney.edu.au/study/finances-fees-costs/fees-and-loans/paying-your-fees.html.

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 so that they can provide you with specific and up to date information about fees.

To help you understand common terms that we use at the University, we offer an online glossary.