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Master of Biostatistics


Faculty of Science and Engineering
Master of Biostatistics (MBioStat)
Admission Requirement:
• Australian level 7 bachelor's qualification or recognised equivalent in relevant field
• Successful completion of an introductory unit in statistics
• Proven aptitude for advanced mathematics
English Language Proficiency:
IELTS of 6.5 overall with minimum 6.0 in each band, or equivalent
Study Mode:
Attendance Mode:
Candidature Length:
Part-time: 3 years
External — Session 1 (February)
External — Session 2 (July)
Off-Shore — Session 1 (February)
Off-Shore — Session 2 (July)
Volume of Learning:
Equivalent to 1.5 years
General requirements:
Minimum number of credit point at 800 level or above 48
Completion of other specific minimum requirements as set out below

In order to graduate students must ensure that they have satisfied all of the general requirements of the award.

Specific minimum requirements:

Credit points

800 level

Data Management and Statistical Computing (4)
Design of Randomised Controlled Trials (4)
Linear Models (4)
Categorical Data and Generalised Linear Models (4)
Biostatistics Research Project Part A (4)
Survival Analysis (4)
24cp from
Epidemiology (4)
Mathematical Background for Biostatistics (4)
Health Indicators and Health Surveys (4)
Principles of Statistical Inference (4)
Clinical Biostatistics (4)
Bioinformatics (4)
Longitudinal and Correlated Data (4)
Bayesian Statistical Methods (4)
Biostatistics Research Project Part B (4)
Probability and Distribution Theory (4)


Program Learning Outcomes and Additional Information
AQF Level Level 9 Masters by Coursework Degree
CRICOS Code Distance
Overview and Aims of the Program Biostatistics is the discipline that underpins the use of statistical methods in health and medical research. Its foundation is the mathematics of variability and it encompasses the science of designing quantitative research studies and other data collections, managing and analysing data, and interpreting the results. Biostatisticians play essential roles in designing studies, using statistics to analyse data and creating methods to solve research problems. The Master of Biostatistics program provides a sound mathematically-based grounding in biostatistical methods, with a strong emphasis on applications in all areas of health and medical research. It equips graduates with the knowledge and skills for proper scientific analysis and evaluation of health-related evidence.
Graduate Capabilities

The Graduate Capabilities Framework articulates the fundamentals that underpin all of Macquarie’s academic programs. It expresses these as follows:

Cognitive capabilities
(K) discipline specific knowledge and skills
(T) critical, analytical and integrative thinking
(P) problem solving and research capability
(I) creative and innovative

Interpersonal or social capabilities
(C) effective communication
(E) engaged and ethical local and global citizens
(A) socially and environmentally active and responsible

Personal capabilities
(J) capable of professional and personal judgement and initiative
(L) commitment to continuous learning

Program Learning Outcomes By the end of this program it is anticipated you should be able to:

1. demonstrate a sound understanding of epidemiological study design and the theory and application of the major areas of biostatistics relevant to professional practice (K)
2. identify the relevant statistical issues in practical problems in medical/health settings and to propose and implement an appropriate statistical design and/or analysis methodology (K, T, P, J)
3. put into practice professional codes of conduct and ethical standards such as those of the Statistical Society of Australia (E)
4. read methodological papers in the biostatistical literature and apply the methods described therein to practical problems (K, T, P).

5. employ skills in complex statistical analyses to handle a variety of practical problems using modern statistical techniques and software (K, T, P)
6. collect and manage complex data, including design relevant databases, apply quality control procedures and handle data in an ethical manner (K, T, P, E)
7. apply highly-developed problem solving skills in biostatistics, characterised by flexibility of approach (K, T, P, J)
8. communicate about biostatistical issues with clinical/health personnel and present statistical results in a format suitable for publication in health-related journals or professional reports (C, E, J).
Learning and Teaching Methods The Biostatistics program is based on external delivery, with the exception of the Biostatistics Research Project unit. Unit delivery comprises study guides, which are delivered either electronically or via hard copy, and intensive web-based support using a virtual tutorial environment. Material is organised into modules for self-study, generally of two or three weeks’ duration, at the end of which exercises or case studies are attempted. Discussion boards are used for interactive learning in all units. These are enhanced by video lectures and clips to varying extents, with mathematical software supplementing use of traditional techniques of calculus and matrix algebra, for example. The mode of external delivery makes the program accessible to clinicians and other professionals, for whom on-campus study would be infeasible. The enhancement of traditional learning with intensive online support and video clips substantially enriches the distance learning and counteracts the isolation that external students may experience. In the Biostatistics Research Project, students gain experience in the application of knowledge and skills learnt during the coursework of the program, by undertaking a practical research project under the guidance of a supervisor. Students are required to have access to a computer capable of running statistical software, and reliable internet access.
Assessment Assessment methods include problem solving, application of biostatistical methods using statistical software, and producing biostatistical reports. Assessment consists of assignments, and in some cases determining solutions to selected exercises and/or case studies. Worked solutions are posted online, and individual feedback is provided by written comments on the marked assignments. Biostatistical analysis and scientific communication are important aspects of the program and students will gain experience in these via the assessment tasks. In the Biostatistics Research Project these skills are put into practice via a real-life analysis.
Recognition of Prior Learning

Macquarie University may recognise prior formal, informal and non-formal learning for the purpose of granting credit towards, or admission into, a program. The recognition of these forms of learning is enabled by the University’s Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) Policy (see and its associated Procedures and Guidelines. The RPL pages contain information on how to apply, links to registers, and the approval processes for recognising prior learning for entry or credit. 

Domestic Students
For undergraduate RPL information visit
For domestic postgraduate RPL information visit

International Students
For RPL information visit

Support for Learning

Macquarie University aspires to be an inclusive and supportive community of learners where all students are given the opportunity to meet their academic and personal goals. The University offers a comprehensive range of free and accessible student support services which include academic advice, counselling and psychological services, advocacy services and welfare advice, careers and employment, disability services and academic skills workshops amongst others. There is also a bulk billing medical service located on campus.

Further information can be found at

Campus Wellbeing contact details:
Phone: +61 2 9850 7497

Program Standards and Quality

The program is subject to an ongoing comprehensive process of quality review in accordance with a pre-determined schedule that complies with the Higher Education Standards Framework. The review is overseen by Macquarie University's peak academic governance body, the Academic Senate and takes into account feedback received from students, staff and external stakeholders.

Graduate Destinations and Employability There is an ongoing shortage of highly skilled biostatisticians in Australia and internationally. This program aims to fill a serious gap between programs in public health and epidemiology (which train users of biostatistical methods, not professional biostatisticians), and general statistics courses (which do not cater to the specialised needs of health research). The program provides a focused curriculum with a commitment to produce well-trained professional biostatisticians, and upgrade the skills of clinical researchers, to enable them to competently conduct evidence-based research.

Graduates of the program comprise research fellows within University research centres; clinicians conducting research studies; biostatisticians within research teams (in e.g. Universities, clinical research organisations, cancer councils, pharmaceutical companies); and academic biostatisticians.
Assessment Regulations

This program is subject to Macquarie University regulations, including but not limited to those specified in the Assessment Policy, Academic Honesty Policy, the Final Examination Policy and relevant University Rules. For all approved University policies, procedures, guidelines and schedules visit

Accreditation This is an Australian Qualifications Framework (AQF) accredited qualification.
The Master of Biostatistics program is accredited by the Statistical Society of Australia (SSAI).
SSAI accreditation gives Master of Biostatistics graduates automatic status as a Graduate Statistician when they apply to the Society for accreditation.

2017 Unit Information

When offered:
S1 Day
Permission of Executive Dean of Faculty
HSC Chinese, CHN113, CHN148