University of Technology Sydney

96730 Fundamentals of Biostatistics

Warning: The information on this page is indicative. The subject outline for a particular session, location and mode of offering is the authoritative source of all information about the subject for that offering. Required texts, recommended texts and references in particular are likely to change. Students will be provided with a subject outline once they enrol in the subject.

Subject handbook information prior to 2022 is available in the Archives.

UTS: Health
Credit points: 3 cp

Subject level:


Result type: Grade and marks


The purpose of this subject is to provide students with fundamental concepts in biostatistics, an understanding of biostatistical reasoning and its application to research studies, and the ability to evaluate health care related practice and research output critically. This subject introduces statistical concepts of data presentation, data management, confidence intervals, sample size and power, descriptive statistics, and bivariate statistical analyses.

The subject does not focus on computing skills, but instead on the interpretation of research output and the appropriate use of analysis methods. On completion of this subject, students are able to select the correct statistical analysis tests appropriate to research questions and are able to contribute to study design by undertaking power and sample size calculations.

Subject learning objectives (SLOs)

Upon successful completion of this subject students should be able to:
A. Use basic biostatistical concepts and analytical techniques to determine the effectiveness and/or efficacy of health care interventions, practices, or services.
B. Compare and contrast different methods of data collection and statistical analysis.
C. Generate (using a statistical package) and interpret descriptive statistics and bivariate statistical analyses.
D. Determine the appropriate sample size and statistical power for a study design.

Course intended learning outcomes (CILOs)

This subject also contributes specifically to the following graduate attributes:

  • Critique, interpret and synthesise epidemiological outcomes and statistical findings at a superior level to inform the surveillance, management and prevention of disease and illness, and promotion of health for the complex issues inherent in public health (1.1)
  • Design and apply research methods to a variety of public health problems (1.2)

Teaching and learning strategies

This subject is delivered through weekly online learning activities over a period of six weeks. There is an expectation that students complete all online activities to get the most out of the subject. Students will be provided with engaging learning activities to deepen their understanding of biostatistical reasoning and its application relevant to health care and public health. Online activities will offer students with the opportunity to conduct statistical analyses, interpret the results, engage with statistical software, and critique statistical analysis results in published studies. Students are expected to work independently and to engage with other students and teachers online through discussion forums and other interactive activities such as weekly Zoom meetings.

Assessments are designed to complement the learning by providing students with the opportunity to practically apply and track their understanding of fundamental concepts and techniques relevant to biostatistics. Students will receive feedback from teaching staff in online discussion and activities and on assessment tasks.

Content (topics)

  • Data collection and presentation;
  • Creating and using datasets in SPSS;
  • Confidence intervals;
  • Sample size calculation;
  • Data analyses with t-tests, chi-squared test, Analysis of Variance (ANOVA), and correlation.


Assessment task 1: Online quizzes


The purpose of this assessment item is to determine how well students understand fundamental biostatistical concepts and to assess the student’s ability to interpret the statistical output and conduct basic statistical calculations.


This assessment task addresses subject learning objective(s):

A, B, C and D

This assessment task contributes to the development of graduate attribute(s):

1.1 and 1.2

Type: Quiz/test
Groupwork: Individual
Weight: 30%

10 multiple-choice questions in 30 minutes (per quiz)

Assessment task 2: Conducting biostatistical analyses (Case study #1)


The purpose of this assessment item is to determine how well students can apply their biostatistical knowledge to analyse ‘real world’ dataset(s) and interpret the analysis results.


This assessment task addresses subject learning objective(s):

A, B, C and D

This assessment task contributes to the development of graduate attribute(s):

1.1 and 1.2

Type: Case study
Groupwork: Individual
Weight: 70%

Not applicable

Required texts

Essential readings will be made available on Canvas.

Recommended texts

All recommended texts can be found in your reading list.

Other resources

UTS Student Centre
Building 10

Monday to Friday: 9am - 5pm
Tel: 1300 ASK UTS (1300 275 887)

Details for student centres:

For other resources/ information refer to the Faculty of Health website ( and Canvas at:

UTS Library
The Library has a wide range of resources, facilities and services to support you including textbooks, subject readings, health literature databases, workshops and bookable study rooms. There is also a team of librarians to help you with your questions available via online chat, phone and in person. W:, Facebook: utslibrary, Twitter: @utslibrary Tel: (02) 9514 3666.

Improve your academic and English language skills
Marks for all assessment tasks such as assignments and examinations are given not only for what you write but also for how you write. If you would like the opportunity to improve your academic and English language skills, make an appointment with the HELPS (Higher Education Language & Presentation Support) Service in Student Services.

HELPS (Higher Education Language & Presentation Support)
HELPS provides assistance with English language proficiency and academic language. Students who need to develop their written and/or spoken English should make use of the free services offered by HELPS, including academic language workshops, vacation intensive courses, drop-in consultations, individual appointments and Conversations@UTS ( HELPS staff are also available for drop-in consultations at the UTS Library. Phone (02) 9514 9733.

Please see for additional information on other resources provided to students by UTS.

The Accessibility and Financial Assistance Service
The Accessibility Service can support students with disabilities, medical or mental health conditions, including temporary injuries (e.g., broken limbs). The Accessibility Service works with Academic Liaison Officers in each Faculty to provide ‘reasonable adjustments’ such as exam provisions, assistive technology, requests and strategies for managing your studies alongside your health condition. If you’re unsure whether you need assistance, we recommend getting in touch early and we can provide advice on how our service can assist you. Make an appointment with an Accessibility Consultant (AC) on +61 2 9514 1177 or

The Financial Assistance Service can assist you with financial aspects of life at university, including Centrelink information, tax returns and budgeting, interest-free student loans and grants to assist with course-related costs. Check eligibility and apply online and make an appointment on +61 2 9514 1177 or