Master of Medical Statistics

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Overview

The University of Newcastle’s Master of Medical Statistics will enhance your understanding of statistical methods and how to apply it to problem solving in professional practice.

This postgraduate qualification offers an internationally recognised program that provides in-depth knowledge and state of the art statistical methods for the analysis of medical data.

Qualified medical statisticians remain in high demand throughout the world. Graduates of this program have excelled in a variety of academic and private sector positions.

Our advanced online learning system provides students with the flexibility and support to study anytime, anywhere to balance work, life and study. All courses are taught by an outstanding faculty renown for superb teaching, cutting-edge research, and years of hands-on experience in the field. Advanced students in the master degree program also have the opportunity to apply for and roll-over into a Ph.D. degree in Clinical Epidemiology and Medical Statistics at UON.

Explore this page to discover why the Master of Medical Statistics may be the perfect match for you, what you will study and the career opportunities it can provide you.

Domestic Student Program and Fee Summary
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Note: This Program and Fee Summary is intended to provide an overview of the Program Requirements. It is the prospective student’s responsibility to investigate the Program and Enrolment Terms and Conditions carefully prior to applying.

Program Intake
  • Semester 1
  • Semester 2
Location

Online

Tuition Fees
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Note: Fees are indicative and may be subject to annual increase. Overall program fee may vary based on course selection.

Please click here to view your indicative one year program fees.

Number of Courses
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Note: 1 course is equal to 10 units of study.

12

Program Code

10135

View full program details

International Student Program and Fee Summary
?

Note: This Program and Fee Summary is intended to provide an overview of the Program Requirements. It is the prospective student’s responsibility to investigate the Program and Enrolment Terms and Conditions carefully prior to applying.

Program Intake
  • Semester 1
  • Semester 2
Location

Online

Tuition Fees
?

Note: Fees are indicative and may be subject to annual increase. Overall program fee may vary based on course selection.

Please click here to view the indicative one year program fees.

Number of Courses
?

Note: 1 course is equal to 10 units of study.

12
Program Code

10135

View full program details

Is It For You?

The Medical Statistics program is ideal for students with training in various scientific and clinical fields (e.g., bioinformatics, biology, economy, engineering, epidemiology, genetics, health sciences, mathematics, medicine, nursing, pharmacology, physics, psychology, public health, statistics) who upon graduation will have the applied skills and knowledge to follow careers in the pharmaceutical industry, clinical research organisations, government, and academic medical centres.  

What's new with Medical Statistics

master-med-stats-whats-new-2017

Many exciting changes to our discipline have occurred since the first student received their Master Degree in Medical Statistics at UON in 1985. The Medical Statistics Master degree program (and Diploma) has undertaken a comprehensive process to redesign its course content. These changes include advances in computational statistics, “Big-Data” analysis, statistical genetics, and other evolving statistical methods for analysing complex data from clinical trials and medical research.

Students will have the flexibility to tailor their post graduate degrees to their career schedules and individual needs. By having access to world class clinicians and researchers from facilities such as the Hunter Medical Research Institute and the John Hunter Hospital, students also will have the opportunity through their workplace project to gain real world experience, which is highly sought after by employers. 

What Will You Study

The University of Newcastle's Master of Medical Statistics offers a practical and rigorous education preparing you for a career as a qualified medical statistician.

There are nine compulsory and three directed courses to complete as part of the Master’s program. Students also may opt for a Graduate Diploma which consists of eight of the nine compulsory courses.

The compulsory courses include:

  • Computational Statistics/Database Management using SAS Software (BIOS6010) – state of the art overview of methods for managing and analysing “Big-Data” and other research datasets.
  • Mathematics of Applied Statistics (BIOS6040) – review of important mathematical concepts and techniques which underlie statistics.
  • Statistical Inference (BIOS6050) – introduction to basic statistical principles such as, variance, estimation, confidence intervals, Type I & II errors and p-values.
  • Clinical Trial Design (BIOS6061) – practical hands on presentation of statistical methods in the design and analysis of clinical trials.
  • Linear Regression Modelling (BIOS6070) – study of linear modelling and its applications to medicine with emphasis on correct implementation, interpretation and scrutiny of results.
  • Foundations of Probability Theory (BIOS6170) – covers the basics of probability theory and calculus-based methods used in medical statistics.
  • Epidemiology A (EPID6420) – an introduction to the basic concepts of epidemiology, studying the distribution and determinants of disease in specific populations.
  • Categorical Data Analysis and Generalised Linear Models (BIOS6940) – study of contingency tables and a range of generalised linear models appropriate to binary, count, nominal, ordinal and time-to-event response variables.
  • Applied Survival and Lifetime Data Analysis (BIOS6030) – presents the fundamental concepts of time-to-event data analysis such as censoring, truncation, survival distributions, hazard functions and partial likelihood estimation techniques.

The directed courses include:

  • Advanced Clinical Trials and Prospective Observational Studies (BIOS6141) – introduces more advanced concepts in designing and analysing clinical trials and prospective observational studies.
  • Clinical Statistics for Medical Researchers (BIOS6100) –presents various applied methods commonly used in the field of clinical and medical statistics. Emphasis is placed on diagnostic assessment tools and screening tests.
  • Multivariate Methods in Medical Research and Health Surveys (BIOS6080) – an overview of basic multivariate methods used in medical statistics and complex health surveys.
  • Genetic Statistics and Bioinformatics (BIOS6111) – provides an understanding of the biological and molecular theory relevant to understanding DNA variation, its inheritance, and relation with measurable traits in humans. A major emphasis is on manipulating and analysing genetic data and correctly interpreting results.
  • Simulation Methods in Medical Statistics (BIOS6950) – introduces simulation techniques to solve complex statistical problems in medical research.
  • Bayesian Methods for Medical Statistics (BIOS6130) – covers the principles of prior and posterior distributions, Bayes' rule for statistical inference, conjugate and non-conjugate priors, the Gibbs sampler and hierarchical linear models from a Bayesian perspective.
  • Applied Longitudinal Analysis (BIOS6990) – provides students with the understanding and skills to undertake statistical analysis of longitudinal data.
  • Workplace Project A / B (BIOS6150/BIOS6160) – provides students with experience as an applied medical statistician working with an international team of clinicians and researchers. They will apply the knowledge and skills gained during their coursework to a real life research project.

Workplace Project

Project summary

Work Placement Projects will involve statistical examination of a particular research question in an actual research project. Before commencing the Work Placement Project, students will require approval of their project by an academic involved with the Masters of Medical Statistics. A short (~1 page) description of the research question, data and general statistical methods will suffice.

Supervision

To undertake this course, students will require a primary (statistical) advisor. The primary advisor could be a member of the UON Medical Statistics Faculty, or a statistician at the student’s own University/Institution. The role of the advisor is to provide advice on the initial proposal, potentially provide access to relevant data and provide statistical advice to students as they undertake analyses related to the project.

In addition to their primary advisor, students may have a content advisor (optional). This may be a clinician or public health specialist working in the student’s chosen field who may provide access to data and help to guide the research question. This advisor may also help the student develop their report so it is suitable for publication in a relevant specialist journal.

Ethical considerations

Students are responsible for complying with ethics and data handling requirements specified by their organisation and the University of Newcastle.

Assessment

Assessment will be on the basis of a submitted report. This report should follow the typical structure for a peer-reviewed journal article, containing the following sections: Abstract, Introduction, Methods, Results, Discussion, References. The student may wish to format their report in the style required for a particular specialist journal.

The word limit is flexible, with a guide of 3000 – 8000 words. Although it is formatted as a journal article, the report should provide a higher level of detail in the methods and results sections than a typical published paper. In particular, students should describe all methods in appropriate detail to enable assessors to understand the methods employed, and the student’s grasp of them. The results should also be comprehensively described, including details of model diagnostics and any approaches taken to address diagnostic issues. There is no limit on the number of tables and figures.

The Introduction should provide a brief, appropriate background and context for the research question and the discussion should interpret the results and attempt to place them in the context of some relevant, recent literature.

Grading

The report will be assessed and graded via the standard UON grading system. 

Faculty

Core

Jimmy Efird, PhD (Chairperson)

Elizabeth Holliday, PhD

Daniel Barker, PhDc.

Natasha Weaver, PhD

Letter from the Chairperson

We are very excited about the innovations that we are introducing into the Medical Statistics programme at UON. Many of these new features will greatly enhance the job-ready skills of students as they enter a workforce seeking graduates with “Big-Data” and computational statistics skills.  We have recently hired new faculty with cutting-edge experience that will transform the field of medical statistics and personalised medicine. Looking forward, new content and courses will be added to our programme. These innovations, for example, will focus on statistical graphics, parallel processing, causal modelling, mediation, Mendelian randomisation, time-varying exposures, marginal structural models, pattern mixture models, step-wedge designs, gatekeeper strategies, predictive modelling/regression trees, and multiple imputation.

Since the first class in 1985, our programme has a long and successful track record of graduating well-trained students in the field of Medical Statistics.  In addition to receiving a solid theoretic foundation, students have the opportunity to gain valuable hands-on experience working with a team of top-notch researchers. Through their WorkPlace projects, students are able to learn from award-winning scientists, clinicians, and medical practitioners, and apply their statistical training to a set of real-world applications.

An important feature of the Medical Statistics Programme at UON is course flexibility.  In our newly redesigned programme, students will have more curriculum choices to design a course of study that meets their individual needs and time schedule.  With approval from their academic advisors, students also are able to enrol in and receive credit for directed courses taken in allied disciplines such as Engineering, Public Health, Physics, Economy/Business, Mathematics/Statistics, Biochemistry, and Psychology.

On behalf of our new and ongoing faculty, we look forward to working with you throughout your school term and beyond. Our goal is to support your on-time completion of the Medical Statistics programme and to provide an enriched course of study that will benefit your ongoing and future career needs.

Please feel free to email me at any time regarding any questions that you may have about the Medical Statistics programme (jimmy.efird@newcastle.edu.au).

 

Thank you,

Centre for Clinical Epidemiology and Biostatistics Australia logo

Dr. Jimmy T. Efird, PhD (Stanford, 2003)
Chairperson, Medical Statistics
Editor-in-Chief, Cancer Informatics
Associate Editor-in-Chief, Bioinformatics and Biology Insights
Co-Editor-in-Chief, Journal of Medical Statistics and Informatics
Senior Editor, Journal of Molecular Epidemiology
Specialty Chief Editor, Frontiers in Epidemiology
i10-index=89; h-index=43, Citations=7,200

Career Opportunities

A study from the McKinsey Global Institute reports that there is a significant shortage of people with statistical and predictive analytic skills necessary to handle the “Big-Data” needs of the healthcare and medical fields. This shortage of well-trained medical statisticians is highlighted in a robust job market with median salaries exceeding AU$160,000 for a master level medical statistician and AU$200,000 for an entry-level PhD candidate. While popular in the United Kingdom and the United States, the Master of Medical Statistics program offered by the UON is the only of its kind in Australia.  

Related Programs

Get Started

Applying to the University of Newcastle has never been easier! For most programs, you can complete an easy, online application form. Applying only takes around 10 minutes, and there is no fee for direct applications. You can upload all of your certified supporting documentation online. Below is an overview of what is required. You should prepare any required documentation before commencing the online application. If you have questions about the application process or the requirements for your program, please contact us. When you are ready, begin your application. 

The University of Newcastle recognises the value of informal learning gained through professional experience. Admission to the Master of Medical Statistics program is available to applicants who can demonstrate a minimum of a three year undergraduate degree in the field of mathematics, statistics, science, economics, medicine, pharmacy, psychology or other areas with strong mathematics/statistics content.

Don’t have the required entry criteria for the Master of Medical Statistics? You may be eligible for admission into the Graduate Diploma in Medical Statistics. The Graduate Diploma is 8 courses and is a pathway into the Master. Once you have completed the Graduate Diploma you can apply for the Master of Medical Statistics and seek credit for the 8 courses you have already completed. 

For information regarding the Graduate Diploma in Medical Statistics, please visit the program page.

If you do not have a University of Newcastle Student Identification number, or wish to include details of studies completed at another institution, you may also be required to submit the following:

Identification Documents

If you do not already have a University of Newcastle Student Number, you must provide 100 points of ID. You must supply either a copy of your passport, birth certificate or you citizenship certificate as part of your 100 points.

70 Points Passport
Birth Certificate (not extract)
Citizenship Certificate
40 Points Current Australian Drivers Licence
Student Identification card issued by an educational institution
Pension or Government Health Care Card or Public Service ID Card
Government Issued Licence (eg boat, pilot)
University staff photo identification card
35 Points Letter from a current employer * Must be on official company letterhead and contain both the employer and employee’s signatures and the name and address of the employee
25 Points Medicare card / Credit card
Financial institution cash card or passbook
Council rates notice
Electricity, gas or telephone bill
2 Tax assessment notice
Foreign Driver's Licence
Membership card (e.g. club, union, trade/professional body, library, video library)
Rental receipt or statement from landlord or real estate agent
Marriage certificate
Divorce decree
Name and address verified from electoral role
Deed Poll registered with the relevant authority

Citizenship and Visa Details

Applicants who were born overseas and are now residing in Australia will need to provide details of their citizenship, residency and visa details.

  • If you were born overseas and have gained Australian citizenship, you will need to provide a certified copy of your Australian passport or citizenship certificate.
  • If you were born overseas and currently hold an Australian visa, you need to confirm your details of your visa type/class, and provide a copy of your visa. Depending on how your visa was issued, you may provide a copy of the page from your passport showing the visa stamp, or a copy of the Department of Immigration confirmation of your electronic visa. If you do not have access to either of these documents, please include a copy of your passport.

Applicants who were born overseas and are now residing in Australia will need to provide details of their citizenship, residency and visa details.

  • If you were born overseas and have gained Australian citizenship, you will need to provide a certified copy of your Australian passport or citizenship certificate.
  • If you were born overseas and currently hold an Australian visa, you need to confirm your details of your visa type/class, and provide a copy of your visa. Depending on how your visa was issued, you may provide a copy of the page from your passport showing the visa stamp, or a copy of the Department of Immigration confirmation of your electronic visa. If you do not have access to either of these documents, please include a copy of your passport.

Educational Qualifications

If you are applying for admission on the basis of studies completed at an institution other than the University of Newcastle, you will need to provide certified copies of official transcripts.

For each qualification that you list on your application, you must provide a certified copy of your transcript.

Overseas educational qualifications will be assessed for equivalence according to standards provided by the National Office of Overseas Skills Recognition.

Evidence of English Proficiency

All applicants, whether domestic or international, for admission to any University of Newcastle program must provide evidence that their English language ability meets the minimum requirements for admission. Applicants should review the University of Newcastle English Proficiency Policy

Typically, applicants will provide certified copies of one of the following documents:

  • International English Language Testing System (IELTS) or Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) results.
  • Evidence of previous studies undertaken overseas in an English Speaking country
  • Evidence of previous studies undertaken in English in a non-English speaking country, and confirmation from institution that studies were conducted and examined solely in the English language.

If you are not able to provide these documents, please provide details of any employment undertaken in an English speaking environment. Your application will be reviewed and we contact you regarding your options for demonstrating English proficiency.

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Courses and Details

Program Code 10135
Graduate Level Postgraduate Coursework
Locations
  • Online
Contributing Schools and Faculties
Admission Instructions:

How to apply as a:

Program Award Rules and Schedules
Mode of delivery Combination of Online and Face to Face + Online
Program Plans

Description

Statistics is one of the essential requirements for high quality medical research, and is vital to public health research. This program is designed to provide in depth knowledge in the application of statistical methods to the analysis of health related data. Graduates will develop a strong capacity to work effectively as integral members of a collaborative team to investigate problems in health and medicine.

Admission Requirements

Minimum of a three year undergraduate degree in the field of mathematics, statistics, science, economics, medicine, pharmacy, psychology or other areas with strong mathematics/statistics content.

Minimum English Language Proficiency Requirements

Applicants who do not speak English as a first language must demonstrate that they meet the University's English proficiency requirement. Further information regarding English language proficiency requirements can be found at the English Language Proficiency for Admission Policy here.

Requirements and Structure

The program requires completion of 120 units of coursework, consisting of 90 units of Core Courses and 30 units of Directed Courses (including either BIOS6150 or BIOS6160).

Students with an undergraduate degree in Mathematics or Statistics may be granted an exemption from BIOS6040 Mathematics of Applied Statistics. If this exemption is granted then students will be required to take 10 units from the following list of courses:

  • BIOS6080 Multivariate Methods in Medical Research and Health Surveys
  • BIOS6100 Clinical Statistics for Medical Researchers
  • BIOS6111 Genetic Statistics and Bioinformatics
  • BIOS6130 Bayesian Methods for Medical Statistics
  • BIOS6141 Advanced Clinical Trials and Prospective Observational Studies
  • BIOS6990 Applied Longitudinal Analysis

Students considering undertaking the Medical Statistics programs must discuss course options with the Program Convenor as there are some combinations of courses which are not permitted.

Course Information

Core Courses

Complete the following core courses to fulfil the requirements of this program.

Code Name Availability Units
BIOS6010 Computational Statistics/Database Management using SAS Software Semester 2 - 2017 (DIST_CAL) 10 units
BIOS6030 Applied Survival Analysis and Lifetime Data Analysis Semester 1 - 2017 (DIST_CAL)
Semester 2 - 2017 (GradSchool)
10 units
BIOS6050 Statistical Inference Semester 1 - 2017 (DIST_CAL) 10 units
BIOS6061 Clinical Trial Design Semester 2 - 2017 (DIST_CAL) 10 units
BIOS6070 Linear Regression Modelling Semester 1 - 2017 (DIST_CAL) 10 units
BIOS6170 Foundations of Probability Theory Semester 2 - 2017 (DIST_CAL) 10 units
BIOS6940 Categorical Data Analysis and Generalised Linear Models Semester 2 - 2017 (GradSchool) 10 units
EPID6420 Epidemiology A - Basic Methods Semester 1 - 2018 (Callaghan)
Semester 1 - 2018 (GradSchool)
Semester 1 - 2017 (Callaghan)
Semester 1 - 2017 (GradSchool)
Semester 2 - 2017 (GradSchool)
10 units

Directed Courses

Choose 10 units from the following directed courses.

Code Name Availability Units
BIOS6150 Work Placement Project A Semester 1 - 2017 (DIST_CAL) 10 units
BIOS6160 Work Placement Project B Semester 2 - 2017 (DIST_CAL) 10 units

M Medical Statistics EXEMPTION/NO EXEMPTION

M Medical Statistics NO EXEMPTION

M Medical Statistics NO EXEMPTION: Complete the following courses to fulfil the requirements of this option.

Code Name Availability Units
BIOS6040 Mathematics of Applied Statistics Semester 1 - 2017 (DIST_CAL)
Semester 2 - 2017 (DIST_CAL)
10 units

M Medical Statistics DIRECTED COURSES A: Choose 20 units from the following directed courses.

Code Name Availability Units
BIOS6080 Multivariate Methods in Medical Research and Health Surveys Not currently offered 10 units
BIOS6100 Clinical Statistics and Randomised Control Trials for Medical Researchers Semester 1 - 2017 (DIST_CAL) 10 units
BIOS6111 Genetic Statistics and Bioinformatics Semester 1 - 2018 (GradSchool)
Semester 1 - 2017 (GradSchool)
10 units
BIOS6130 Bayesian Methods for Medical Statistics Semester 1 - 2017 (DIST_CAL)
Semester 2 - 2017 (GradSchool)
10 units
BIOS6141 Advanced Clinical Trials and Prospective Observational Studies Not currently offered 10 units
BIOS6950 Simulation Methods in Medical Statistics Not currently offered 10 units
BIOS6990 Applied Longitudinal Analysis Semester 2 - 2017 (GradSchool) 10 units
M Medical Statistics EXEMPTION

M Medical Statistics DIRECTED COURSES A: Choose 30 units from the following directed courses.

Code Name Availability Units
BIOS6080 Multivariate Methods in Medical Research and Health Surveys Not currently offered 10 units
BIOS6100 Clinical Statistics and Randomised Control Trials for Medical Researchers Semester 1 - 2017 (DIST_CAL) 10 units
BIOS6111 Genetic Statistics and Bioinformatics Semester 1 - 2018 (GradSchool)
Semester 1 - 2017 (GradSchool)
10 units
BIOS6130 Bayesian Methods for Medical Statistics Semester 1 - 2017 (DIST_CAL)
Semester 2 - 2017 (GradSchool)
10 units
BIOS6141 Advanced Clinical Trials and Prospective Observational Studies Not currently offered 10 units
BIOS6950 Simulation Methods in Medical Statistics Not currently offered 10 units
BIOS6990 Applied Longitudinal Analysis Semester 2 - 2017 (GradSchool) 10 units

Additional Information

All students can access additional learning development mechanisms provided by the Centre for Teaching and Learning.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students can draw on the assistance and support provided by the Indigenous Student Support and Development service through The Wollotuka Institute.

Learning Outcomes

  • Demonstrated a sound understanding of epidemiological study design and the theory and application of the major areas of medical statistics relevant to professional practice
  • Demonstrated skills in complex statistical analyses to handle a variety of practical problems using modern statistical techniques and software
  • Demonstrated skills in data collection and data management, including quality control procedures and the ethical handling of data
  • Demonstrated skills to 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
  • Demonstrated skills and had experience in communication of statistical issues with clinical/health personnel and the presentation of statistical results in a format suitable for publication in health-related journals or professional reports
  • Demonstrated technical skills to be able to read methodological papers in the medical statistics literature and apply the methods described therein to practical problems
  • Demonstrated an understanding of professional codes of conduct and of the importance of behaving in a way consistent with ethical standards such as those of the Statistical Society of Australia
  • Demonstrated problem solving abilities in statistics, characterised by flexibility of approach

Credit Transfer

If you wish to apply for credit for studies completed at another institution, or if you are changing programs within the University and wish to transfer your credit to the new program, visit the University’s credit website and click on ‘How to Apply for Credit’.

Students articulating from the Graduate Diploma to the Masters may be awarded 80 units of internal credit.

International Students

International students can only study this program online offshore.

Special Needs

AccessAbility provides advice and reasonable adjustments to Students with a medical or health condition or disability. If you require adjustments to undertake your program,  contact the Student Support Advisors - AccessAbility  before semester or early in the semester. They will work with the Faculty or School to ensure that this happens in a timely manner.

Please note: All students must fulfil the inherent requirements of the programs and courses they are undertaking. While reasonable adjustments can be made, these adjustments cannot compromise academic integrity. It is the student’s responsibility to check all the requirements of courses, and consider the effects of any medical condition or disability on their ability to complete course requirements. More information is available online

The Faculty accepts that it is responsible for providing reasonable accommodations for students with special needs, in liaison with the Student Support Unit, which offers practical assistance and advice to students with a disability or chronic illness. The Faculty will seek advice from the Student Support Unit as to what constitutes “reasonable accommodations” under Anti-Discrimination legislation.

Study a Language

All domestic students can now enrol in an undergraduate Diploma in Languages alongside their main degree program. This diploma will enhance proficiency in another language or languages, and will increase international career opportunities. Subject to course availability, this additional program will generally add an extra year to studies, and students will graduate with a Diploma in Languages as well as their other degree. Please note that all language courses are held on campus (face to face) at Callaghan.

International students cannot enrol concurrently in the Diploma in Languages alongside their primary program unless they can complete both programs within the duration of their primary program CoE. For more information please contact the ESOS Student Compliance Unit ESOS@newcastle.edu.au.

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