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STAT251 Design of Research Studies

Types of research study. Classical sampling theory for finite populations. The design of experiments and quasi-experiments to compare the effects of two or more treatments. More complicated experimental designs involving blocking, Latin squares, factorial design, nested design and repeated measures.

In this paper we aim to give students an understanding of the ideas and methods that are useful in designing a research study in the natural, life and social sciences. This is achieved by relating the appropriate methods of analysis to real-life research situations and by considering some of the most common mistakes that occur when designing a research study. The emphasis is on understanding the motivation, principles and methods rather than the mathematics underlying them. The paper is designed for both general science students and those wanting to specialise in statistics.

Paper title Design of Research Studies
Paper code STAT251
Subject Statistics
EFTS 0.1500
Points 18 points
Teaching period First Semester
Domestic Tuition Fees (NZD) $868.95
International Tuition Fees (NZD) $3,656.70

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STAT 110 or STAT 115 or BSNS 102 or BSNS 112
Schedule C
Arts and Music, Science
It is suitable for any student majoring in science as a key to carrying out a scientific research project is an understanding of the basic principles of the design of experiments and surveys.
Teaching staff
To be confirmed.
Paper Structure
Main topics:
  • Study Design Theory
  • Sampling Design
  • Experimental Design
Textbooks are not required for this paper.

A full set of lecture notes is available on the Departmental website.
Course outline
View course outline for STAT 251
Graduate Attributes Emphasised
Critical thinking.
View more information about Otago's graduate attributes.
Learning Outcomes
Students who successfully complete the paper will develop an appreciation of the critical appraisal of sampling methods and experimental designs, especially the importance of replication and power analysis.

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First Semester

Teaching method
This paper is taught On Campus
Learning management system


Stream Days Times Weeks
L1 Monday 11:00-11:50 9-13, 15-22
Wednesday 11:00-11:50 9-13, 15-16, 18-22
M1 Friday 11:00-11:50 9-12, 15-22


Stream Days Times Weeks
Attend one stream from
T1 Tuesday 15:00-15:50 10-13, 15-21
T2 Friday 12:00-12:50 10-12, 15-21