Accessibility Skip to Global Navigation Skip to Local Navigation Skip to Content Skip to Search Skip to Site Map Menu

HASC413 Biostatistics

Essential analytical methods necessary for health-related research: data description, basic probability, confidence intervals, hypothesis testing, sample size calculation, epidemiological measures of association, and simple linear regression. A knowledge of basic algebra is recommended.

This paper provides an introduction to the use of statistical methods to answer specific research questions in health-related areas.

Paper title Biostatistics
Paper code HASC413
Subject Health Sciences
EFTS 0.125
Points 15 points
Teaching period Semester 1 (On campus)
Domestic Tuition Fees (NZD) $1,311.38
International Tuition Fees Tuition Fees for international students are elsewhere on this website.

^ Top of page

Limited to
MHealSc, MPharm, MSc, PGDipHealSc, PGDipMLSc, PGDipSci, PGDipPharm, BMLSc(Hons)

Suitable for students who are interested in upgrading their statistical skills for carrying out health-related quantitative research.

Teaching staff
Convenor and Lecturer: Jiaxu Zeng
Paper Structure

This paper covers the following main topics:

  1. Introduction to biostatistics
  2. Descriptive analysis
  3. Introduction to diagnostic testing
  4. Probability distributions
  5. Sampling distributions
  6. Confidence intervals
  7. Hypothesis testing
  8. Power and sample size calculation
  9. Introduction to epidemiological studies
  10. Critical appraisal of health research

Altman, Douglas G (1990) Practical Statistics for Medical Research

Graduate Attributes Emphasised
Communication, Critical thinking, Research.
View more information about Otago's graduate attributes.
Learning Outcomes

Students who successfully complete this paper will:

  • Perform basic statistical analyses to address simple research questions using a statistical software package (Stata)
  • Understand the principles behind basic statistical analyses
  • Understand how to interpret and present basic statistical analyses

^ Top of page

Course Coordinator

Dr Jimmy Zeng

^ Top of Page


This paper will emphasise computer data analysis with the goal of providing students with the tools for basic analysis of their research projects, including statistical aspects of study design, data description, handling data on a computer, using a statistical software package, and carrying out and interpreting simple statistical analyses. Familiarity with basic mathematical concepts is essential.

^ Top of Page


Following completion of this course, you should be able to:

  • Understand important statistical concepts and terminology
  • Understand the basic statistical framework used in the design and analysis of health related studies
  • Use a computer software package for elementary data analysis
  • Complete a detailed statistical analysis of a simple study
  • Critically appraise scientific research from a statistical perspective
  • Understand the principles behind more complex statistical analyses
  • ^ Top of Page

^ Top of page


Semester 1

Teaching method
This paper is taught On Campus
Learning management system

Computer Lab

Stream Days Times Weeks
A1 Friday 10:00-11:50 9-13, 16-22


Stream Days Times Weeks
A1 Monday 14:00-15:50 9-14, 16-22