Course Title: Introduction to Biostatistics and Risk Assessment

Part A: Course Overview

Course Title: Introduction to Biostatistics and Risk Assessment

Credit Points: 12.00

Course Code




Learning Mode

Teaching Period(s)


Bundoora Campus


160H Medical Sciences


Sem 2 2006,
Sem 2 2007,
Sem 2 2008

Course Coordinator: Diana Donohue

Course Coordinator Phone: +61 3 9925 7085

Course Coordinator Email:

Pre-requisite Courses and Assumed Knowledge and Capabilities

There are no prerequisite courses for this course. Students would find it of benefit to have completed ’Essential Toxicology’.

Course Description

This is a fully online web-based course. The course is designed to provide a fundamental knowledge and understanding of chemical safety, and to introduce the principles of biostatistics, quality assurance of data and risk assessment.

Objectives/Learning Outcomes/Capability Development

At the conclusion of the course students would be expected to have an understanding of the regulatory environment for chemicals in Australia; the role of biostatistics and quality assurance in the evaluation and use of toxicological data; and the concepts underlying risk assessment.

This flexible distance-learning course has modules specifically designed to give students a broad introduction to:

  • Chemical regulation in Australia;
  • Safety in the laboratory;
  • Sampling and biostatistics;
  • Quality assurance of data; and
  • The role of risk assessment

Overview of Learning Activities

Online material is provided in modules, allowing students to learn independently and access content at their discretion. Revision of concepts is through online quiz banks, based on questions drawn from modules. Students are expected to participate actively in online discussions and tutorials held throughout the course. Further analysis and interpretation of data are approached through problem-based learning. Short written assignments are related to module topics. Statistical methods, accessing of literature and interpretation of data are approached through problem-based learning.

Overview of Learning Resources

This course is accessed and studied online via the RMIT Learning Hub ("Online @ RMIT"). The content for this course is provided through online modules and the prescribed textbook. Further learning resources such as articles and links to relevant web sites are provided where appropriate.

Overview of Assessment

Assessment tasks include: online topic quizzes to aid understanding of concepts; online discussions and tutorials to articulate ideas and practise collaborative skills; short assignments linked to module topics; and an open book exam.