Why study biostatistics?

5 reasons to study biostatistics at the University of Sydney
A degree in biostatistics will provide you with advanced biostatistical training ensuring that you are well placed to obtain employment in a wide range of health, pharmaceutical, university, government and NGOs. It's the ideal way to develop your existing career or move into a new field of interest.

What is biostatistics?

Biostatistics is the study of data analysis and statistical reasoning applied practically to medicine and public health. It is a fundamental discipline at the core of modern health data science, and underpins most key public health research disciplines such as epidemiology and health services research. In this way, it helps to solve medical problems which have far-reaching positive impacts in society.

Australia’s National Health and Medical Research Council (NHRMC) spends around $800 million a year on medical and public health research, and decisions about the distribution of this funding are based on the correct analysis and interpretation of data and the insights that are extrapolated by biostatisticans. Biostatistics is also growing in scope and importance with the expansion of big data – with significantly increased volumes of data analysis, but also deeper and more reliable findings.

What do biostatisticians do?

Biostatisticians use quantitative research to improve the efficiency of the medical system and safeguard public health at micro and macro levels. They often work with other health scientists and professionals in an interdisciplinary environment to identify, measure and solve problems that pose threats to public health, the healthcare system, and quality of life.

Biostatisticians work across many different sectors, including private corporations, research, educational institutions and government agencies. There is a wealth of different ways that biostatisticians can apply their transferable skills in analysis, problem solving, communication, critical thinking and agility, depending on their area of interest.

Here are 5 reasons you should study biostatistics at the University of Sydney.

1. Discover a rewarding career in biostatistics

Life as a statistician is not just about the numbers. By studying the Master of Biostatistics at the University of Sydney, you will be involved in projects that are making a real difference to the health of communities.

You don’t have to come from a health or medical background to study – in fact, our students come from many varied professions, including statistics, mathematics, science, psychology, medicine, pharmacy, nursing, economics and health sciences, allowing you to share experiences and learn from your peers as well as your teachers.

2. Graduate with a range of career opportunities 

With an ongoing shortage of highly skilled biostatisticians in Australia and internationally, biostatistics graduates at the University of Sydney are in high demand. Our biostatistics program bridges the knowledge gap between current programs in public health, epidemiology and general statistics, producing professional biostatisticians that are equipped with the skills needed to cater to the increasingly diverse and specialised needs of health research.

Our graduates have gone on to work:

  • in medical research positions at universities and health institutes
  • for Australian Federal and State Government organisations
  • as medical doctors and clinicians 
  • in varied commercial industries
  • as academic teaching roles across a number of major Australian universities.

Katrina Blazek, Master of Biostatistics 2019
"Starting this degree helped me secure a place in the Biostatistics Training Program run by the NSW Ministry of Health. Through this program I was able to study while gaining on the job experience."
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3. Flexible study options

Our biostatistics program is designed with busy professionals in mind. The program can be completed 100% online, with part and full-time study options available, allowing you to tailor your study load to suit your professional demands and life commitments. You only pay for the units you enrol in each semester and your course may be tax deductible. 

The flexibility of online learning allowed me to organise study around work and other commitments, even continuing study without interruption when travelling overseas. Online learning does require a certain level of self-discipline but this is also a positive aspect of the program as it helps prepare you for the work environment.
Katrina Blazek, Master of Biostatistics 2019

4. Learn from experts in biostatistics

You’ll have access to the top biostatistical experts in Australia. Our program is offered in alliance with the Biostatistics Collaboration of Australia (BCA) which offers students access to experts in the field of biostatistics across the participating universities. 

5. Become professionally accredited

The program is fully accredited by the Statistical Society of Australia. Students who graduate from the program with a master’s or graduate diploma will, on joining the Statistical Society of Australia, be eligible to apply for accreditation as a graduate statistician.

Still have questions? 

Email the course coordinator at

1 December 2020

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