Paul Byrne Senior Software Engineer, VMWare Australia Ltd

Master of Biostatistics, University of Sydney and BCA Star Graduate 2018

I embarked upon the BCA Masters degree with dual ambitions – to build an understanding of statistical modelling that I could apply in my professional role as a software engineer, and to be able to perform appropriate biostatistical analysis on a more occasional basis to support various medical research projects that my wife and some of her colleagues are engaged in. I found the course to be well-structured, progressing from theoretical to practical understanding in a manner that worked very well for me. The variety of electives is broad and provides an opportunity for pursuing various specialised methods of analysis.

I am very pleased to be able to say that both goals are well in hand. The coursework that I have performed in the course of my studies has provided a solid foundation for me to work as a data scientist, and as a basis for additional education that I have undertaken in machine learning and other related topics. Furthermore, I have performed analysis on a couple of medical datasets and am commencing work on a third, each of which has potential publication.

I am delighted with my decision to enrol in this course and recommend it to anyone who has a professional or personal interest in the field.

Tom Sullivan Senior Biostatistician, Healthy Mothers Babies & Children, South Australian Health & Medical Research Institute

Master of Biostatistics, University of Adelaide and BCA Star Graduate 2018

I started my BCA studies while working as a consulting biostatistician at the University of Adelaide. Although I’d completed an undergraduate degree in mathematical statistics, I was keen to learn more about biostatistics and to consolidate some of my earlier learning. I found all the subjects in the program to be really stimulating, with many of the materials being directly applicable to the problems I was facing in my day to day work. It was also great to learn from some of the leading biostatisticians in Australia.

Having finished my Masters of Biostatistics (and a PhD in statistics around the same time), I am now working as a research biostatistician at the South Australian Health & Medical Research Institute, where I help out on randomised trials and spend some time researching statistical methods (for handling missing data mostly). I think biostatistics is a great career to be in, and it’s something that will always be in demand with the world becoming more and more data-driven.

Joe Hanna Senior Biostatistician, NSW Ministry of Health

Master of Biostatistics, University of Sydney 2018

I started the Master of Biostatistics program as part of the NSW Biostatistics Training Program after my undergraduate studies in statistics and some experience as a statistician at the Hunter Medical Research Institute based at Newcastle.

I found the program to be very useful especially when undergoing training with NSW Health and being able to apply the concepts simultaneously while studying. The units offered were very practically oriented whilst also giving the theoretical context supporting the methods. There were many units offered in specialised areas of biostatistics such as survey methodology and correlated data which are interesting and currently needed in professional practice.

Following the program I am now employed as a Senior Biostatistician with NSW Health. My role is focussed on using statistical models to appropriately plan specialised hospital services offered at a state level.

Edwin Lim Senior Research Fellow, Macquarie University, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences

Master of Biostatistics, University of Sydney 2017

It was through A/Prof Ayse Bilgin from Macquarie University that I realised the way I had been analysing my clinical data had only really scratched the surface in the biostatistics field. It was then that I decided to undertake the BCA Masters degree and embark on a journey that would help me make sense of the numbers in my datasets and transition into the “big data” era of multi-omics research.

It was a very tough journey being a full time academic and a part-time student. It was intimidating to face a program that is mathematically challenging at first for a biologist, but the program was structured in a logical way that was incremental and easy to follow. All the subjects had excellent content that was relevant to my research work, and the engagement with the course convenors and online students was great. BCA had instilled in me a solid approach to biostatistics.

Now, in addition to applying this biostatistics knowledge to my research, I am helping my colleagues with their statistics problems and bridging the biostatistics knowledge gap in my department. I was even approached by my department to design a new undergrad unit on biostats in medical research, providing me with new career opportunities. Since completion of the BCA, I have dived further into learning about data science such as machine learning. –“the learning never ends.”

Richard Hiscock Anaesthetist, Mercy Hospital for Women; Honorary Research Fellow, Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, University of Melbourne

Master of Biostatistics, University of Melbourne and BCA Star Graduate 2017

It’s a great course and has left me with a firm foundation to build upon.

I have been recommending it to anyone who will listen!

Tamsin Barnes Senior Research Fellow, The University of Queensland School of Veterinary Science

Master of Biostatistics, University of Queensland and BCA Star Graduate 2016

I fell into a career in veterinary epidemiology after completing a PhD in veterinary parasitology. I soon appreciated that I wanted a deeper understanding of the biostatistical methods that I was starting to use. I wasn’t sure how to achieve that, but a couple of colleagues independently recommended the BCA program to me. It turned out to be exactly what I wanted. I found the first courses providing the background in mathematics and statistical theory the most challenging, but they were essential to getting the most out of the subsequent more applied courses. All the courses provided a good balance of notes/readings and practical activities and the online discussion forums provided a good opportunity to interact with and learn from other students as well as course coordinators.

In my current position, I use the skills that I learned during the BCA program on a daily basis and frequently refer back to course notes, do files, readings etc. I’d thoroughly recommend the program to anyone interested in pursuing a career in biostatistics or related fields.

Gary Segal Senior Quantitative Analyst, Aurizon

Master of Biostatistics, University of Queensland and BCA Star Graduate 2016

I have found this to be an exceptional program. The program couples the rigour of a traditional university qualification with flexible online delivery.

All courses were thoroughly engaging, of an excellent standard and linked together very well. Foundation courses provide the theory to confidently apply concepts from mathematical statistics and probability theory in later courses and beyond. Courses bridge the gap between mathematical understanding and applications in health and science research.

As a graduate one is equipped to perform appropriate statistical analysis, understand what is happening “beneath the hood”, and tailor the interpretation of results to the intended audience.

Miguel Angel Luque-Fernandez Lectuer, Epidemiology and Biostatistics London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine

Master of Biostatistics, University of Newcastle 2015

Before my BCA experience, I held a Ph.D. and MSc degrees in Epidemiology. Always, I wanted to gain a better mathematical understanding of the methods and statistical tools that as a researcher I was using.

I think that our society is currently experiencing a data-driven revolution with increased access to a wide variety and quantity of multidimensional data in the health sector. I believe that any applied researcher responsible for medical data analysis should have a firm grounding in mathematics and biostatistics. BCA Master in Biostatistics has given me this and provided me with training in the application of statistics to public health and epidemiological research and broadened the statistics skills I had gained during my Ph.D. I found the courses to be well designed and enjoyed being taught by leaders in the field across a range of universities.

I recommend the BCA experience to anyone interested in becoming a grounded applied biostatistician interested in developing a high quality standard of science using the best and current applied statistical knowledge needed to answer complex biomedical questions in epidemiology and public health.

Kate Chappell Project Officer, Menzies Institute for Medical Research, University of Tasmania

Master of Biostatistics, University of Sydney 2015

The Master of Biostatistics course has been fantastic: well run, engaging and surprisingly interesting.

I’ve enjoyed every unit, and have been employed in a data management and stats position for 2 years now, with more offers of work than I have time for in my week – all as a direct result of the skills I’ve acquired during this course. Taking up biostats was a very good move for me.

Simon Turner Research Officer (Biostatistics) Australasian Cochrane Centre

Master of Biostatistics, University of Melbourne and BCA Star Graduate 2015

I had been teaching physics for ten years when my first child was born. I resigned from my teaching career to become a stay-at-home father. I had always been interested in health research due to interactions with friends and family and became aware that there was a shortage in Australia of skilled biostatisticians. So after a bit of research I began studying part time for my Master of Biostatistics through the BCA program, which is internationally acknowledged as being excellent.

With a good mathematical foundation, but no background in either health or statistics, there was a steep learning curve for me. Fortunately, the BCA program is well tailored to suit online, part time study. The lecturers, instructors and associated staff were always helpful and the online discussion groups enabled conversations to take place between colleagues from a wide range of backgrounds.

I very much appreciated the time and effort that was spent organising the comprehensive course notes (which I often refer back to) and the learning activities and assessments that were so often based on highly practical applications of the theory. Having now been employed for several months as a biostatistician, I can say that I am proud of completing my challenging studies, that the course well equipped me for my current role and that I am enjoying my fledgling new career!

The BCA acknowledges we live and work on the ancestral lands of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, who have for thousands of generations exchanged knowledge for the benefit of all. We pay our respects to those who have cared and continue to care for Country.