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!

Sandawana William Majoni Specialist Physician and Nephrologist Royal Darwin Hospital

Master of Biostatistics, University of Newcastle 2015

Statisticians with whom I worked inspired me to explore the possibility of formally training in statistics.The Biostatistics Collaboration Australia course offered me the best opportunity to undertake this aspiration. The structured nature of the course, the online delivery of the teaching and the ready availability of help when needed gave me the best option as my full time job as a clinician is extremely busy. With an ambitious self-set target to finish the course in the shortest possible time I had to work extra hard both at work and at home to create the opportunity.

Though ambitious, the effort was worth it. The directed learning over a range of statistics topics starting with the mathematical background theory to the practical applications of statistical principles has afforded me a higher level of understanding of statistical procedures invaluable to the vast majority of research work that is performed in medicine in general, in nephrology in particular and that is published in the medical literature.
Although time constraints created challenges, I enjoyed the course immensely and have already recommended it to 2 of my colleagues, who are now doing it. This course has provided me with the possibility of increasing my contribution to research which has been one of my life long career dreams.

Patrick Schober Anesthesiologist and Helicopter Emergency Medical Services Physician, Research Coordinator Acute Medicine, VU University Medical Center Amsterdam, The Netherlands

Master of Medical Statistics, University of Newcastle and BCA Star Graduate 2014

My background is anesthesiology and emergency medicine, and I’m involved in several research projects in our department. What has always fascinated me the most about doing research was to work with the data and to draw sound conclusions based on what we had observed. However, my statistical abilities were limited and I therefore decided to extend my knowledge to a level on which I could perform professional analyses of my research data.

The BCA program allowed me to study next to my regular work at my own pace. The learning objectives are clear, units and course material are highly relevant, and online discussions with fellow students as well as excellent and timely feedback by instructors made studying biostatistics an enjoyable experience. I am proud of completing this program, which has provided the necessary skills to perform adequate analyses of medical research data.

Jeeva Kanesarajah Statistician, Centre of Military & Veterans' Health, University of Queensland

Master of Biostatistics, University of Queensland 2014

I found the BCA program to be excellent, particularly in terms of having courses that are relevent to my job as a statistician. Hard to manage part-time study with full time work, but my studies really directly benefited my work. It’s great to have such courses here, learning from experts from all around Australia.

Jennie Louise Statistician and Lecturer, School of Population Health, University of Adelaide

Master of Biostatistics, University of Adelaide and BCA Star Graduate 2014

I am a statistician in the Data Management and Analysis Centre in the School of Population Health at the University of Adelaide, where I work mainly on perinatal clinical trials. This is a position I achieved due to my BCA studies – prior to this, I was working as a lecturer in medical and health ethics, and had no formal statistical or mathematical training.

I enrolled in the BCA specifically to retrain for a career in biostatistics, and although the journey has been challenging, it has also been very rewarding.
The BCA program provided the right balance of strong theoretical foundations and practical statistical skills; I found that the breadth and depth of the materials provided an excellent grounding for a statistical career. A great amount of thought and effort has clearly gone into both the individual courses, and the cohesiveness of the program as a whole. I still have all my course notes, and consult them at regular intervals!

Mark Finnis Consultant, Intensive Care Unit Royal Adelaide Hospital

Master of Biostatistics, University of Adelaide and BCA Star Graduate 2014

My primary work is as a clinician in Intensive Care Medicine. However, having had a life-long interest in computer programming and databases, I had become a default resource within our ICU for quality assurance and research projects, including the provision of ‘questionable’ statistical advice. Like many in the medical field, my statistical knowledge was self-taught, limited and completely unstructured.

The BCA course offered me the opportunity to undertake directed learning over a range of topics, from pertinent background theory to applied techniques central to the vast majority of research work undertaken within our ICU and that published in the medical literature.
Whilst at times challenging, I enjoyed the course immensely and would not hesitate to recommend it to a colleague. The course has left me wishing to extend my learning further and has provided me the fundamentals necessary for this to occur.

Philip Clare National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre

Master of Biostatistics, University of Sydney 2013

I came to the Master of Biostatistics program with a history in Psychology and government and social research. The program has helped me move into public health research, and I am currently working at the National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre (NDARC), where I am working on a large-scale NHMRC funded randomised control trial. In addition, I provide statistical advice and support to other researchers in the centre.

The Master of Biostatistics has given me the skills and understanding to approach a wide range of complex research problems, increasing the quality not only my own research (which has resulted in a number of papers published, accepted or under review), but also the research being conducted NDARC.

James Scandol Senior Statistical Systems Officer, NSW Ministry of Health

Master of Biostatistics, University of Sydney and BCA Star Graduate 2013

My current position is Senior Statistical Systems Officer at the NSW Ministry of Health where I work preparing, securing and testing the datasets that are used by epidemiologists in the public health network. I had previously worked as a scientist for the NSW Department of Primary Industries, so the BCA was an excellent transition degree which gave me an understanding of epidemiology and the types of statistical analysis that are performed.

The BCA courses were very practical and focussed on the sorts of problems that biostatisticians face every day. In particular, the courses on the analysis of linked data and survival analysis were thorough and provided the skills and knowledge to try these methods on real research problems. The earlier courses in probability and distribution theory were challenging but very rewarding. I’d recommend this program to anyone considering a career in biostatistics and it would be an excellent award to complete before commencing a PhD in biostatistics

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.