Faculty of Science - Leading creativity and innovation in the sciences

Medical Statistics

*This subject is available as area of PhD study within other subjects in the Faculty of Science. Please consult our postgraduate advisers for availability.

Subject description


Medical Statistics, or Biostatistics, is the study of human health and disease, with applications ranging from biomedical laboratory research, to clinical medicine, to health promotion, to national and global systems of health care. Medical statisticians design and analyse studies to identify the real causes of health issues – as distinct from chance variation.

The Medical Statistics major is designed for those wanting a statistics qualification that is more clearly targeted at careers in the medical area.


Structure and prerequisites

Bachelor of Science (Honours) (BSc(Hons)) - Medical Statistics

The prerequisite is a major in Statistics, at least 90 points at Stage III, and STATS 210 or equivalent.



Postgraduate Diploma in Science (PGDipSci) - Medical Statistics

The prerequisite is a major in Statistics, or equivalent as approved by the Head of Department.



Master of Science (MSc) - Medical Statistics

The prerequisite is a BSc(Hons) or PGDipSci in Statistics or Medical Statistics and STATS 210.

Requirements: Taught Masters


Career opportunities

Medical Statisticians typically work in collaboration with Scientists and Physicians. They may work in academic institutions, in hospitals, in the pharmaceutical and biotech industries, or in the government organisations that fund and provide health care.

The key tasks a Medical Statistician is likely to undertake, include:

  • Meeting with medical researchers to identify and understand their needs
  • Selecting an appropriate study design to address the medical questions being researched
  • Selecting and applying appropriate statistical techniques for analysing medical data
  • Analysing and managing statistical data using a range of software packages
  • Interpreting results
  • Writing up the results and presenting them to the medical community
  • Keeping up-to-date with new developments in medical statistics

The career opportunities that open up reflect the level of research being undertaken. At the higher levels, the career steps are similar to those in academia, in other words a graduate will start off as a Research Fellow, then move to the position of Senior Research Fellow, then to Associate Professor. Opportunities also exist to move into consulting roles.


Help and advice

For further information, please refer to the Statistics Postgraduate Handbook or contact our staff at the Science Student Centre

Email: pgscience@auckland.ac.nz
Web: www.stat.auckland.ac.nz


Further information