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STA8170 Statistics for Quantitative Researchers

Semester 2, 2021 Online
Short Description: Statistics for Quant Research
Units : 1
Faculty or Section : Faculty of Health, Engineering and Sciences
School or Department : School of Sciences
Student contribution band : Band 1
ASCED code : 010103 - Statistics
Grading basis : Graded
Version produced : 19 June 2021


Examiner: Shahjahan Khan


Enrolment is not permitted in STA8170 if STA2300 or STA1003 has been previously completed.

Other requisites

It is recommended that students enrolling in this course have basic computing and numeracy skills.


This course aims to provide post graduate students with no or limited knowledge of statistics, the fundamental statistical concepts, methods and data analysis skills necessary to undertake quantitative research and interpret subsequent results. The course is aimed at developing statistical thinking and literacy for students from diverse disciplines, and is a pre-requisite for most high-level statistics courses.


This course focuses primarily on the graphical and numerical methods of data analysis including descriptive and inferential statistics for post-graduate students. Emphasis is on the understanding of the concepts and principles associated with statistical methods and skills required for the analysis of real-life for quantitative studies. Core components of the course include the use of a popular statistical software package (SPSS) and the development of problem-solving skills relevant to many disciplines. However, the mathematical underpinnings of the methods are not covered in detail in this course; other statistics courses cover this aspect.


On Completion of this course students should be able to

  1. Recognise types of data and describe them using appropriate graphical and numerical analyses including exploring relationships in data;
  2. Distinguish between different methods of data generation, collection and analysis;
  3. Select and implement appropriate statistical methods to analyse quantitative data to answer an underlying research question;
  4. Prepare, manage and analyse data using a popular statistical computer package in order to analyse data, and apply appropriate statistical inferencing procedure;
  5. Apply professional skills to effectively present and communicate results of statistical analyses including interpretation and justification of statistical decisions to a diverse scholarly audience.


Description Weighting(%)
1. Exploring and understanding data: variables and values; types of data; introduction to SPSS; Describing distributions: quantitative data; graphs of distributions; summary statistics. 8.00
2. Using the normal model: standardising; unstandardising; standard normal curve; using Table Z.
3. Exploring relationships between variables: scatterplots; correlation and regression; residuals. 8.00
4. Gathering data: Observational and experimental studies; surveys; sampling methods; principles of good design; causation and confounding. 10.00
5. Randomness and probability: probability rules; events; probability models; means and standard deviation; the binomial model. 10.00
6. Sampling distribution models: proportions and means; standard error; the central limit theorem. 8.00
7. Generalising to the World at Large: introduction to hypothesis testing and confidence intervals; the sign test; sample size determination. 6.00
8. Hypothesis testing for proportions and means: z-test for proportion; one sample t-procedure for a mean; and dependent samples t procedure; confidence intervals; level of significance; type I and type II errors. 12.00
9. Hypothesis testing for proportions and means: z-test for proportion; one sample t-procedure for a mean; confidence intervals; level of significance; type I and type II errors. 12.00
10. Comparing means: two sample t-procedures; confidence intervals and hypothesis testing. One-way Analysis of Variance (ANOVA). 10.00
11. Categorical variables; contingency tables; joint, marginal and conditional distributions; Chi-square test of independence; follow-up analysis. 8.00

Text and materials required to be purchased or accessed

ALL textbooks and materials available to be purchased can be sourced from USQ's Online Bookshop (unless otherwise stated). (

Please contact us for alternative purchase options from USQ Bookshop. (

De Veaux, R.D., Vellerman, P.F. & Brock, D.E 2016, Stats: data and models, 4th Global Edn edn, Pearson Education, Harlow, United Kingdom.
All additional study material will be provided on the course StudyDesk.
IBM SPSS STATISTICS BASE GRAD PACK VERSION 26.0 (SPSS Version 20.0 or later is acceptable) (Note: This software can be accessed when on campus in computer laboratories and the library.
1) students can access SPSS free online through using their USQ credentials to login (more information will be provided on the course Study Desk)
2) a one year student license can be purchased on disk from the USQ Bookshop, or a six-month license for a download version can be purchased online from the Australia and New Zealand distributors of SPSS, Hearne Software. Before deciding to choose the download option check that the size of the download is compatible with your internet quota and speed. Be aware that the SPSS student license only allows limited reinstalment within the designated license period from initial installation).

Reference materials

Reference materials are materials that, if accessed by students, may improve their knowledge and understanding of the material in the course and enrich their learning experience.

Student workload expectations

Activity Hours
Assessments 32.00
Online Lectures 26.00
Online Tutorials 26.00
Private Study 81.00

Assessment details

Description Marks out of Wtg (%) Due Date Objectives Assessed Notes
Quiz 1 5 5 22 Jul 2021 1,4
Analysis Assignment 1 20 20 02 Sep 2021 1,2,3,4,5
Analysis Assignment 2 25 25 07 Oct 2021 1,2,3,4,5
Open Examination - Online 50 50 End S2 2,3,5 (see note 1)

  1. This will be an online exam. Students will be provided further instruction regarding the exam by their course examiner via StudyDesk. The examination date will be available via UConnect when the Alternate Assessment Schedule has been released.

Important assessment information

  1. Attendance requirements:
    It is the students' responsibility to participate appropriately in all activities and to study all material provided to them or required to be accessed by them to maximise their chance of meeting the objectives of the course and to be informed of course-related activities and administration.

  2. Requirements for students to complete each assessment item satisfactorily:
    To complete an assessment item satisfactorily, students must obtain at least 50% of the marks available for that assessment item.

  3. Penalties for late submission of required work:
    Students should refer to the Assessment Procedure (point 4.2.4)

  4. Requirements for student to be awarded a passing grade in the course:
    To be assured of receiving a passing grade a student must obtain at least 50% of the total weighted marks available for the course (i.e. the Primary Hurdle), and have satisfied the Secondary Hurdle (Supervised), i.e. the end of semester examination, by achieving at least 40% of the marks available for that assessment item.

    Supplementary assessment may be offered where a student has undertaken all of the required summative assessment items and has passed the Primary Hurdle but failed to satisfy the Secondary Hurdle (Supervised), or has satisfied the Secondary Hurdle (Supervised) but failed to achieve a passing Final Grade by 5% or less of the total weighted Marks.

    To be awarded a passing grade for a supplementary assessment item (if applicable), a student must achieve at least 50% of the available marks for the supplementary assessment item as per Section 4.4.2 of the Assessment Procedure.

  5. Method used to combine assessment results to attain final grade:
    The final grades for students will be assigned on the basis of the aggregate of the weighted marks obtained for each of the summative assessment items in the course.

  6. Examination information:
    An Open Examination is one in which candidates may have access to any printed or written material and a calculator during the examination.

  7. Examination period when Deferred/Supplementary examinations will be held:
    The details regarding deferred/supplementary examinations will be communicated at a later date.

  8. University Student Policies:
    Students should read the USQ policies: Definitions, Assessment and Student Academic Misconduct to avoid actions which might contravene University policies and practices. These policies can be found at

Other requirements

  1. Computer, e-mail and Internet access:
    Students are required to have access to a personal computer, e-mail capabilities and Internet access to UConnect. Current details of computer requirements can be found at .

Date printed 19 June 2021