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Academic Calendar

Semester 1, 2019
start: 4 March
(regardless of start date at home univerisity)

NB: If you will be doing the Epidemiology (EPI) unit delivered by the University of Queensland or the University of Sydney, this starts on 25 Feb (as it is delivered to a larger cohort of internal students at these universities).

census date: 31 March (confirm cut-off dates with your home university, eg the date is a week earlier at Macquarie.)
mid-semester break: dependent upon individual unit timetables
end-semester: this can be calculated by the submission date of your final assignment/exam.
The BCA Examiners meeting will be held on 25 June.

Semester 2, 2019
start: 29 July
(regardless of start date at home univerisity)

NB: If you will be doing the Epidemiology (EPI) unit delivered by the University of Queensland, this starts on 22 July (as it is delivered to a larger cohort of internal students at UQ).

census date: 31 August (confirm cut-off dates with your home university, eg the date is a week earlier at Macquarie.)
mid-semester break: dependent upon individual unit timetables
end-semester: this can be calculated by the submission date of your final assignment/exam.
The BCA Examiners meeting will be held on 20 Nov.

Note that the Learning Management System (eLearning LMS) used for delivery of BCA units (apart from EPI) has changed, from Blackboard to Canvas (first dellivery in Canvas was in semester 2, 2018).

Results for both semesters

Results will be transmitted to universities after the BCA Examiners meeting has convened. They will be released by your home university in accordance with their calendar. You will find them in your online student portal.

Welcome to semester 1, 2019

BCA welcome to new students 1-2019

BCA welcome to continuing students 1-2019

BCA eLearning instructions 1-2019



A note about Epidemiology delivery


BCA Program Outline

BCA curriculum

Textbook & Software Guide

BCA Assessment Guide

Assessent cover sheet

Study Guides for current and previous semesters

Accessing statistical software: Stata and R

Getting Started in CANVAS

Home university libraries - textbook and journal access

How to use Equation Editor (video)

Referencing Style Guide

Guide for Reporting Statistical Results

Basic Statistical Reporting for Articles Published in Biomedical Journals:
The SAMPL Guidelines

Biostatistics Research/Practical Project (WPP) Guidelines

Biostatistics Research/Practical Project (WPP) examples

SSAI Code of Conduct

Guide to responsible conduct in research

Upon graduation...

News and events

External Statistical Software Courses

BCA community page


TIMELY ENROLMENT: BCA courses are delivered by distance across 6 universites. These additional requirements can add to the standard time lines for enrolment processeing at universites. We recommend that you refer to university calendars and enrol in good time before the start of semester.

STUDY RESOURCES: It is important to buy study resources as soon as possible. As most students will be buying textbooks and software remotely from suppliers or home universities, there are likely to be delays while licesences are arranged (for some software) and materials are posted or shipped.

Students should have been given access to online unit sites (in Blackboard) by the start of semester, where they will find study materials to read online or download.

As a courtesy, hard copy materials may also sent by post. Enrolment windows at universities mean that coordinators are unable to guarantee delivery before study commences.

CONTACT DETAILS: The BCA Office has no direct link to student records at each university. Once we have received BCA Contact Forms (from newly enrolled students) or official class lists (for all currently enrolled students) from postgraduate offices at home universities, information that you register at your home university will not filter through to the BCA Office on an ongoing basis. You will need to send an email to unit coordinators and the BCA Office, telling them about any changes to your enrolment or contact details. It is particularly important that we have immediate access to the email address that you regularly use (not necessarily you university provided student email) and current postal address.


CENSUS DATES: As a general rule, the census is the cutoff date for withdrawal from units of study without financial penalty, however, policy for this differs across universities and students should make enquiries at their home university. If students wish to withdraw from units, or take leave of absence or withdraw from studies, they should do this at their home university.

EPIDEMIOLOGY DELIVERY: Depending on their home university, students may have a choice of options for studying EPI in one or both semesters. Home university postgraduate advisors may direct students to the EPI offered at that university, or students may be able to choose between units delivered face-to-face or by distance locally or, alternatively, by distance at the University of Queensland.This is the only instance in the BCA curriculum where a choice for study options may exist. All other BCA units are delivered by distance by one university only in any semester.

Program coordinators at each consortium university can advise about Epidemiology choices.
If a local study option is not offered at a home university, students will be doing (Introduction to) Epidemiology delivered by distance by the University of Queensland.

How the BCA works in brief: BCA in nutshell

Course info: program details

Coordinator Contacts:

BCA unit coordinator contacts
BCA program coordinator and university contacts

BCA Program Outline

Download BCA Program Outline 2019

Details include entry requirements, course objectives and unit of study outlines. See the curriculum table on page 5 for unit listing, semester availability, and prerequisites for units of study. See page 6 for examples of how you might structure your studies.

BCA curriculum

Download the Curriculum 2019

Quick reference table showing compulsory units of study for each course, semester availability and prereuistes for each unit.

Textbook & Software Guide for Students

Current details for all compulsory textbooks and statistical software, including purchasing details.

Download Textbook & Software Guide 2019

BCA Assessment Guide

Procedures for writing and submitting assessment items.

Download BCA Assessment Guide PDF

BCA assessment cover sheet

Download assessment cover sheet

Submission of a cover sheet is only required if you are unable to submit your assessment in Blackboard.
If required, complete the form and send by email with assessment item.

Accessing statistical software: Stata and R

Accessing STATA: All students will need to buy Stata from the suppliers. Instructions can be found on page 7 of the Textbook and Software Guide (see above link).

Access to R: R can be downloaded free of charge from the R-project homepage.

Study Guides

Study Guides for units of study delivered in the forthcoming/current semester will be posted here, as they become available. (See here for full unit titles.)

Study Guides for semester 1, 2019
SVA 1-2019, DMC 1-2019, PSI 1-2019, CLB 1-2019, HIS 1-2019, MBB 1-2019, LCD 1-2019, PDT 1-2019, LMR 1-2019

Study Guides for semester 2, 2018
DMC 2-2018, PDT 2-2018, MBB 2-2018, DES 2018, LMR 2-2018, CDA 2018,
PSI 2-2018
, BAY 2018

NB: EPI Guides will be distributed by the relevant university.

Getting Started in Canvas

Download Canvas Startup Guide PDF

All BCA units are delivered in the online Learning Management System called Canvas, via University of Sydney sites, except for Epidemiology.

Access to unit sites in Canvas is:

  • automatically synchronised to your enroment if your a enrolled at the University of Sydney

  • arranged by BCA Coordinating Office staff, in consultation with the IT Dept, if you are enrolled at BCA Universities of Queensland, Macquarie, Melbourne, Monash and Adelaide.

The IT Dept are very vigilent about online security. We do our best to absorb the more time-consuming excesses associated with this process but if, after we have contacted you with login details, you are still having trouble accessing your sites, please don't hesitate to contact us.

Online Resources (textbook and journal access at home university libraries)

Posting copyright material (such as journal articles) online is prohibited by universities. This includes BCA eLearning sites.These references must be accessed through university libraries.
Select the link for your home university to search for availablity of journals and textbooks.

The University of Sydney Library
Macquarie University Library
Monash University Library
The University of Melbourne Library
Adelaide University Library
The University of Queensland Library

How to use the Equation Editor

Useful video for creating statistical equations: created for the BCA unit, Probability and Distribution Theory, but it has general use across BCA units.

Warning: There is a known issue in Equation Ediitor that corrupts equations when auto save is activated in Word documents, and converts them to non-editable pictures.

There are a couple of workrounds for this:

  • When using the Equation Editor, you should consider disabling the auto-save function.
    Note that, If you do disable auto-save, you should manually save your work regularly, to avoid losing it in the event of a crash or other unexpected closing of Word or Windows (eg to perform updates).
  • Students have told us that the 'Mathtype' plugin for MS Word is easy to use, produces nice looking equations and doesn't have the noted bug.
    A 30-day trial version is available for free download, after which it runs in "lite" mode, which appears to be perfectly adequate.

View the Equation Editor video

Guidelines for Academic Referencing

Download Referencing Style Guide PDF

Guidelines for Reporting Statistical Results

Download BCA Guide for Reporting Statistical Results PDF

Download SAMPLE Guidelines - Statistical Reporting for Articles Published in Clinical Journals

Biostatistics Research/Practical Project* (WPP) Guidelines

Description of specifications for the unit WPP, including supervision and assessment requirements.

NOTE: Adequate supervisory arrangements must be in place before students commence this unit. Students wishing to enrol in WPP must discuss options with the BCA program coordinator at their home university.

More information: 

Download WPP Guidelines PDF

Biostatistics Research/Practical Project* (WPP) Examples

Search for previous BCA WPP projects from the Sydney University eScholarships repository.

*Title differs across universities. Called the Biostatistics Research Project at The University of Adelaide, Macquarie University and The University of Sydney; the Biostatistics Practical Project at Monash University;and Special Topic/Thesis in Biostatistics at The University of Queensland. The unit code WPP is used in BCA documentation. As is the case for all BCA units, the university unit/course/subject code will be used at respective universities. (WPP is a legacy acronym for Workplace Project Portfolio, which was the original name of the unit.)

SSAI Code of Conduct

Attachment to WPP Guidelines (see Preface, page 2). More information:

Download SSAI code of conduct PDF

On Being a Scientist

The scientific enterprise is built on a foundation of trust. Society
trusts that scientific research results are an honest and accurate
reflection of a researcher’s work. Researchers equally trust that their
colleagues have gathered data carefully, have used appropriate analytic
and statistical techniques, have reported their results accurately,
and have treated the work of other researchers with respect...

Download 'On Being a Scientist' PDF

Upon Graduation...

Students who have successfully completed their degree, diploma or certificate in biostatistics will graduate from their home university. Graduates receive official acknowledgement of their academic award from this university, ie the university in which they were enrolled and where their student transcript for the course is recorded.

The BCA (represented by all consortium universities collectively) is proud of the achievements of its graduates and acknowledges this by giving a certificate and a letter of congratulations from the BCA Steering Committee to students who have received a (Post)Graduate Diploma or Masters degree.

Star Graduates will receive additional acknowledgment in the letter and certificate.
A Star Graduate is a graduate from the Masters or Graduate Diploma who has achieved an overall average of at least 85%, with no more than one unit of study less than 85%. Star grad status is based on first 10 units if doing 2 WPPS and first 11 if one WPP.

Workshops and Conferences and other news

News items and info about upcoming workshops and conferences

Info about past workshops and conferences

External Statistical Software Courses

These courses are not an entry requirement for enrolment in the BCA program. However, you may find them useful as both packages are used in BCA units of study.

SAS courses

Stata courses


BCA Community page

Links to statistical community mail group (ANZSTAT), job announcement log, scholarship opportunities, professional development opportunities, ...

BCA Community page


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