Graduate Certificate of Applied Statistics - 2018

Please note: This course has recently undergone a major change. Please refer to Transition Arrangements for more information.

Course summary

Course summary - 2018

Level: Postgraduate
Qualification: Graduate Certificate
Number of units: 4 units to complete

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Restrictions apply. See Eligibility.

This course has restricted enrolment. You must apply and be accepted before you can enrol in units.

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Operating Hours

Standard hours

Mon - Fri: 8am - late

Sat & Sun: 9am - 5pm

All times in Australian Eastern
Standard Time (AEST) or Australian Eastern Daylight Time (AEDT)

The Graduate Certificate of Applied Statistics is designed for graduates in any discipline, especially for humanities, social sciences, health sciences, information systems and business graduates who have a professional interest in the use of statistics. It is also applicable to other graduates who have a need to use statistics in their work but have not had sufficient experience with applied statistics. It concentrates on practical skills and enables participants to broaden their theoretical and practical knowledge in the basic areas of statistics.

The postgraduate Applied Statistics program includes courses from the Graduate Certificate, Graduate Diploma and Master levels. In particular it builds proficiency in the SAS software package as well as SPSS. It provides students with experience in analysing multivariate data sets and in the analysis of complex sample data.

The postgraduate Applied Statistics program aims to enable students to develop:

  • Proficiency in statistical software packages such as SPSS and SAS
  • An understanding of the need for, and methods of, acquiring good data
  • Quantitative skills in areas such as exploratory data analysis, estimation and hypothesis testing, factor and regression analysis, discriminant analysis and forecasting
  • An appreciation for the role of statistical analysis for revealing underlying relationships and behaviours in business and society

Graduates of the Graduate Certificate of Applied Statistics will be able to:

  1. Demonstrate the ability to critically think, review, analyse and consolidate statistical knowledge to provide solutions to complex problems in diverse field
  2. Synthesise communication skills to demonstrate an understanding of theoretical statistical concepts to transfer knowledge and ideas to a variety of audience
  3. Defend the application of statistical knowledge and skills to make independent judgements in a range of technical or management functions in varied specialised context
  4. Demonstrate responsibility and accountability for personal outputs and all aspects of the work or function of others within broad parameters.

The demand for applied statisticians continues to grow as data production grows in all areas of the economy. Graduates are employed in areas such as the following:

  • Marketing
  • Government agencies
  • Market research
  • Education
  • Medical and biological sciences
  • Town planning
  • Social research
  • Insurance
  • Banking
  • Medical Research

Academic Requirements

Applicants require either:

  • Undergraduate degree and normally have an understanding of descriptive statistics;
  • 5 years (minimum) relevant industry experience

English language requirements: (International students only) 

IELTS (Academic Module): Overall 6.0 with no individual band below 5.5; or Swinburne English Language Centre: EAP 5 Advanced level with overall 70% and all skills 65% or above; or TOEFL iBT: minimum score 79 (Reading no less than 18, Writing no less than 20); or equivalent measures available at

The media used to teach this course include printed materials and also some online study material. You will need easy and frequent access to a computer with the internet and email.

Additionally, students will be required to purchase and/or have access to the statistical software package SPSS.

SAS software required in Graduate Diploma and Master of Applied Statistics units will be supplied by DVD. Please note: SAS will only run on a Windows platform.

To qualify for a Graduate Certificate of Applied Statistics, students must complete 4 core (50 credit points). Each unit carries 12.5 credit points.

Please note: You cannot re-enrol into Swinburne units that you have already passed.

Absent Without Leave and Leave of Absence: How to apply for an approved leave of absence and minimise the risk of having to reapply for degree admission:

Total number of units to complete: 4 units Required Elective Optional
Unit name Code Provider Availability
Statistical Practice 1
STA60001 SWI SP1 - SP3 -
Basic Statistical Computing Using R
STA600031 SWI SP1 - SP3 -
Research Design
STA60004 SWI SP1 - SP3 -
Statistical Practice 2
STA60005 SWI SP1 - SP3 -

1 This unit was previously titled Basic Statistical Computing.

Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL)

Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) is a process where a student may be granted credit or partial credit towards a qualification in recognition of skills and knowledge gained through work experience, life experience and/or formal training. For further details for students considering Higher Education courses visit the RPL website:

Credit Transfer

Applicants with prior tertiary studies that satisfy part of the academic requirements of this course may be granted ‘credit’ and/or entry into the course with ‘advanced standing’. University policies apply and applicants are assessed on a case-by-case basis. For further information please refer to

You can pay fees in one of two main ways:

Eligible OUA students can access the government loan scheme known as FEE-HELP. You pay back the loan through your taxes once your income reaches a minimum threshold.

Who can access it?

  • Australian citizens who will undertake, in Australia, at least one unit of study contributing to their course
  • Permanent humanitarian visa holders who will be resident in Australia for the duration of their unit
  • Permanent visa holders who are undertaking bridging study for overseas-trained professionals, and will be resident in Australia for the duration of their study

Find out more about FEE-HELP

You can pay your fees upfront - in full at the beginning of a unit - using:
  • Credit card (Visa and MasterCard)
  • Cheque
  • Money order

You should make cheques and money orders payable to 'Open Universities Australia' and send them to:
Open Universities Australia
GPO Box 5387
Melbourne 3001

From Study Period 1 2018, the Master of Science (Applied Statistics) will change to the Master of Applied Statistics. This is a Course Title change only: the Course Structure remains the same with some minor changes to unit titles.

Master of Applied Statistics and nested courses including the Graduate Certificate and Graduate Diploma

Students may choose to stay in the old Course or transfer to the new Course. Students who wish to transfer to the new Course title must complete the online Course Transition Application to change your Course before the close of enrolments for SP1, 2018 - 26 January 2018.

Master of Science (Applied Statistics) and nested courses including the Graduate Certificate and Graduate Diploma

If you are enrolled in one of the nested levels of the Course (Graduate Certificate or Graduate Diploma) and are interested to apply for and enrol in the masters, you must submit an OUA Course Transition Application online before close of enrolments for SP4, 2017 – 27 October 2017. This is the last date that enrolments will be accepted.

For all students: Minor changes to unit titles:

  • STA60003 Basic Statistical Computing changing to STA60003 Basic Statistical Computing using R
  • STA80005 Statistical Marketing Tools changing to STA80005 Advanced Data Mining
  • STA80006 Using R for Statistical Analysis changing to STA80006 Statistical Decision Making

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