Introductory Statistics Online

Provider business unit: Statistical Consulting Unit »

The Statistical Consulting Unit runs a number of courses throughout the academic year. The objective of the courses is to promote sound statistical thinking and an awareness of appropriate modern statistical practice, leading to informative analyses. This is of particular value to students who utilise statistical concepts and methods in research theses as well as those seeking to enhance their wider statistical understanding. The courses are:

  • are designed for research students and ANU staff who have no or minimal training and knowledge of statistical analysis
  • use a case-study, problem oriented approach to teaching
  • do not require sophisticated mathematical skills
  • provide an introduction to modern statistical practice
  • provide an introduction to the underlying modern statistical thinking and concepts used in many analyses


This course is delivered on-line through Wattle. There are no set hours, but to get most benefit from the course participants should set aside about 30 hours during a 10-week period to complete the course.  The aim of the course is to strengthen the ability of the participants to use statistics in their research work. Emphasis is on concepts and the use of formulae has been minimised. In response to feedback from students and staff, the course was altered substantially in 2012 and to a lesser extent in 2013.

Course content

  • Explains how statistical analysis involves measuring and interpreting the variability observed in data
  • Explains and describes the fundamentals of good experimental design
  • Shows the important aspects of sampling
  • Teaches and reviews descriptive and inferential statistics used for statistical analysis
  • Shows how to use statistical modelling as a basis for statistical analysis.

Please click here for detailed course content of Introductory Statistics Online.

Key skills taught

  • Fundamentals of data collection 
  • Organising data
  • Describing data well (descriptive statistics)
  • Making valid generalisations (inferential statistics)
  • Formulating and testing statistical hypotheses.


This course is free to ANU Staff & Students (honours & research only).

Registrations are open year-round. Please register and follow the prompts for enrolment.

Each course provides a practical introduction to various statistical methods. There will be plenty of opportunity for discussion with course leaders on appropriate methods of analysing data, and help will be provided with interpreting results.

Understanding the basic concepts and issues makes the consultation process more efficient and effective. We recommend that all students who intend involving the SCU in their project attend some relevant courses.