Statistical targeted courses

Provider business unit: Statistical Consulting Unit »

Provider business unit: Statistical Consulting Unit »

The Statistical Consulting Unit is not at present resourced to run a full programme of targeted courses.

The SCU is nevertheless currently running a limited number of one-off short courses as a pilot project. These short courses are focused on design, choice of statistical technique, analysis and interpretation, and include statistical computing. They are limited at present to research areas in the university which make most use of the SCU, because it is in these areas that course preparation time is shortest.

The intent beyond the pilot phase is to run a number of targeted courses throughout the academic year. Given this context, the material that follows is a statement of intent.

General protocol

A targeted course is one that is presented upon request, as part of a long term programme, by members of the Statistical Consulting Unit to a group of students and/or academic staff with similar statistical needs in a school or college of ANU.

The objective of targeted 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. More general courses:

  • 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. 

A targeted course is one that is presented upon request by members of the Statistical Consulting Unit to a group of students with similar statistical needs in a school or college of ANU.

Date & location

A date for the course needs to be set at least three months in advance. The respective colleges are advised to coordinate with SCU course convenor to decide upon a suitable date and venue.

The venue for the course is to be booked and organised by the college coordinator. The venue will need to have computer and projection facilities for the presenter(s), and computers or laptops with internet access and statistical software installed.  .


The course content and delivery format will be decided by agreement between the SCU convener and college coordinator. The format will at least in part be lecture based, but would usually also involve hands-on teaching using the statistical software on the computers. If this is the case, a computer laboratory will need to be booked in advance by the college coordinator.

Course registration & attendance

All registrations will need to be organised and finalised by the college coordinator. The SCU will need to be informed of the number of attendees, along with names and email addresses, two weeks prior to the course commencement. Courses will have a maximum number of participants, determined by venue and resourcing.


The SCU will supply a course brick in softcopy for each course participant, consisting of lecture notes and tutorial questions, plus software if necessary. SCU brochures will be available for the students to take, which will inform them of the additional services such as 1-1 cvonsulting that the SCU offers. Any hardcopy printing will remain the responsibility of the college or participant.

Tea breaks

Light snacks and tea, coffee and juice should be provided by the host college, as well as an area for the recess breaks to be held.


These courses are generally provided free to ANU Staff & Students (honours & research only), except where the presenter is from outside the SCU. Courses are not available to non-ANU Staff & Students.

Registrations are open year-round.

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.


The courses normally run for 1-3 days, but the length can be tailored to suit both parties' needs. The cost for the course will need to be negotiated, but given sufficient ANU staff resource will be free. At the end of the course, the SCU will send the respective college an invoice. Payment is normally through an internal journal transfer and is GST exclusive.


Initial contact and communication is to be made with the SCU Director.

Professor Stephen Haslett 
+61 2 6125 0562

All subsequent communication will be handled by SCU Administration:

Nicole Armstrong
+61 2 6125 8349