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B106.20.16 Biostatistik l


Statistics is the discipline that deals with randomness and probabilities and how to extract information from data in the face of randomness. Each scientific discipline attempting to learn about real world phenomena deals with statistical issues. Biostatistics is the sub-discipline of Statistics that focuses on applications in medicine and public health.

In this module you learn how to describe transparently data that was collected for a given study. In addition you learn how to make inferences and conclusions that go beyond the current data set and make statements about the underlying population of interest. Furthermore, the information in the data set has to be condensed and presented in an understandable fashion. For this 

  • you reduce data by calculating group level quantities (like means, risks etc).
  • you quantify and interpret the amount of statistical uncertainty in your data, mostly by using 95% confidence intervals.
  • you make the first steps in using a statistical software (Stata) for data description, data transformation and simple statistical analyses.
  • you communicate appropriately the results obtained.
  • you translate specific questions into relevant statistical quantities of interest.


Quantities of descriptive statistics and the fundamentals of statistical inference

  • Uncertainty due to randomness
  • 95% confidence intervals
  • Calculating and transforming probability statements
  • The interpretation of a p-value


The course is based on the textbook “Essential medical statistics” (https://www.blackwellpublishing.com/essentialmedstats/) and is a mixture of lectures and solving practical problems on concrete examples and data sets (in-class and at home). With this you will develop a solid understanding of the main concepts of statistical inference biomedical sciences. The course material will be made available on a password-protected course homepage (http://basic-biostats.ispmbern.ch/).


Written exam during the course

Preparation and postprocessing

12 hours preparation, no postprocessing
In total 24 hours of off-class work and project tasks on August 23, 25, and September 7, 2016

ECTS Credits


Target audience

  • Basismodul im Kernstudium
  • Fachleute aus dem Gesundheitswesen mit Grundkenntnissen der Epidemiologie


vorausgesetzt wird:

  • «Bevölkerungsbezogene Daten und epidemiologische Studien verstehen» (B101.20)
  • «Konzepte, Methoden und Anwendungen der deskriptiven und analytischen Epidemiologie» (B102.30)


Institut für Sozial- und Präventivmedizin der Universität Bern

Coordination of course

Prof. Dr. Marcel Zwahlen, Institut für Sozial- und Präventivmedizin der Universität Bern

Lecturers and tutors

Prof. Dr. Marcel Zwahlen, Institut für Sozial- und Präventivmedizin der Universität Bern


22 - 26 August 2016 and 5 - 8 September 2016




Fr. 2'900.- (inkl. Material und Software)

Registration deadline

22 June 2016

Additional information

  • Die Teilnehmenden müssen ein Notebook mitbringen (Windows oder Mac), idealerweise auch einen Taschenrechner
  • 23. und 25. August sowie 7. September 2016 sind für eigenständige Projektarbeit reserviert (am Kursort oder anderswo)