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The current and official versions of the course specifications are available on the web at https://www.usq.edu.au/course/specification/current.
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STA1003 Fundamental Statistics

Semester 1, 2023 Online
Units : 1
School or Department : School of Mathematics, Physics & Computing
Grading basis : Graded
Course fee schedule : https://www.unisq.edu.au/current-students/administration/fees/fee-schedules
Version produced : 28 May 2023


Course Coordinator: Katherine Peake


Enrolment is not permitted in STA1003 if STA2300 or STA8170 or STA6200 or STA1004 has been previously completed.
Students enrolled in the BACT, or undertaking the Accounting Major in the BBCM, are not eligible for enrolment.


This course aims to provide students who have limited knowledge of statistics, with the fundamental statistical concepts, methods and skills necessary in order to undertake or critically appraise quantitative methods and the interpretation of subsequent results. The course is aimed at developing statistical literacy and a strong foundation in threshold statistical competencies in students from a variety of disciplines, including science, psychology, the physical sciences, business, commerce, and IT; and is a pre-requisite for most high-level statistics courses.

This course focuses primarily on the appropriate application, interpretation and communication of foundational descriptive and inferential statistical methods. Emphasis is placed on understanding the concepts and principles associated with dealing with data, in particular descriptive and inferential statistics. Data sets from a range of disciplines are included as well as examples of statistics presented in popular media. Core components of the course include the use of statistical software and the development of problem solving and quantitative skills relevant to many disciplines of study. Note: The mathematical underpinnings of the methods used are not covered; other statistics courses cover this aspect.

Course learning outcomes

On successful completion of this course students should be able to:

  1. Explore relationships in data and distinguish between different methods of data collection and analysis;
  2. Evaluate and apply a variety of statistical inferential methods to real life situations;
  3. Use a statistical computer package to enter, summarise and analyse data;
  4. Interpret and communicate the results of statistical analyses for a diverse audience.


Description Weighting(%)
1. Exploring and understanding data: variables and values; types of data; introduction to SPSS; categorical variables; contingency tables; sampling methods; surveys; 10.00
2. Describing distributions: quantitative data; graphs of distributions; summary statistics; Experimental design: principles of good design; causation and confounding; 10.00
3. Using the normal model: standardising; unstandardising; standard normal curve; using Standard Normal Probabilities; 8.00
4. Exploring relationships between quantitative variables: scatterplots; correlation and regression; boxplots; 12.00
5. Randomness and probability: probability rules; events; probability models; means and standard deviation; introduction to statistical inference; 10.00
6. Non-parametric hypothesis test: chi-square test of independence; chi-square goodness-of-fit test; 10.00
7. Sampling distribution models: proportions and means; standard error; the central limit theorem; 5.00
8. Statistical inference about a proportion; introduction to parametric tests; confidence intervals for proportion; z-test for proportion; sample size determination; 14.00
9. Statistical inference about mean: one sample t-procedure for a mean; confidence intervals for a mean; level of significance; type I and type II error; 8.00
10. Comparing means: two sample t-procedures; independent and dependent samples; confidence intervals and hypothesis testing; 8.00
11. Synthesis and consolidation, ethical collection and use of data; the binomial model. 5.00

Text and materials required to be purchased or accessed

De Veaux, R.D., Velleman, P.F. & Bock, D.E 2021, Stats: Data and Models, Global Edition, 5th edn, Pearson Education, Harlow, United Kingdom.
All additional study material will be provided on the course StudyDesk.
IBM SPSS STATISTICS BASE GRAD PACK VERSION 27.0 (SPSS Version 20.0 or later is acceptable) (Note: This software can be accessed when on campus in computer laboratories and the library.

1) a six-month license for a download version can be purchased online from the Australia and New Zealand distributors of SPSS, Hearne Software. Before deciding to choose the download option check that the size of the download is compatible with your internet quota and speed. Be aware that the SPSS student license only allows limited reinstalment within the designated license period from initial installation.

2) students can access SPSS free online through https://turbo.usq.edu.au/ using their USQ credentials to login (more information will be provided on the course Study Desk). This option requires reliable internet connection..

Student workload expectations

To do well in this subject, students are expected to commit approximately 10 hours per week including class contact hours, independent study, and all assessment tasks. If you are undertaking additional activities, which may include placements and residential schools, the weekly workload hours may vary.

Assessment details

Approach Type Description Group
Weighting (%) Course learning outcomes
Assignments Written Quiz 1 No 18 1,2,4
Assignments Written Problem Solving No 33 1,2,3,4
Assignments Written Quiz 2 No 24 1,2,4
Assignments Written Quiz 3 No 25 1,2,3,4
Date printed 28 May 2023