ASC114 Applied Statistics and Animal Epidemiology (8)

This subject provides an introduction to the fundamental research skills required to answer questions that are posed by practitioners and scientists within the equine and veterinary technology industries. This subject covers the principles of experimental design which ensure that research conducted is well planned and able to provide useful and reliable results. The correct formulation of hypotheses that are fundamental to statistical testing is discussed along with the requirements for data collection and management. A range of appropriate descriptive and analytical statistical methods will be covered, along with an introduction to quantitative animal-based epidemiology to describe and investigate problems in animal populations. On successful completion of this subject, students should be able to recognise a well-designed study, appreciate appropriate statistical testing and critically consider the conclusions with respect to the statistical outcomes for a range of industry-based problems.


Session 2 (60)
On Campus
Wagga Wagga Campus
Wagga Wagga Campus

Continuing students should consult the SAL for current offering details: ASC114. Where differences exist between the Handbook and the SAL, the SAL should be taken as containing the correct subject offering details.

Subject Information

Grading System



One session


School of Animal and Veterinary Sciences

Enrolment Restrictions

Students enrolled in the Bachelor of Veterinary Technology and the Bachelor of Equine Science (with specialisation). Other students with permission of their Course Director and the Subject Coordinator.

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this subject, students should:
  • be able to explain the research cycle and plan research studies;
  • be able to design research studies in order to generate usable data;
  • be able to identify appropriate data collection, collation (management) and analysis methods and apply these in order to test hypotheses and reach statistically valid conclusions about research questions;
  • be able to use statistical software to conduct simple descriptive and analytical statistics of industry related data;
  • be able to define and use basic epidemiological concepts to assess contemporary problems within the animal industries;
  • be able to demonstrate appropriate interpretation and inference skills based on the hierarchy of evidence for epidemiological investigations; and
  • be able to reach informed statistical based conclusions and communicate these appropriately to a range of audiences.


This subject will cover the following topics:
  • Research Planning - research cycle, principles of experimental design, randomisation, replication, error, sample sizes, subject selection and sampling strategies. Other external considerations e.g. ethics, economics, seasonality.
  • Research Planning - research questions, aims, objectives and hypotheses.
  • Data Organisation - data collection, collation and management.
  • Dealing with Data - data distributions, testing for normality, parametric versus non-parametric testing, transforming data.
  • The Statistical Method - hypothesis, probability, significance and the magic number (P<0.05).
  • Descriptive Statistics - measures of central tendency (averages, mean, median, mode) and variation (variance, standard deviation, standard error of the mean, range and interquartile range), percentages and proportions.
  • Analytical Statistics - differences (t tests and simple analysis of variance), relationships (correlation and simple linear regression) and associations (Chi-squared).
  • Epidemiological methods - observational versus intervention, population versus individual, descriptive versus analytical, prevalence studies versus case control studies versus cohort (follow-up studies). Risk factors and the importance of frequency, dynamics and associations; interpretation and inference skills based on the hierarchy of evidence.
  • Communication skills - basic principles of communication, pitching content at the right level.

Indicative Assessment

The following table summarises the assessment tasks for the online offering of ASC114 in Session 2 2020. Please note this is a guide only. Assessment tasks are regularly updated and can also differ to suit the mode of study (online or on campus).

Item Number
Value %
Research proposal
Statistics assessment
Online mini test (epi) 1 of 3
Online mini test (epi) 2 of 3
Online mini test (epi) 3 of 3
Research reports

The information contained in the CSU Handbook was accurate at the date of publication: May 2021. The University reserves the right to vary the information at any time without notice.