Courses & Units

Data Analysis Methods QMS517


This unit presents a range of advanced statistical and data analysis techniques used in the marine sciences for students with an existing background in quantitative analysis. The course covers concepts of generalised linear models (GLMs), generalised additive models (GAMs), Bayes rules, bayesian versus frequentist interpretation, Markov chain Monte Carlo fundamentals, hierarchical models, bootstrap, permutation and cross validation tests. An introduction to time series and spectral analysis is given covering correlation, lags, interpolation and filtering techniques, spatial analyis methods (principal component analysis, empirical orthogonal functions, optimal interpolation). The lecture material is complemented by practical sessions using a number of different software packages, such as R, WINBUGS, Python, with exercises using oceanographic, fisheries, and other relevant data sets.


Unit name Data Analysis Methods
Unit code QMS517
Credit points 12.5
College/School College of Sciences and Engineering
Institute for Marine & Antarctic Studies
Discipline Ecology and Biodiversity|Oceans and Cryosphere
Coordinator Doctor Sophie Bestley
Delivered By University of Tasmania
Level Postgraduate


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Learning Outcomes

  • You will gain practical knowledge of approaches to statistical modelling of data in a marine and Antarctic context, and key skills in the operation of statistical software packages.
  • Develop the ability to construct statistical models that are fit for purpose, and critically evaluate alternative models in the context of a physical problem.
  • Demonstrate the ability to verbally and graphically communicate the results of statistical analyses clearly and accurately to both technical and non-technical audiences using globally adopted notations and conventions.
  • Understand the role of statistical modelling of marine and Antarctic data in a range of contexts and applications, and that the application and interpretation of statistical modelling may have important social and ethical implications.
Field of Education Commencing Student Contribution 1,3 Grandfathered Student Contribution 1,3 Approved Pathway Course Student Contribution 2,3 Domestic Full Fee 4
not applicable

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2 Please refer to more information on eligibility and Approved Pathway courses.
3 Please refer to more information on eligibility for HECS-HELP.
4 Please refer to more information on eligibility for FEE-HELP.

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Teaching Pattern

The unit is a 5-day intensive program with each day consisting of interleaved lecture and practical presentations.

AssessmentPortfolio (85%)|Portfolio Plan (15%)
TimetableView the lecture timetable | View the full unit timetable



There is no compulsory reading for the unit. For some topics supplementary reading material with be provided in addition to the lecture slides, for those that seek a deeper understanding of the material.


No single text covers all the material in this course, but the possible supplemental texts for some topics will be suggested throughout the laboratories.

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