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Biostatisticians apply statistics to health related fields. They consult with other researchers to design studies for answering health questions. They may study how serious a certain disease is, or how effective a treatment method or medicine is. They may provide information about the progress of a disease, and estimate the cost and quality of the health care given to patients. Often, they analyse the information collected by their research, and use this to design health policies and help insurance companies to make good business decisions. A career in biostatistics is challenging and helps to solve the health problems in our country.

To summarise, biostatisticians use their knowledge of research methods to help plan, choose and carry out the study needed to answer the questions at hand. They analyse the results of the study and may also use their expertise to design new ways of doing research.

Satisfying Aspects
- many work opportunities
- play a vital role, analysing health problems
- variety of work

Demanding aspects
- need to work with great accuracy

- enjoy applying statistics to health issues
- interest in designing and carrying out research studies
- have good observation, measurement and problem-solving skills
- be hard-working and pay attention to detail

School Subjects
National Senior Certificate meeting degree requirements for a degree course

Each institution will have its own minimum entry requirements.

Compulsory Subjects: Mathematics, Physical Sciences
Recommended Subjects: Life Sciences,

Degree: Biostatisticians study a BSc degree related to Biostatistics. They usually study at university, as not many universities of technology offer qualifications related to biostatistics. Biostatisticians working in the field are BSc graduates who have majored in Applied Maths, Maths or Statistics. The BSc degree qualifies graduates for entry-level positions and positions doing basic research work at universities and research organisations. UFS offers a course in Biostatistics.

Postgraduate: After completing a BSc degree related to biostatistics, advanced post-graduate study is required before graduates can apply for lecturing jobs at universities or positions in research and administration.

- market research institutes and companies
- hospitals and other health care facilities
- medical research institutes
- universities
- Central Statistical Service
- municipalities, government departments and international organizations
- fields of veterinary medicine, botany or wildlife research.
- in research into sports medicine, environmental health, pharmaceuticals, health surveys and genetics

There are many new fields involving biostatistics, such as statistical genetics and medical imaging, creating new job opportunities for biostatisticians.

South African Medical Research Council
P O Box 19070
Tygerberg, 7505
Tel: (021) 938-0911
Fax: (021) 938-0200