Statistical Methods in Natural Sciences

5 credits

Syllabus, Master's level, 1BG391

Education cycle
Second cycle
Main field(s) of study and in-depth level
Biology A1N, Chemistry A1N, Earth Science A1N
Grading system
Fail (U), Pass (G)
Finalised by
The Faculty Board of Science and Technology, 14 October 2022
Responsible department
Biology Education Centre

Entry requirements

Bachelor's degree in natural sciences including 60 credits in biology and 5 credits in statistics. Proficiency in English equivalent to the Swedish upper secondary course English 6.

Learning outcomes

On completion of the course, the student should be able to

  • describe statistical models
  • choose methods to evaluate different types of empirical data
  • use the most important and most common statistical methods
  • present the philosophy and the arguments behind experimental design and hypothesis testing.


The course starts from the students' knowledge about basic statistical concepts such as measures of central tendency and variation and hypothesis testing. The aim is to give a good overview over the statistical toolbox that is used for the analysis of empirical data, especially within biology. The course covers analysis of experimental data (ANOVA, ANCOVA, including block experiments, repeated measurement, nested and factorial experiments) but also observational data (regression including methods to choose predictors and evaluate models generalised linear models (GLIM) with logistic and Poisson distribution). Introduction to power analysis, multivariate analysis, resampling and permutation techniques. A short introduction to the program R is also offered.


Lectures, literature discussions and individual computer exercises (analysis of example data).


A passing grade requires both attendance at all parts and passed presentations of computer exercises.

If there are special reasons for doing so, an examiner may make an exception from the method of assessment indicated and allow a student to be assessed by another method. An example of special reasons might be a certificate regarding special pedagogical support from the disability coordinator of the university.