ECON1203 Business and Economic Statistics - 2020

6 Units of Credit
This course outline is for the current semester. To view outlines from other years and/or semesters, visit the archives

1. Course Details

Summary of Course

This course introduces students to basic statistical concepts and methods that are widely used in economics, finance, accountancy, marketing and, more generally, business. Emphasis is placed on applying statistical methods to draw inferences from sample data as an aid to informed decision-making. Course topics include descriptive statistics, probability distributions, point and interval estimation of parameters, hypothesis testing, and regression models. Students will learn to solve statistical problems in an Excel spreadsheet environment. This course is the first stepping stone for data analysis and provides the basis for further study of statistical and econometric methods.

Presumed Knowledge

Students entering the BCom and BEc are expected to be familiar with HSC Mathematics and this material will not be explicitly covered or revised in this course. If you have not studied HSC mathematics in New South Wales, knowledge of the following topics is essential: algebra (including logarithms, exponentials, functions and graphs), basic probability, derivatives and differentiation rules, and simple integration.

Students also need to practice in their own time using Excel, which is the environment in which most problems will be worked through. There will not be any official training or class for Excel as part of the course.

It should be emphasized that all interactions in this course with the exception of the on-campus final examination will be conducted online. A proper internet connection and reliable internet access are essential throughout the course. Students with slow or intermittent internet connections are encouraged not to enrol. No special consideration will be granted for internet problems, including the inability to upload files in a timely manner.

Teaching Times and Locations

Please note that teaching times and locations are subject to change. Students are strongly advised to refer to the Class Timetable website for the most up-to-date teaching times and locations.

View course timetable

Course Policies & Support

Course Aims and Relationship to Other Courses

ECON1203 Business and Economic Statistics is offered as part of the first-year core in the BCom and BEc degrees within the UNSW Business School. It aims to give you the basic skills and knowledge for data analysis that will be used in further study in all other disciplines in the Business School. In particular, ECON1203 is a prerequisite for all higher-level courses in econometrics and business statistics offered by the School of Economics. These courses are designed to equip students with more advanced statistical and other quantitative skills that are in demand by employers in the public and private sectors.

2. Staff Contact Details

Position Title Name Email Location Phone Consultation Times
Lecturer-in-chargeDrHasin YousafQuad 31209385 3323Mondays 3:00 to 5:45 p.m.

​The lecturer-in-charge is responsible for the overall direction and academic content of the course.

The lecturer-in-charge should be contacted by email in the case of administrative queries. All course content queries should be raised through the Moodle interface.

3. Learning and Teaching Activities

Approach to Learning and Teaching in the Course

​The philosophy underpinning this course and its Teaching and Learning Strategies are based on “Guidelines on Learning that Inform Teaching at UNSW”. Specifically, the content and assessments have been designed to appropriately challenge students and support the achievement of the desired learning outcomes. A climate of inquiry and discussion is encouraged between students and teachers and among students via participation in the online Discussion Forum. The lecturer aims to provide meaningful and timely feedback to students to help improve learning outcomes.

Learning Activities and Teaching Strategies

The examinable content of the course is defined by the textbook chapters referred to in the Course Schedule; the content of the lecture slides; the content of the tutorial program and all other material contained in the Moodle.

You are expected to read assigned chapters in the textbook and to review lecture slides each week, as we move through each topic. To get the most out of your online learning time, you are advised to work through the relevant lecture material and textbook chapters assigned for a given week and participate in the Blackboard Collaborate sessions and discussion forum. Links to all materials required for learning, with the exception of the textbook itself, will be provided through the Moodle site.

Please note that the Blackboard Collaborate sessions will be interactive. Students should come prepared with questions for the Lecturer in Charge to respond to. The Blackboard Collaborate sessions will not cover entire lectures or tutorials, but only cover topics (for lectures) and questions (for tutorials) that students find more challenging.

The purpose of your offline learning is to provide a logical structure for the topics that make up the course; to develop a basic grasp of the important concepts and methods of each topic; and to start engaging with relevant examples to which the concepts and methods are applied.

You will also be working online for each of the feedback quizzes, described in more detail below, which are to be completed by each student individually.

You may also find other resources provided on the Moodle site to be of use.

General Strategy

An “ideal” weekly study strategy (on which the provision of course materials is based) might look like the following:

  1. Read the relevant chapter(s) of the text after going through the lecture slides, and participate in the Blackboard Collaborate session 1 of the week. Complete your reading and review by the middle of the week.
  2. Attempt the tutorial questions (available via Moodle) on your own. This helps you to identify issues that need to be clarified or resolved. You might need to go back to the textbook or lecture slides for more clarification.
  3. Participate in the Blackboard Collaborate session 2 of the week for a review of the chapter(s) and tutorial discussions
  4. Participate in discussion forum via Moodle.
  5. (if desired) Revisit tutorial questions and make a second attempt at the questions assigned for that week’s topics.
  6. Complete the online feedback quiz for that week.

5. Course Resources

The website for this course is on UNSW Moodle at:

The Moodle site provides access to announcements, discussion forum, soft copies of course-specific files uploaded by staff (including this course outline), and other resources relevant to the course.

The textbook for this course is:

  • Sharpe, DeVeaux and Velleman (2015), Business Statistics, 2nd Global Edition, Pearson (ISBN 978-1-292-05869-6).

Students may also find the following books useful as extra reading:

  • Keller. G. (2012), Statistics for Management and Economics (Abbreviated), 9th Edition, South-Western Cengage Learning
  • Berenson, ML et al (2010), Business Statistics, Pearson Prentice Hall

6. Course Evaluation & Development

Feedback is regularly sought from students and continual improvements are made based on this feedback. At the end of this course, you will be asked to complete the myExperience survey, which provides a key source of student evaluative feedback. Your input into this quality enhancement process is extremely valuable in assisting us to meet the needs of our students and provide an effective and enriching learning experience. The results of all surveys are carefully considered and do lead to action towards enhancing educational quality.

​​The School of Economics strives to be responsive to student feedback. If you would like more information on how the design of this course and changes made to it over time have taken students’ needs and preferences into account, please contact the Director of Education at the School of Economics.

7. Course Schedule

Note: for more information on the UNSW academic calendar and key dates including study period, exam, supplementary exam and result release, please visit:
Week Activity Topic Assessment/Other
Week 1: 6th JanuaryBlackboard Collaboration – Lectures

Day and time: Friday, January 10th 2020, 9:00-10:00 a.m. (AEDT)


Topic: Sharpe Book Chapters 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5

  • Introduction to statistics and distributions
  • Descriptive statistics
  • Introduction to simple regression
  • Data collection and sampling
Blackboard Collaboration – Tutorials

Day and time: Monday, January 13th 2020, 9:00-10:00 a.m. (AEDT)


Topic: Sharpe Book Chapters 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5

  • Introduction to statistics and distributions
  • Descriptive statistics
  • Introduction to simple regression
  • Data collection and sampling
Week 2: 13th JanuaryBlackboard Collaboration – Lectures

Day and time: Friday, January 17th 2020, 9:00-10:00 a.m. (AEDT)


Topic: Sharpe Book Chapters 6, 7, and 8

  • Introduction to probability distributions
  • Random variables, discrete probability distributions, expectations
  • Binomial distribution
Blackboard Collaboration – Tutorials

Day and time: Monday, January 20th 2020, 9:00-10:00 a.m. (AEDT)


Topic: Sharpe Book Chapters 6, 7, and 8

  • Introduction to probability distributions
  • Random variables, discrete probability distributions, expectations
  • Binomial distribution
Quiz 1

From Weeks 1 and 2 Lectures and Tutorials Material

Due on Saturday 18th January 2020, 23:59 Sydney Time

Week 3: 20th JanuaryBlackboard Collaboration – Lectures

Day and time: Friday, January 24th 2020, 9:00-10:00 a.m. (AEDT)


Topic: Sharpe Book Chapters 9, 10, 11, and 12

  • Continuous random variables
  • Normal distribution
  • Introduction to estimation
  • Sampling distributions, central limit theorem
  • Interval estimation
Blackboard Collaboration – Tutorials

Day and time: Monday, January 27th 2020, 9:00-10:00 a.m. (AEDT)


Topic: Sharpe Book Chapters 9, 10, 11, and 12

  • Continuous random variables
  • Normal distribution
  • Introduction to estimation
  • Sampling distributions, central limit theorem
  • Interval estimation
Quiz 2

From Week 3 Lectures and Tutorials Material

Due on Saturday 26th January 2020, 23:59 Sydney Time

Week 4: 27 January 2019Blackboard Collaboration – Lectures

Day and time: Friday, January 31st 2020, 9:00-10:00 a.m. (AEDT)


Topic: Sharpe Book Chapters 13, 14, and 15


  • Hypothesis testing
  • Power of a test
  • Confidence intervals
  • Chi-squared and other tests
Blackboard Collaboration – Tutorials

Day and time: Monday, February 3rd 2020, 9:00-10:00 a.m. (AEDT)


Topic: Sharpe Book Chapters 13, 14, and 15


  • Hypothesis testing
  • Power of a test
  • Confidence intervals
  • Chi-squared and other tests
Quiz 3

From Week 4 Lectures and Tutorials Material

Due on Saturday 2nd February 2020, 23:59 Sydney Time

Week 5: 3rd FebruaryBlackboard Collaboration – Lectures

Day and time: Friday, February 7th 2020, 9:00-10:00 a.m. (AEDT)


Topic: Sharpe Book Chapters 16, 17, and 18

  • Simple linear regression
  • Inferences about the regression line
  • Multiple regression
Blackboard Collaboration – Tutorials

Day and time: Monday, February 7th 2020, 10:00-11:00 a.m. (AEDT)


Topic: Sharpe Book Chapters 16, 17, and 18

  • Simple linear regressionI
  • nferences about the regression line
  • Multiple regression
Quiz 4

From Week 5 Lectures and Tutorials Material

Due on Friday 7th February 2020, 23:59 Sydney Time

8. Policies and Support

Information about UNSW Business School protocols, University policies, student responsibilities and education quality and support.

Program Learning Outcomes

The Business School places knowledge and capabilities at the core of its curriculum via seven Program Learning Outcomes (PLOs). These PLOs are systematically embedded and developed across the duration of all coursework programs in the Business School.

PLOs embody the knowledge, skills and capabilities that are taught, practised and assessed within each Business School program. They articulate what you should know and be able to do upon successful completion of your degree.

Upon graduation, you should have a high level of specialised business knowledge and capacity for responsible business thinking, underpinned by ethical professional practice. You should be able to harness, manage and communicate business information effectively and work collaboratively with others. You should be an experienced problem-solver and critical thinker, with a global perspective, cultural competence and the potential for innovative leadership.

All UNSW programs and courses are designed to assess the attainment of program and/or course level learning outcomes, as required by the UNSW Assessment Design Procedure. It is important that you become familiar with the Business School PLOs, as they constitute the framework which informs and shapes the components and assessments of the courses within your program of study.

PLO 1: Business knowledge

Students will make informed and effective selection and application of knowledge in a discipline or profession, in the contexts of local and global business.

PLO 2: Problem solving

Students will define and address business problems, and propose effective evidence-based solutions, through the application of rigorous analysis and critical thinking.

PLO 3: Business communication

Students will harness, manage and communicate business information effectively using multiple forms of communication across different channels.

PLO 4: Teamwork

Students will interact and collaborate effectively with others to achieve a common business purpose or fulfil a common business project, and reflect critically on the process and the outcomes.

PLO 5: Responsible business practice

Students will develop and be committed to responsible business thinking and approaches, which are underpinned by ethical professional practice and sustainability considerations.

PLO 6: Global and cultural competence

Students will be aware of business systems in the wider world and actively committed to recognise and respect the cultural norms, beliefs and values of others, and will apply this knowledge to interact, communicate and work effectively in diverse environments.

PLO 7: Leadership development

Students will develop the capacity to take initiative, encourage forward thinking and bring about innovation, while effectively influencing others to achieve desired results.

These PLOs relate to undergraduate and postgraduate coursework programs.  Separate PLOs for honours and postgraduate research programs are included under 'Related Documents'.

Business School course outlines provide detailed information for students on how the course learning outcomes, learning activities, and assessment/s contribute to the development of Program Learning Outcomes.



UNSW Graduate Capabilities

The Business School PLOs also incorporate UNSW graduate capabilities, a set of generic abilities and skills that all students are expected to achieve by graduation. These capabilities articulate the University’s institutional values, as well as future employer expectations.

UNSW Graduate CapabilitiesBusiness School PLOs
Scholars capable of independent and collaborative enquiry, rigorous in their analysis, critique and reflection, and able to innovate by applying their knowledge and skills to the solution of novel as well as routine problems.
  • PLO 1: Business knowledge
  • PLO 2: Problem solving
  • PLO 3: Business communication
  • PLO 4: Teamwork
  • PLO 7: Leadership development

Entrepreneurial leaders capable of initiating and embracing innovation and change, as well as engaging and enabling others to contribute to change
  • PLO 1: Business knowledge
  • PLO 2: Problem solving
  • PLO 3: Business communication
  • PLO 4: Teamwork
  • PLO 6: Global and cultural competence
  • PLO 7: Leadership development

Professionals capable of ethical, self-directed practice and independent lifelong learning
  • PLO 1: Business knowledge
  • PLO 2: Problem solving
  • PLO 3: Business communication
  • PLO 5: Responsible business practice

Global citizens who are culturally adept and capable of respecting diversity and acting in a socially just and responsible way.
  • PLO 1: Business knowledge
  • PLO 2: Problem solving
  • PLO 3: Business communication
  • PLO 4: Teamwork
  • PLO 5: Responsible business practice
  • PLO 6: Global and cultural competence

While our programs are designed to provide coverage of all PLOs and graduate capabilities, they also provide you with a great deal of choice and flexibility.  The Business School strongly advises you to choose a range of courses that assist your development against the seven PLOs and four graduate capabilities, and to keep a record of your achievements as part of your portfolio. You can use a portfolio as evidence in employment applications as well as a reference for work or further study. For support with selecting your courses contact the UNSW Business School Student Centre.

Academic Integrity and Plagiarism

Academic Integrity is honest and responsible scholarship. This form of ethical scholarship is highly valued at UNSW. Terms like Academic Integrity, misconduct, referencing, conventions, plagiarism, academic practices, citations and evidence based learning are all considered basic concepts that successful university students understand. Learning how to communicate original ideas, refer sources, work independently, and report results accurately and honestly are skills that you will be able to carry beyond your studies.

The definition of academic misconduct is broad. It covers practices such as cheating, copying and using another person’s work without appropriate acknowledgement. Incidents of academic misconduct may have serious consequences for students.


UNSW regards plagiarism as a form of academic misconduct. UNSW has very strict rules regarding plagiarism. Plagiarism at UNSW is using the words or ideas of others and passing them off as your own. All Schools in the Business School have a Student Ethics Officer who will investigate incidents of plagiarism and may result in a student’s name being placed on the Plagiarism and Student Misconduct Registers.

Below are examples of plagiarism including self-plagiarism:

Copying: Using the same or very similar words to the original text or idea without acknowledging the source or using quotation marks. This includes copying materials, ideas or concepts from a book, article, report or other written document, presentation, composition, artwork, design, drawing, circuitry, computer program or software, website, internet, other electronic resource, or another person's assignment, without appropriate acknowledgement of authorship.

Inappropriate Paraphrasing: Changing a few words and phrases while mostly retaining the original structure and/or progression of ideas of the original, and information without acknowledgement. This also applies in presentations where someone paraphrases another’s ideas or words without credit and to piecing together quotes and paraphrases into a new whole, without appropriate referencing.

Collusion: Presenting work as independent work when it has been produced in whole or part in collusion with other people. Collusion includes:

  • Students providing their work to another student before the due date, or for the purpose of them plagiarising at any time
  • Paying another person to perform an academic task and passing it off as your own
  • Stealing or acquiring another person’s academic work and copying it
  • Offering to complete another person’s work or seeking payment for completing academic work

Collusion should not be confused with academic collaboration (i.e., shared contribution towards a group task).

Inappropriate Citation: Citing sources which have not been read, without acknowledging the 'secondary' source from which knowledge of them has been obtained.

Self-Plagiarism: ‘Self-plagiarism’ occurs where an author republishes their own previously written work and presents it as new findings without referencing the earlier work, either in its entirety or partially. Self-plagiarism is also referred to as 'recycling', 'duplication', or 'multiple submissions of research findings' without disclosure. In the student context, self-plagiarism includes re-using parts of, or all of, a body of work that has already been submitted for assessment without proper citation.

To see if you understand plagiarism, do this short quiz:


The University also regards cheating as a form of academic misconduct. Cheating is knowingly submitting the work of others as their own and includes contract cheating (work produced by an external agent or third party that is submitted under the pretences of being a student’s original piece of work). Cheating is not acceptable at UNSW.

If you need to revise or clarify any terms associated with academic integrity you should explore the 'Working with Academic Integrity' self-paced lessons available at:

For UNSW policies, penalties, and information to help you avoid plagiarism see: as well as the guidelines in the online ELISE tutorials for all new UNSW students: For information on student conduct see:

For information on how to acknowledge your sources and reference correctly, see: If you are unsure what referencing style to use in this course, you should ask the lecturer in charge.

Student Responsibilities and Conduct

Students are expected to be familiar with and adhere to university policies in relation to class attendance and general conduct and behaviour, including maintaining a safe, respectful environment; and to understand their obligations in relation to workload, assessment and keeping informed.

Information and policies on these topics can be found on the 'Managing your Program' website.


It is expected that you will spend at least ten to twelve hours per week studying for a course except for Summer Term courses which have a minimum weekly workload of twenty to twenty four hours. This time should be made up of reading, research, working on exercises and problems, online activities and attending classes. In periods where you need to complete assignments or prepare for examinations, the workload may be greater. Over-commitment has been a cause of failure for many students. You should take the required workload into account when planning how to balance study with employment and other activities.

We strongly encourage you to connect with your Moodle course websites in the first week of semester. Local and international research indicates that students who engage early and often with their course website are more likely to pass their course.

View more information on expected workload


Your regular and punctual attendance at lectures and seminars or in online learning activities is expected in this course. The Business School reserves the right to refuse final assessment to those students who attend less than 80% of scheduled classes where attendance and participation is required as part of the learning process (e.g., tutorials, flipped classroom sessions, seminars, labs, etc.).

View more information on attendance

General Conduct and Behaviour

You are expected to conduct yourself with consideration and respect for the needs of your fellow students and teaching staff. Conduct which unduly disrupts or interferes with a class, such as ringing or talking on mobile phones, is not acceptable and students may be asked to leave the class.

View more information on student conduct

Health and Safety

UNSW Policy requires each person to work safely and responsibly, in order to avoid personal injury and to protect the safety of others.

View more information on Health and Safety

Keeping Informed

You should take note of all announcements made in lectures, tutorials or on the course web site. From time to time, the University will send important announcements to your university e-mail address without providing you with a paper copy. You will be deemed to have received this information. It is also your responsibility to keep the University informed of all changes to your contact details.

Student Support and Resources

The University and the Business School provide a wide range of support services and resources for students, including:

Business School EQS Consultation Program
The Consultation Program offers academic writing, literacy and numeracy consultations, study skills, exam preparation for Business students. Services include workshops, online resources, individual and group consultations.
Level 1, Room 1035, Quadrangle Building.
02 9385 4508

Communication Resources
The Business School Communication and Academic Support programs provide online modules, communication workshops and additional online resources to assist you in developing your academic writing.

Business School Student Centre
The Business School Student Centre provides advice and direction on all aspects of admission, enrolment and graduation.
Level 1, Room 1028 in the Quadrangle Building
02 9385 3189

UNSW Learning Centre
The UNSW Learning Centre provides academic skills support services, including workshops and resources, for all UNSW students. See their website for details.
Lower Ground Floor, North Wing Chancellery Building.
02 9385 2060

Educational Support Service
Educational Support Advisors work with all students to promote the development of skills needed to succeed at university, whilst also providing personal support throughout the process. Check their website to request an appointment or to register in the Academic Success Program.
John Goodsell Building, Ground Floor.
02 9385 4734

Library services and facilities for students
The UNSW Library offers a range of collections, services and facilities both on-campus and online.
Main Library, F21.
02 9385 2650

Moodle eLearning Support
Moodle is the University’s learning management system. You should ensure that you log into Moodle regularly.
02 9385 3331

UNSW IT provides support and services for students such as password access, email services, wireless services and technical support.
UNSW Library Annexe (Ground floor).
02 9385 1333

Disability Support Services
UNSW Disability Support Services provides assistance to students who are trying to manage the demands of university as well as a health condition, learning disability or who have personal circumstances that are having an impact on their studies. Disability Advisers can arrange to put in place services and educational adjustments to make things more manageable so that students are able to complete their course requirements. To receive educational adjustments for disability support, students must first register with Disability Services.
Ground Floor, John Goodsell Building.
02 9385 4734

UNSW Counselling and Psychological Services
Provides support and services if you need help with your personal life, getting your academic life back on track or just want to know how to stay safe, including free, confidential counselling.
Level 2, East Wing, Quadrangle Building.
02 9385 5418

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