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MAS8912 : Survival Analysis

  • Offered for Year: 2022/23
  • Module Leader(s): Professor Robin Henderson
  • Owning School: Mathematics, Statistics and Physics
  • Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus
Semester 2 Credit Value: 10
ECTS Credits: 5.0


To provide an appreciation of the need for and an understanding of, the principal statistical methods required in the analysis of survival data.

Module summary
There are many areas where interest focuses on data which measures the time to some event. In recent decades the principal application for such data has been how long patients survive before some event occurs. The event may be death or it may be the recurrence of a disease which had been in remission, or some other event. Applications are not solely medical: how long it takes a battery to run down or how long a component in a machine lasts before it fails are just two industrial examples. Such data are known as survival data, or sometimes lifetime data, and their analysis is called survival analysis. The main complication with survival data is that many observations will be ‘censored’, i.e. they are only partially observed. For example, when a trial of a new treatment for cancer is terminated many of the patients will still be alive. Therefore the survival times of those who died will be known exactly whereas for those still alive at the end of the trial, their survival time is only known to exceed their present survival. Methods for dealing with this form of data will be considered.

Outline Of Syllabus

Time-to-event data, censoring patterns. Non-parametric survival analysis: calculation of Kaplan-Meier estimates; use of log-rank statistics. Parametric survival analysis: exponential, Weibull and log-logistic distributions; likelihood analysis of effect of covariates. Proportional hazards model: partial likelihood; diagnostics; time-varying effects. Frailty. Prediction and explained variation.

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture51:005:00Present in Person
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture41:004:00Synchronous On-Line Material
Structured Guided LearningLecture materials181:0018:00Non-Synchronous Activities
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion151:0015:00N/A
Structured Guided LearningStructured non-synchronous discussion19:009:00N/A
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesDrop-in/surgery21:002:00Office Hour or Discussion Board Activity
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study471:0047:00N/A
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

Non-synchronous online materials are used for the delivery of theory and explanation of methods, illustrated with examples, and for giving general feedback on assessed work. Present-in-person and synchronous online sessions are used to help develop the students’ abilities at applying the theory to solving problems and to identify and resolve specific queries raised by students, and to allow students to receive individual feedback on marked work. Students who cannot attend a present-in-person session will be provided with an alternative activity allowing them to access the learning outcomes of that session. In addition, office hours/discussion board activity will provide an opportunity for more direct contact between individual students and the lecturer: a typical student might spend a total of one or two hours over the course of the module, either individually or as part of a group.

Student’s should consult their individual timetable for up-to-date delivery information

Assessment Methods

The format of resits will be determined by the Board of Examiners

Description Length Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Written Examination602A80Alternative Assessment
Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Written exercise2M20Written Exercises
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

A substantial formal examination is appropriate for the assessment of the material in this module. The course assessments will allow the students to develop their problem solving techniques, to practise the methods learnt in the module, to assess their progress and to receive feedback; these assessments have a secondary formative purpose as well as their primary summative purpose.

Reading Lists