Department of Statistics

Which postgraduate programme is right for me?

Students enter the Department of Statistics postgraduate programme after completing a Bachelors degree with a major in Statistics - bridging options are available for students who do not meet this requirement.

Most of our students begin by taking either an Honours degree - BSc(Hons) or BA(Hons) - or a Postgraduate Diploma (PGDipSci or PGDipArts). An Honours degree requires a strong background in Statistics and is the preferred option for students planning to progress to a Masters (MSc or MA) or a PhD in Statistics. It is also useful for students who want to do a PhD overseas but do not want to take the time to complete a Masters degree before leaving.

Postgraduate Diploma and Bachelor (Honours)

A Postgraduate Diploma is a very flexible option and is suitable for students who fall into any of the following groups:

  1. students who are looking to enhance their employment opportunities by upgrading their data analysis skills,
  2. students who have a postgraduate degree in another discipline and wish to improve their statistical knowledge and
  3. students who would like to progress to a MSc (or MA) but do not meet the entry requirements for an Honours degree.

Both an Honours degree and a Postgraduate Diploma require one year of full-time study: an Honours degree consists of six postgraduate courses plus a research project worth the equivalent of two courses whereas a Postgraduate Diploma consists of eight postgraduate courses.

Find more information about our PGDipSci in Statistics

Find out how to plan your BSc (Hons) in Statistics

Masters degree

Students who successfully complete an Honours degree or a Postgraduate Diploma with sufficiently high grades can progress to a Masters degree which requires one further year of full-time study.

There are two main categories of students who enrol in a Masters Degree:

  1. students who want to be employed as professional statisticians and
  2. students who want to progress to a PhD in Statistics.

Students may either take a Taught Masters (six postgraduate courses and a project worth the equivalent of two courses) or a Research Masters (two postgraduate courses and a research thesis worth the equivalent of six courses). The Taught Masters is the more common option and is suitable for students who want to become professional statisticians or for students who need to broaden their knowledge of Statistics before undertaking a PhD. The Research Masters is designed for students who want to progress to a PhD and already have a sufficiently broad knowledge of Statistics.

There is also the option of doing a Masters in Medical Statistics. This is a more tightly defined programme designed for students wanting a qualification that is specifically targeted at careers in the medical profession. It requires five postgraduate courses and a project worth the equivalent of three courses. Since there are a number of required courses for this degree, students must ensure that they make course choices for their qualifying degree (Honours degree or Postgraduate Diploma) that will allow them to meet these requirements. It is possible to do a PGDipSci in Medical Statistics which has been designed to lead on to a Masters in Medical Statistics.

Find more information about how to plan your MSc in Statistics


The PhD in statistics is our highest qualification which trains students to undertake research in statistics and its more advanced applications. Most students embark on a PhD after a Masters degree but sufficiently strong students can do so after completing an Honours degree. It takes about 3 years of study to complete a PhD degree which requires a substantive thesis.

Find more information on the PhD in Statistics