Department of Statistics

Planning an MSc

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. The Master of Science is offered in both Statistics and Medical Statistics.

Who should study a Master of Science

There are two main categories of students who enrol in a masters degree:

  • Students who want to be employed as professional statisticians.
  • Students who want to progress to a PhD in Statistics.

Students may either take a Taught Masters, consisting of six postgraduate-level courses and a project worth the equivalent of two courses, or a Research Masters, which consists of two postgraduate-level courses and a research thesis worth the equivalent of six courses.

The Taught Masters is the more common option and is suitable if you want to become a professional statistician or if you need to broaden your 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.


Medical Statistics

There is also the option of doing a masters in Medical Statistics. This is a more tightly-defined programme designed for students who want a qualification that is specifically targeted at careers in the medical profession.

This study option requires five postgraduate-level 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 also possible to do a Postgraduate Diploma in Science (PGDipSci) in Medical Statistics, which has been designed to lead on to a masters in Medical Statistics.


Structure and prerequisites

Master of Science (MSc) - Statistics


Prerequisite: A BSc(Hons) or PGDipSci in Statistics and STATS 210


Research Masters

  • 90 points: STATS 798 Masters Thesis in Statistics
  • 30 points, subject to approval by the Head of Department, from 600 or 700 level courses in Statistics or related subjects


Taught Masters (Started in or after 2019)


Taught Masters (started before 2019)

Master of Science (MSc) - Medical Statistics


Prerequisite: A BSc(Hons) or PGDipSci in Statistics or Medical Statistics and STATS 210

Requirement: Taught Masters

Find more information about the MSc in the University Calendar


Help and advice

If you require assistance and information in planning and guidance in making the best choices for your programme of study contact our masters adviser.


Meet our graduates


Carina Zhao: Manager – Secured Retail Analytics, ASB Bank

Bachelor of Information Science majoring in Quantitative Methods and Finance, Master of Science in Statistics (First-Class Honours)

I lead a team of analysts who manage credit risk for ASB’s secured retail portfolios – that’s home loans and lending to small and medium-sized businesses. We provide in-depth analysis to help the Bank make the right lending decisions, balancing risk and reward.

The bank relies on my team to control and forecast the level of credit losses, which are a critical component of high-level planning. Data is king in this field – and having the statistical skills to make the data meaningful is critical. We use a multitude of data mining techniques such as ANOVA, time series analysis and logistic regression modelling.

To do well in this sort of career, you need to be outgoing, love challenges and be results-driven.

The Department of Statistics not only helped us to explore statistics more widely and deeply, it also provided us with good opportunities to develop research skills, which are the key to problem-solving.

The statistics papers I took were STATS724, STATS747, STATS762, STATS785, STATS723, STATS732, STATS784, STATS722, STATS726, STATS780, STATS790A, STATS702, STATS727, STATS779, STATS790B.


Eun Hee, Analyst, Fonterra

Bachelor of Science (Hons) and Master of Science in Statistics.

“Part of my job as Insights Analyst at Fonterra is to use statistics to identify ways we can be more innovative with our products. I work in Global Ingredients and Foodservices. I also look at opportunities and threats, and create a lot of presentations that offer other staff insight into the whole picture about the market, customers and competitors.
I’m constantly in touch with my colleagues to find out what’s important to them and the business so I can add value. I’m proud that one of my presentations will be viewed by Coca Cola, USA, one of the biggest companies in the world.

Fonterra puts huge effort in hiring the right people with the right background. Everyone in an analytical role in my team has a statistics background – that says it all. Statistical work isn’t something everyone can do, it requires taught skills. What I love about this field is that once you acquire those skills, you become an expert.
I’m a fairly logical and intuitive person. I moved here from Seoul in 1996 with huge ambition, and I chose The University of Auckland because I believed it was the best in New Zealand. Its world ranking was important, too. My first statistics class turned out to be great fun – it was one of the best decisions I ever made in my life.
I had great support from lecturers and tutors, from my first class through to my master’s. They put time into mentoring students, which helped me prepare to get into the workforce. It was fun, and they make you feel like part of ‘the family’. At University, I had a great social life and made lots of friends, some for life.”


Chit Hock Choo: Senior Modelling Analyst at ASB Bank

Bachelor of Science with majors in Statistics and Operations Research, Masters in Statistics

I am currently a Senior Modelling Analyst in the Modelling Team within the Credit Risk Management department of ASB Bank. My role is very heavily involved in statistics, mainly building advanced statistical models for the bank. Formerly, I was a Segmentation and Modelling Analyst at Yellow™ Pages where my role was to identify key opportunities for Yellow™ Pages by developing statistical models that support their marketing plans, as well as providing customer profiles and product and market analysis.

My Postgraduate degree from The University of Auckland has given me an advantage over my competition in the employment market. Equipped with the cutting edge statistical modelling skills and data mining techniques that employers are desperately in need of, I found I was highly sought after in the job market. There are plenty of job opportunities out there for postgraduate statistic graduates, as these days every industry needs a statistician.

Some of the statistics papers I took were STATS201, STATS 210, STATS255, STATS302, STATS 310, STATS 320, STATS 301, STATS 330, STATS 340, STATS740, STATS 750, STATS782, STATS 731, STATS 747, STATS 766, STATS 761, STATS 784, STATS 722, STATS 726.