Department of Statistics

Why study a PhD in Statistics?

“Embrace statistics – it is so valuable… With statistics, you get real confidence that you can make a difference.” Anne Fulton, Director, Career Analysts

The path to a better future

The amount of data collected around the world grows daily. However, data is of little value unless transformed into information that contributes to better decisions and better outcomes for those organisations and countries to which it relates.

Designing ways to collect data and make sense of that data is the subject matter of statistics. It is the human side of the computer revolution – the art and science of extracting meaning from data. It is also a key ingredient separating good decisions from bad, and hence, essential to improving the performance and outcomes of organisations and New Zealand as a whole.

With statistics you can:

  • Solve leading edge problems.
  • Contribute to the development of new products, new markets and new services.
  • Enhance the quality of our education and healthcare.
  • Improve business performance and outcomes.

However, to work at the cutting edge of future change and growth, and to be considered for the roles that lead to these outcomes, employers look for graduates who can demonstrate they will go the extra mile. Employers want graduates who, through their postgraduate academic record, can prove they have the skills and the understanding to produce the best outcomes.


Outstanding career opportunities

"We need more people. Good people with good quantitative skills are hard to come by."
Martin Cryer, Science Manager, Fisheries

With good quantitative skills and with the experience gained from conducting research at postgraduate level, you can contribute to:

  • Medical breakthroughs
  • The policy direction of government
  • The strategic direction of organisations
  • An improved understanding of ecological habitats
  • Optimising the processes used to deliver products to market
  • Maximising the returns on funds invested
  • Improving New Zealand’s productivity

For further information about careers available to PhD graduates, please see our Careers page.


Your skills will be in demand

“Look at the amount of data out there. This area is only going to grow.”
Mark Wilson, Director, Twenty Ltd.

Statistics graduates, particularly those with a good postgraduate degree, are in demand in the sciences, in business and in the arts.

Good quantitative skills are also highly transferrable across a wide range of industries and countries - and support many graduates’ dreams to travel and work in other countries.


Why do your postgraduate studies with us?

  • You will be studying at New Zealand’s world-ranked university.
  • We will provide a great learning environment, having won two national teaching awards.
  • We are known for the quality of resources and support we provide to our students.
  • As the largest statistics department in Australasia, we offer a wide variety of courses.


Why the University of Auckland?

The University of Auckland is New Zealand’s top University (rated by 3 independent bodies: Times Higher Education World University Rankings, QS World University Rankings and the Shanghai Jiao Tong Academic Ranking of World Universities). And we are New Zealand and Australia’s largest statistics department (in both staff and student numbers).

The University of Auckland is also known as New Zealand’s most productive research university. Because we have so many research intensive staff, we always have plenty of exciting research projects and are able to provide you with a wide choice of research topics and supervisors with an excellent supervisor-to-student ratio.

Our students are sought after by some of the most prestigious institutions around the world. We have many international visitors and maintain close links with other disciplines.

In terms of student support, not only are our staff approachable and friendly but we also have excellent library and computer facilities. We pride ourselves on using the latest technology in our teaching.

As for campus life, there is always something going on, from concerts to ski trips. In short, The University of Auckland can provide you with a rich, exciting and rewarding study experience.

If you are seeking funding for your studies, there are a variety of means by which you can obtain money to help fund your studies. Find more information on Scholarships and research funding grants.