MSc in Statistics


Program Description

The MSc in Statistics prepares students with a strong quantitative background for further postgraduate studies or a future career in the private sector.

The MSc in Statistics is a one-year taught programme run by the School of Mathematics and Statistics, which is well equipped with personal computers and laptops, a parallel computer and an on-site library.


  • Provides students with a broader skill set for entry into the commercial analysis market.
  • The programme covers various theoretical and applied statistical areas at an advanced level.
  • The course provides opportunities for students to put their statistical knowledge into practice.
  • Continual assessments and the dissertation enable students to apply their statistics knowledge.
  • Students are prepared such that they may go onto to pursue research in statistics.

Teaching format

The course consists of two semesters of taught courses followed by a dissertation undertaken over the summer months. The available statistics modules consist of a mixture of traditional lecture courses with the end of semester exams and short intense courses with a large proportion of continuous assessment.


For an MSc in Statistics, a total of 180 credits are needed, with 150 credits from level 5000. 60 level 5000 credits come from the dissertation, so the remaining 120 credits must contain at least 90 from level 5000. The remaining 30 credits may be from level 3000 or above.

The modules in this programme have varying methods of delivery and assessment.

Undergraduate-level modules

  • Bayesian Inference
  • Computing in Statistics
  • Computing in Mathematics
  • Design of Experiments
  • Financial Mathematics
  • Generalised Linear Models and Data Analysis
  • Markov Chains and Processes
  • Mathematical Biology 1
  • Multivariate Analysis
  • Population Genetics
  • Quantitative Risk Management
  • Spatial Processes
  • Statistical Inference
  • Sampling Theory
  • Time Series Analysis

Optional modules are subject to change each year, and some may only allow limited numbers of students.

Postgraduate-level modules

  • Advanced Combinatorics
  • Advanced Data Analysis
  • Applied Multivariate Analysis
  • Advanced Topics in the History of Mathematics
  • Ergodic Theory and Dynamical Systems
  • Independent Study Module
  • Introductory Data Analysis
  • Knowledge Discovery and Datamining
  • Mathematical Biology 2
  • Measure and Probability Theory
  • Medical Statistics
  • Professional Skills for Mathematical Scientists
  • Semigroups
  • Software for Data Analysis
  • Statistical Modelling

Optional modules are subject to change each year, and some may only allow limited numbers of students.


During the final three months of the course, students complete a dissertation to be submitted by the end of August. Dissertations are supervised by members of teaching staff who will advise on the choice of subject and provide guidance throughout the progress of the dissertation.

If students choose not to complete the dissertation requirement for the MSc, there is an exit award available that allows suitably qualified candidates to receive a Postgraduate Diploma. By choosing an exit award, you will finish your degree at the end of the second semester of study and receive a PGDip instead of an MSc.

The modules listed here are indicative, and there is no guarantee they will run for 2019 entry.


The MSc in Statistics graduates hold positions at leading universities or companies in areas as diverse as business administration, financial markets, biomedical research, fisheries laboratories, wildlife conservation and many more.

Our recent graduates at Masters level have found employment in:

  • large consulting firms and major financial institutions including Scottish and Southern Energy, RBS, Aviva, Lloyds, TSB, PwC, Capital One, Vodafone, American Express, Goldman Sachs, Tesco Bank and many others.
  • biomedical research, clinical trials and pharmaceuticals.
  • wildlife and conservation managers including the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS).

The Careers Centre offers one-to-one advice to all students on a taught postgraduate course and offers a programme of events to assist students to build their employability skills.

Entry requirements

  • A good 2.1 undergraduate Honours degree in Mathematics, Statistics or a closely related subject area.
  • If you studied your first degree outside the UK, see the international entry requirements.
  • English language proficiency.

The qualifications listed are indicative of minimum requirements for entry. Some academic Schools will ask applicants to achieve significantly higher marks than the minimum. Obtaining the listed entry requirements will not guarantee you a place, as the University considers all aspects of every application including, where applicable, the writing sample, personal statement, and supporting documents.

Application requirements

  • CV,
  • personal statement (optional),
  • two original signed academic references,
  • academic transcripts and degree certificates,
  • evidence of English language proficiency (required if English is not your first language).


There are many potential scholarships or support schemes available to postgraduates.

Thomas and Margaret Roddan Trust (Postgraduate)

Competitive awards ranging from £500 to £3,000 are usually available for postgraduates undertaking either taught or research courses in Scotland.

Recent Graduate Discount

The University of St Andrews offers a 10% discount in postgraduate tuition fees to students who are eligible to graduate or who have graduated from St Andrews within the last three academic years and are starting a postgraduate programme with the University of St Andrews.

Last updated October 2019

About the School

Founded in the fifteenth century, St Andrews is Scotland's first university and the third oldest in the English speaking world. St Andrews is a unique place to study and live. Nestled on the east coas ... Read More

Founded in the fifteenth century, St Andrews is Scotland's first university and the third oldest in the English speaking world. St Andrews is a unique place to study and live. Nestled on the east coast of Scotland, students may find themselves crossing golf-courses on their way to class, or jogging along the beach after dinner. Not only does the University have a world-class reputation, but it also offers a diverse range of social activities, including over 140 student societies and 50 sports clubs. Historic buildings are juxtaposed against the modern facilities, and the many student traditions truly make studying at St Andrews an unforgettable experience. Read less
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