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Study Statistics at Otago

Numbers count.

Statisticians can be thought of as explorers finding information in data. They collect, analyse and interpret data to help researchers and decision-makers.

The collaborative nature of statistics is one of its most rewarding features. Statisticians also design and carry out research. They rely on computational skills, quantitative abilities, analytical reasoning and communications skills.

At Otago, the Statistics Group is working in ecology, bioinformatics, biostatistics, quantitative genetics and on problems such as disease spread and seismic and volcanic hazards.

Apply for the Bachelor of Arts (BA) through the Dunedin campus in 2021

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Apply for the Bachelor of Arts and Commerce (BACom) through the Dunedin campus in 2021

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Apply for the Bachelor of Arts and Science (BASc) through the Dunedin campus in 2021

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Apply for the Bachelor of Arts with Honours (BA(Hons)) through the Dunedin campus in 2021

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Apply for the Bachelor of Commerce and Science (BComSc) through the Dunedin campus in 2021

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Apply for the Bachelor of Science (BSc) through the Dunedin campus in 2021

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Apply for the Bachelor of Science with Honours (BSc(Hons)) through the Dunedin campus in 2021

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Apply for the Diploma for Graduates (DipGrad) through the Dunedin campus in 2021

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Apply for the Master of Science (MSc) through the Dunedin campus in 2021

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Apply for the Postgraduate Diploma in Applied Statistics (PGDipApStat) through the Dunedin campus in 2021

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Apply for the Postgraduate Diploma in Arts Subjects (PGDipArts) through the Dunedin campus in 2021

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Apply for the Postgraduate Diploma in Science (PGDipSci) through the Dunedin campus in 2021

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Why study Statistics?

Statistics is a discipline concerned with understanding patterns and relationships in data in the presence of variation and uncertainty.

How do we discover the “truth” or signal hidden in the noise?

  • You can use statistics to solve real world problems.
  • You work with researchers from many disciplines.
  • Statisticians are key contributors to decision-making in business and government.
  • You examine problems and work with researchers from many disciplines.
  • Statistics will help you understand your chosen area of study. If you specialise in chemistry, psychology, health sciences, or economics and finance you will need to collect and interpret data.
  • Statisticians are in short supply. You will improve your employment opportunities.

Statistics at Otago

The Department offers several pathways for studying statistics. Many students take a single paper in statistics, others include statistics in their degree as either a major or minor subject. We encourage all students majoring in statistics to also take papers in another field of interest to them, be it arts, science or commerce. Having knowledge of an area of application is extremely useful, and data are virtually everywhere!

In the statistics programme you learn:

  • how to design research studies and collect reliable data;
  • how to build thoughtful statistical models which allow us to understand the key features in a complex system;
  • how to use the statistical models to answer research questions;
  • how to produce informative and engaging graphical representations of data;
  • the mathematical underpinnings of statistics;
  • the computation skills necessary to do all these things; and
  • skills in communicating statistical concepts and analyses to a range of audiences.

Career opportunities

Anywhere data are collected, analysed or interpreted, you find people with statistical training. Because the world is becoming more and more data-focused, the demand for graduates has outstripped supply. Statisticians use computational skills, statistical knowledge, quantitative abilities and communications skills to help make decisions in the face of uncertainty.

Examples include evaluating the environmental effects of air, water, and soil pollutants, and designing and analysing studies to determine whether new drugs and medical procedures are safe and effective. By working in statistics, you can combine your interest with almost any other field in science, technology, or business. In New Zealand, statisticians are employed in Crown Research Institutes, Government Departments such as Inland Revenue, ACC, and Conservation, and companies such as Fonterra, Meridian Energy, and Spark.

Background required

Almost any school background will allow entry to a statistics programme. Because you will need to study at least one first-year mathematics paper, senior high school NCEA Mathematics to Level 3 standard is highly recommended.

Qualifications

Explore your study options further. Refer to enrolment information found on the following qualification pages.

Programme requirements

Bachelor of Arts (BA) majoring in Statistics

Level Papers Points
100-level

STAT 110  Statistical Methods  or  STAT 115  Introduction to Biostatistics

MATH 160  Mathematics 1

MATH 170  Mathematics 2

18

18

18

200-level

STAT 210  Applied Statistics

STAT 260  Visualisation and Modelling in R (not required if STAT 380 passed previously)

STAT 270  Probability and Inference

MATH 202  Linear Algebra  or  MATH 203  Calculus of Several Variables

18

18

18

18

300-level

STAT 310  Statistical Modelling

Three further 300-level STAT papers, including at least one of STAT 370, STAT 371, STAT 372

18

54

Plus

162 further points; must include 36 points at 200-level or above.

Up to 90 points may be taken from outside Science

Other papers approved by the Head of Department may be substituted for up to two papers at either 200- or 300-level

162

Total   360

Bachelor of Arts with Honours (BA(Hons)) in Statistics

Papers

Prerequisites:
STAT 362  Probability and Inference 2
STAT 380  Statistical Computing
Two further 300-level STAT papers
MATH 202  Linear Algebra
MATH 203  Calculus of Several Variables

Postgraduate Diploma in Arts Subjects (PGDipArts) in Statistics

The Postgraduate Diploma in Arts Subjects (PGDipArts) programme in Statistics is the same as the programme for the degree of Bachelor of Arts with Honours (BA(Hons)).

Master of Arts (Thesis) (MA(Thesis)) in Statistics

Thesis
  • Thesis 5

Note: Students who have not completed a Bachelor of Arts (BA(Hons)) in Statistics or a Postgraduate Diploma in Arts Subjects (PGDipArts) in Statistics must complete the required papers for the BA(Hons) in Statistics prior to undertaking the thesis.

Bachelor of Science (BSc) majoring in Statistics

Level Papers Points
100-level

STAT 110  Statistical Methods  or  STAT 115  Introduction to Biostatistics

MATH 160  Mathematics 1

MATH 170  Mathematics 2

18

18

18

200-level

STAT 210  Applied Statistics

STAT 260  Visualisation and Modelling in R (not required if STAT 380 passed previously)

STAT 270  Probability and Inference

MATH 202  Linear Algebra  or  MATH 203  Calculus of Several Variables

18

18

18

18

300-level

STAT 310  Statistical Modelling

Three further 300-level STAT papers, including at least one of STAT 370, STAT 371, STAT 372

18

54

Plus

162 further points; must include 36 points at 200-level or above.

Up to 90 points may be taken from outside Science

Other papers approved by the Head of Department may be substituted for up to two papers at either 200- or 300-level

162

Total   360

Bachelor of Science with Honours (BSc(Hons)) in Statistics

Papers

Postgraduate Diploma in Science (PGDipSci) in Statistics

Papers

Master of Science (MSc) in Statistics

Papers and Thesis
  • STAT 490 Dissertation

  • Four 400-level STAT papers

  • Thesis: STAT 5

    Note: The papers are normally taken before undertaking the thesis.

Minor subject requirements

Mathematical Statistics as a minor subject for a BA, MusB, BPA, BTheol, BSc, BAppSc, BCom, BHealSc, BACom, BASc or BComSc degree

Available as a minor subject for a Bachelor of Arts (BA), Bachelor of Music (MusB), Bachelor of Performing Arts (BPA), Bachelor of Theology (BTheol), Bachelor of Science (BSc), Bachelor of Applied Science (BAppSc), Bachelor of Commerce (BCom), Bachelor of Health Science (BHealSc), Bachelor of Arts and Commerce (BACom), Bachelor of Arts and Science (BASc) or Bachelor of Commerce and Science (BComSc) degree

Level Papers Points
100-level STAT 110  Statistical Methods  or  STAT 115  Introduction to Biostatistics

Note: If BSNS 112 is required for a student’s major they may substitute BSNS 112 for (STAT110 or STAT115). Students who have taken BSNS 102 or 112 prior to declaring Mathematical Statistics as a minor may substitute BSNS 102 or 112 for STAT 110 or 115.

18
Above 100-level

STAT 270  Probability and Inference

Three of:

Note: MATH 160 is required as a pre-requisite for STAT 270, and MATH 170 is required as a prerequisite for STAT 370.

18

54

Total   90

Note: Students taking a Statistics major will not be permitted to take a Mathematical Statistics minor.

Statistics as a minor subject for a BA, MusB, BPA, BTheol, BSc, BAppSc, BCom, BHealSc, BACom, BASc or BComSc degree

Available as a minor subject for a Bachelor of Arts (BA), Bachelor of Music (MusB), Bachelor of Performing Arts (BPA), Bachelor of Theology (BTheol), Bachelor of Science (BSc), Bachelor of Applied Science (BAppSc), Bachelor of Commerce (BCom), Bachelor of Health Science (BHealSc), Bachelor of Arts and Commerce (BACom), Bachelor of Arts and Science (BASc) or Bachelor of Commerce and Science (BComSc) degree

Level Papers Points
100-level STAT 110  Statistical Methods  or  STAT 115  Introduction to Biostatistics
Students who have passed BSNS 112 before enrolling for Statistics as a minor subject may substitute BSNS 112 for STAT 110 or 115
18
200-level

STAT 210  Applied Statistics

STAT 260  Visualisation and Modelling in R

18

18

300-level

Two of:

36

Total   90

Papers

Due to COVID-19 restrictions, a selection of on-campus papers will be made available via distance and online learning for eligible students.
Find out which papers are available and how to apply on our COVID-19 website

Paper code Year Title Points Teaching period
STAT110 2021 Statistical Methods 18 points First Semester, Summer School
STAT115 2021 Introduction to Biostatistics 18 points Second Semester
STAT210 2021 Applied Statistics 18 points First Semester
STAT260 2021 Visualisation and Modelling in R 18 points Second Semester
STAT270 2021 Probability and Inference 18 points First Semester
STAT310 2021 Statistical Modelling 18 points First Semester
STAT311 2021 Design of Research Studies 18 points First Semester
STAT312 2021 Modelling High Dimensional Data 18 points Second Semester
STAT370 2021 Statistical Inference 18 points Second Semester
STAT371 2021 Bayesian Data Analysis 18 points Second Semester
STAT372 2021 Stochastic Modelling 18 points First Semester
STAT399 2021 Special Topic 18 points Not offered in 2021
STAT411 2021 Probability and Inference 3 20 points First Semester
STAT412 2021 Generalised Linear Models 20 points Second Semester
STAT435 2021 Data Analysis for Bioinformatics 20 points First Semester
STAT440 2021 Longitudinal Data Analysis 20 points Not offered in 2021
STAT441 2021 Topic in Advanced Statistics 20 points Second Semester
STAT442 2021 Topic in Advanced Statistics 20 points First Semester
STAT443 2021 Topic in Advanced Statistics 20 points Not offered in 2021
STAT444 2021 Topic in Advanced Statistics 20 points First Semester
STAT481 2021 Statistical Practice 20 points Full Year
STAT490 2021 Dissertation 40 points Full Year, 1st Non standard period
STAT498 2021 Special Topic 20 points Second Semester
STAT499 2021 Special Topic: Clinical Trials 20 points Not offered in 2021

Key information for students

Contact us

Email maths@otago.ac.nz
Website otago.ac.nz/maths