Statistics BSc (Hons) 2018 entry

The BSc (Hons) in Statistics allows you to specialise in the branch of mathematics that focuses on collecting, analysing and presenting large quantities of numerical data. There are many practical applications for statistics, including fields such as science and medicine, government, business and education.

Students of Statistics will acquire the analytical techniques, clear logical thinking and deductive reasoning necessary to explore some of these fascinating areas of research.

Statistics is studied up to Honours level in both the Faculty of Science (BSc) and the Faculty of Arts (MA). Students who have a background in the Sciences or who wish to study Statistics alongside Science subjects at St Andrews should apply for the BSc. For those interested in studying Statistics alongside Arts subjects, the MA in Statistics may be of interest.

Students interested in this course may also be interested in the Statistics Integrated Masters course, which allows you to graduate with a Master of Mathematics.

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UCAS code

G301

Course type

Bachelor of Science (single Honours degree)

Course duration

Four years full time

  • Start date: 10 September 2018
  • End date: 30 June 2022

If you started this programme in 2017, you can find information about 2017 entry on the 2017 Statistics BSc page. Information about all programmes from previous years of entry can be found in the archive.

Typical entry requirements

The following are likely grades considered for an offer. St Andrews considers all aspects of every application, including context, equivalent qualifications and the personal statement, and offers may be higher or lower than the grades stated here.

SQA Highers

AAAB, including A in Mathematics and an A or B grade in one of the following:

  • Biology or Human Biology
  • Chemistry
  • Computing Science or equivalent
  • Geography
  • Physics
  • Psychology.
GCE A-Levels A*AA, including A* in Mathematics
IB points 36, including HL6 in Mathematics

 

For the BSc degree, well-qualified school leavers may be able to apply for admission directly into the second year of this course. Find out more about direct entry to second year for Statistics BSc.

For degrees combining more than one subject, the subject with the higher entry requirements determines the grades you need. You will also need to meet any further subject specific entrance requirements as outlined on their pages.

International applicants

If English is not your first language you will need an overall IELTS score of 6.5, with a minimum score of 6.0 in each component (Reading, Writing, Listening and Speaking), or an equivalent English Language qualification.

Find out more about international entry requirements.

How to apply

Do I need to have studied this subject before?

Yes, applicants are expected to have studied Mathematics at SQA Higher, GCE A-Level, IB or equivalent. 

Faculty entry requirements

You must also meet the Faculty of Science minimum qualifications. These vary depending on which qualifications you hold.

Other qualifications

Passes in other examinations at equivalent levels and subjects may be accepted by the Dean of the Faculty. More information on how to apply via other entry routes or accreditation of prior learning and experience can be found on the University’s entry requirements webpage.

Find out more about Faculty of Science entry requirements.

Timetables

Students must meet with their advisor at the beginning of Semester 1 in September to complete advising – a compulsory part of the matriculation process. After module choices have been decided, a timetable will be allocated indicating the dates and times of classes.

While every effort is made to ensure that timetables are as student-friendly as possible, scheduled teaching can take place on any day of the week.

Course information

The BSc (Hons) in Statistics is a four-year course run by the School of Mathematics and Statistics. The School also offers an MA in Statistics, which may be more suitable for students who wish to take Statistics alongside Arts subjects. The Statistics element within both the BSc and MA degree programmes is exactly the same.

During your first year, your studies will focus on mathematics, with the aim of reinforcing your basic skills before embarking upon the study of Statistics in your second year. Your second year will focus on a central core of material within Statistics which will provide the foundation for advanced study at Honours level.

Alongside Statistics, in the first year of your studies you will be required to study up to two additional subjects. In the second year, you may choose to study Statistics only, or can carry on at least one of these additional subjects, sometimes two. Find out more about more about how academic years are organised.

During third and fourth year, students may select modules from a range of options on advanced and specialist-specific topics. Specialist subject areas may include:

  • times series analysis
  • Bayesian inference
  • advanced data analysis
  • statistical modelling.

Final year students must also complete a project on a topic chosen in consultation with a teaching staff at the School of Mathematics and Statistics.

Well-qualified school leavers may be able to apply for admission directly into the second year of this course. Find out more about direct entry to second year for Statistics.

It is possible for students to take Statistics as a five-year Integrated Masters course, allowing you to graduate with a Master of Mathematics. Find out more about the Integrated Masters degree in Statistics.

The University of St Andrews operates on a flexible modular degree system by which degrees are obtained through the accumulation of credits. More information on the structure of the modules system can be found on the flexible degree structure webpage.

Find out more about studying Statistics at St Andrews.

Modules

In the first two years of your degree (known as sub-honours) you will take the required modules in Statistics alongside modules in at least one other subject in the Faculty of Science. Find out more about the modular Scottish degree system.

Students will take between one and three first-year modules in mathematics. There is one core compulsory module, 'Mathematics', that can be studied in either semester.

  • Mathematics: introduces ideas, methods and techniques required for applying mathematics in the physical sciences or for further study in mathematics.

Students who do not possess at least a B at Advanced Higher or A-Level Mathematics will need to take Introductory Mathematics in their first semester before taking the compulsory Mathematics module. This option is popular for students on different degree routes who wish to study Mathematics.

  • Introductory Mathematics: designed for students who do not meet the entry requirements for the first-year Mathematics module. Provides a secure base in elementary calculus.

First year students interested in Mathematics can also choose additional modules in Statistics, and in Pure and Applied Mathematics. Find a full list of first year Mathematics modules in the module catalogue.

Students will take the following compulsory second-year modules:

  • Linear Mathematics: builds on existing knowledge of matrices and systems of linear equations.
  • Multivariate Calculus: extends basic calculus in a single variable to the setting of real functions of several variables.
  • Combinatorics and Probability: covers combinatorics and finite sets and also the study of probability.
  • Statistical Inference: introduces mathematical models of randomness.

Further modules in Mathematics may be taken, or one other subject in the Faculty of Science instead. Find a full list of second year Mathematics modules in the module catalogue.

If you decide to take Statistics in your third and fourth years, you choose from a wide variety of advanced options, ranging from statistical theory to practical applications in computer science.

Here is a sample of Honours modules which have been offered in previous years:

  • Sampling Theory
  • Markov Chains and Processes
  • Computing in Statistics
  • Statistical Inference
  • Generalised Linear Models and Data Analysis.

In fourth year, students also undertake a senior Honours project on a topic of their choice. This independent project enables you to develop key research skills which are desired by both prospective employers and by graduate schools offering postgraduate degrees.


The sub-honours modules listed here are the compulsory modules that students must take in order to graduate in this subject. However, most students at St Andrews take additional modules, either in their primary subject or from other subjects they are interested in. For Honours level, students choose from a range of Honours modules, some of which are listed above. A full list of all modules currently available can be found in the module catalogue.

Teaching

Teaching format

In first year, teaching for each module centres on a daily lecture (100 to 250 students) and a weekly small group tutorial (8 to 12 students) where students undertake exercises and discuss each week’s topics. In addition, computer labs (25 to 60 students) are held once a week for each module, to assist with both computing and problem solving skills.

In second year, each module typically comprises five lectures (100 to 250 students), one tutorial (8 to 12 students), one computer lab (25 to 60 students), and one examples class (25 to 60 students) per fortnight.

You will develop increasing independence and initiative as you progress through your degree programme so that by third and fourth year the average teaching load drops to around ten hours of lectures and four tutorials per week, supplemented by private study.

When not attending lectures, tutorials and computer labs, you will be expected to continue learning independently through self-study. Typically, this will involve:

  • preparing coursework assignments 
  • working on individual and group projects
  • undertaking research in the library
  • preparing for examinations.

You will be taught by an experienced teaching team with expertise and knowledge of Statistics and Mathematics. Postgraduate research students who have undertaken teacher training may also contribute to the teaching of tutorials, examples classes and computing classes under the supervision of the module leader.

You can find contact information for all Statistics staff on the School of Mathematics and Statistics website.

In addition to your studies in the School of Mathematics and Statistics, optional academic support is available through practical study skills courses and workshops hosted within the University.

The University’s student services team can help students with additional needs resulting from disabilities, long term medical conditions or learning disabilities. More information can be found on the students with disabilities webpage.

Assessment

Progress is monitored through tutorial assignments, and almost all of the sub-honours modules are assessed by a balanced combination of coursework and written exams. At Honours level, modules may be assessed by written examination alone or a combination of written examination and coursework.

Examinations are held at the end of each semester during a dedicated exam diet with revision time provided beforehand.

The School of Mathematics and Statistics aims to provide feedback on assessments and coursework within three weeks.

Undergraduates at the University of St Andrews must achieve at least 7.0 on the St Andrews 20-point grade scale to pass a module. To gain access to Honours-level modules, students must achieve the relevant requisites as specified in the policy on entry to Honours and in the relevant programme requirements. Please note that some Schools offer qualified entry to Honours, and this will be clearly specified in the programme requirements. To find out the classification equivalent of points, please visit the common reporting scale webpage.

Fees

Tuition fees for 2018 entry

Scotland and EU Tuition fees for Scottish and EU applicants have yet to be set for 2018 entry.
Rest of the UK Tuition fees for applicants from the rest of the UK have yet to be set for 2018 entry.
Overseas £21,290

For overseas students, tuition fees will be fixed at this level for the duration of your programme.

More information on tuition fees can be found on the undergraduate fees and funding page.

Accommodation fees

Accommodation fees for 2018 are yet to be set. Find out about accommodation fees for University accommodation in 2017-2018.

Funding and scholarships

The University of St Andrews offers a number of scholarships and support packages to undergraduate students each year. 

Find out more about undergraduate scholarships.

Joint Honours degrees

You can take Statistics as part of a joint Honours degree alongside one of the following subjects:

Your future

Careers

The demand for mathematically able graduates exceeds the supply and the career prospects for graduates in Statistics from St Andrews are excellent. Clear logical thinking, deductive reasoning, confidence in data handling, and IT skills are attributes that are highly prized by employers.

Around one-third of Statistics graduates go on to pursue postgraduate qualifications either in the UK or abroad, and develop research careers. Others gain employment in a variety of sectors including:

  • accountancy
  • actuarial profession
  • civil service
  • computing
  • intelligence (private sector)
  • investment banking and investment management
  • management consultancy
  • political risk analysis
  • technical and investigative science.

Each summer the School of Mathematics takes on interns for a few weeks (typically six to eight weeks), in pure, applied and statistics research areas. Interns are each assigned to a supervisor in the School and work with them to gain an understanding of what it’s like to do research, in order to see whether a PhD is a suitable next step. Internships are competitive and cannot be guaranteed.

The Careers Centre offers one-to-one advice to all students as well as a programme of events to assist students to build their employability skills.

Study abroad

The University is delighted to offer undergraduates a number of exciting opportunities to apply to spend a semester or year abroad as part of a St Andrews degree programme. St Andrews is partnered with large and small institutions, ancient and young, across the globe. What unites all of our programmes is the quality of the academic provision, ensuring that participation in a St Andrews Study abroad programme opens the door to a new and valuable academic experience at another world-class institution. Study Abroad for credit is permitted on existing University-approved programmes only.

Student life

From the outset, the University of St Andrews offers an array of events and opportunities which result in a truly unique student experience. Students participate in a range of traditions, notably, the red academic gown and the academic family, where older students adopt first year students as ‘children’ and help guide them in a system of mentoring. These traditions and the choice of over 150 sports clubs and student societies to choose from ensures a community feel amongst students from first year onwards.

Students of Statistics may be interested in joining the Mathematics Society (SUMS), a society dedicated to bringing people together who are interested in maths. They hold regular socials and informative talks from guest speakers.

The School of Mathematics and Statistics is currently split between two sites: the Mathematical Institute on the North Haugh and the Scott Lang Building at the Observatory. Most of the Statistics staff and research students can be found at the Observatory. 

The town of St Andrews itself has lots to offer. As the campus is located around town, walking around you encounter ancient and modern buildings and areas of greenery and seaside which provide a rich, beautiful backdrop to learning. If you want a change of scenery, St Andrews' position near surrounding towns and cities such as Anstruther, Dundee and Edinburgh make it ideal for getting to know more about Scotland.

Find out more about student life at the University of St Andrews.

Contact

School of Mathematics and Statistics

University of St Andrews
Mathematical Institute
North Haugh
St Andrews
KY16 9AX

Phone: +44 (0)1334 46 3744
Email: maths@st-andrews.ac.uk 

Mathematics and Statistics website