We are becoming an increasingly data-driven society, with advances in technology and the accumulation of massive data.
Statisticians make sense of data, and use those insights to explain what is observed and predict what is as yet unknown. There are many avenues for study and work, from statistical theory to its application in biology, climate science, forestry, medicine, the social sciences, engineering, physics, agriculture, finance and economics, and even history and archaeology.
It is up to the statistician to use appropriate logic, collect the necessary data, develop or apply the correct methodology, and interpret the results accurately. Then there is the challenge of communicating those results to the wider public.
Some of the statistical projects done right here at UC are:
- using neural networks to predict climate extremes
- using random forest method to find rogue pine trees
- using Bayesian statistics for early prediction of grape yield
- showing equivalence of alternative test strategies to reduce the number of animal trials in the pharmaceutical industry
- using historical records to study changes in crime rates and punishment practices over the last 400 years
- studying the effects of intervention programmes on the success of various student groups
A large number of students benefit from taking an introductory course in Statistics because it is used in so many subjects, including Engineering, Physics, Data Science, Psychology, Forestry Science, Geography, and Management.
- We welcome visiting scholars on the Erskine Fellowship Programme. Students benefit greatly from their teaching and the diverse perspectives they offer.
- We actively support undergraduate research through summer projects and honours dissertations, with some of our recent budding scholars heading to Oxford, Harvard, and Yale for postgraduate work.
- We have a thriving culture that encourages meeting up with like-minded students through clubs.
- UC has been recognised internationally for our teaching of statistics to first-year students.
Entry into the 100-level Statistics course is open to all students with entry to the University.
Logical thinking, a flair for numbers, curiosity, and the ability to live with uncertainty are the qualities that combine to make a good statistician. In school, it is important to do as well as possible in Year 13, particularly in statistics and/or calculus.
Students who have performed very well in Year 13 statistics and/or calculus may be eligible for direct entry into a 200-level Statistics course.
Students who have not taken statistics to Year 13 level are also strongly advised to take STAT 101 Statistics 1.
- Three 200-level STAT courses
For the Statistics minor in the Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Commerce, Bachelor of Science, Bachelor of Sport Coaching, or Bachelor of Youth and Community Leadership, you will need to take these courses throughout your chosen degree:
- 75 points in 100 to 300-level STAT courses, with at least 45 points at 200-level or above
Many of our graduates are employed with Tatauranga Aotearoa | Stats NZ as statisticians, and in other organisations, such as Plant and Food, Fonterra, District Health Boards, and Te Papa Atawhai | Department of Conservation as research officers, analysts, and statistical programmers. Crown Research Institutes also employ a large number of statisticians. Other graduates are employed in the financial sector and by insurance companies, and industrial and commercial companies. Many large companies employ statisticians to deal with the increasing demand for the collection and interpretation of data.
Many other jobs, while not requiring people with a degree in Statistics, need employees with a working knowledge of statistics, in particular competence in using statistical software packages.
Find out more about what you can do with a degree in Statistics.
See the School's website for up-to-date location details.
College of Engineering | Te Rāngai Pūkaha
University of Canterbury | Te Whare Wānanga o Waitaha
Private Bag 4800
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