We are increasingly becoming a data-driven society with advances in technology and the accumulation of massive data in many fields. Statistics is the profession associated with making meaningful sense of data. Statistics is a rapidly advancing science with many avenues open for study and work. These range from statistical theory to its application in biology, medicine, the social sciences, engineering, physics, and economics. In fact, there are few disciplines that do not use statistics in some form.
Modern statisticians are being asked to develop new tools and techniques to deal with problems in areas from business management to biology. New insights are also being developed in the more traditional areas of physical science and engineering. All this activity leads to new applications of statistics, as well as new theoretical work on the structure of the statistics involved.
Statistics can be used to answer some very important scientific, social, and commercial questions. The challenge in statistics is to use appropriate logic, apply the correct methodology, and interpret the results accurately.
Some projects involving statisticians include:
- measuring the rate that cystic fibrosis develops in lung tissue
- describing the spatial distribution of wood fibre lengths in trees
- monitoring endangered animals to detect critical rates of decline
- measuring the impact of government policy on education
- estimating the working life of mechanical equipment before it requires repair
- measuring the extent to which participation in group-therapy anger-management sessions reduces the chance of re-offending.
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.
- Every year the School of Mathematics and Statistics welcomes visiting scholars on the Erskine Fellowship Programme. Students benefit greatly from their teaching and the alternative perspectives they offer.
- The School is active in supporting and promoting undergraduate research through summer projects and honours dissertations, with some of our recent budding scholars heading to Oxford, Harvard, and Yale for postgraduate work.
- Here at UC, 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 Science, Bachelor of Commerce, 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
Statistics is an integral part of many industries, management, and scientific research programmes. Statistics demands the ability to use analytical techniques, statistical methods, and information technology for the manipulation and interpretation of information. There is a growing demand for statisticians and biometricians (people who conduct research and advise on experimental design, data collection, and data analysis in biology).
Many of our graduates are employed by Tatauranga Aotearoa | Stats NZ as statisticians, and in other organisations as research officers, analysts, and statistical programmers. Crown Research Institutes also employ a large number of statisticians, particularly biometricians. 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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