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Statistics PhD

Open Day: 21 November 2014

Our Postgraduate Open Day is an opportunity to learn more about the University and our programmes, and to meet our staff and current students.

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Select your programme and preferred start date to begin your application.

PhD Statistics - 3 Years (Full-time)
PhD Statistics - 6 Years (Part-time)

Fees & costs information

Where available, individual programme fees are linked above. For details information on fee status, policies and payment see:

Contact information
Postgraduate Secretary
Phone: +44 (0)131 650 5048
Mrs Gill Law (Postgraduate Research Administrator)
Phone: +44 (0)131 650 5085
Address: School of Mathematics
James Clerk Maxwell Building
The King's Buildings Campus

Our society revolves around variation, uncertainty and risk. By gaining a greater understanding of these variables through the study of statistics, we are able to create systems and techniques that benefit areas as diverse as science, law and finance.

The Statistics group explores a wide range of statistical theory and practice, often applying its findings in collaboration with researchers in related fields, such as informatics and biomathematics.

Entry requirements

To study at postgraduate level you should have a first degree in an appropriate subject or relevant qualifications and experience.

Confirm with the School to find out whether there are specific entry requirements for this programme.

International qualifications

Check whether your international qualifications meet our general entry requirements:

English language requirements

If English is not your first language, you must have one of the following qualifications as evidence of your spoken and written English.

IELTS minimum score
  • IELTS Academic module: 6.5 (with no score lower than 6.0 in each section)
Other accepted tests and scores
  • TOEFL iBT: total 92 (with no score lower than 20 in each section)
  • PTE: 61 (with no score lower than 56 in each section)
  • Cambridge CPE: Grade C
  • Cambridge CAE: Grade B

Find out more about our language requirements:

Academic Technology Approval Scheme

If you are not an EU, EEA or Swiss national, you may need an Academic Technology Approval Scheme clearance certificate in order to study this programme.

How to apply

Find out more about the general application process for postgraduate programmes:

Research profile

Our work is balanced between classical and Bayesian statistics. Our particular areas of interest include hierarchical multivariate random effects models, wavelets, nonparametric regression and resampling.

While the group has a strong theoretical base, we are also heavily involved in specific application areas, particularly forensic science, law, agriculture, and functional genomics data, such as gene expression microarrays.

Interdisciplinary collaborations

As a research student, you will find a wealth of expertise available to you through our links with theorists and practitioners in related fields.

The University’s School of Informatics, for instance, is the largest and most prestigious in the UK, and features a Machine Learning research group whose work is linked to some forms of statistical research.

In addition, the Scottish Government-backed research provider Biomathematics and Statistics Scotland is an associated research institute of the University. With its main base in our building, it provides access to other researchers with an interest in statistical genomics and bioinformatics, process and systems modelling and statistical methodology.

If your research is in the expanding area of forensic statistics, you will benefit from our link with the Joseph Bell Centre for Forensic Statistics and Legal Reasoning. The centre applies and teaches statistical techniques for interpreting evidence, such as binomial probabilities, conditional probability and Bayes’ Theorem.

Staff and student numbers

We have 50 staff supervising 60 students.

Training and support

Research students will have a primary and secondary supervisor and the opportunity to network with a large and varied peer group.

Our School is one of the country’s largest mathematics research communities in its own right, but you will also benefit from Edinburgh’s high-level collaborations, both regional and international.

You will be carrying out your research in the company of eminent figures and be exposed to a steady stream of distinguished researchers from all over the world.

Research community

As one of the best hubs in the UK for mathematics research, we can provide a truly stimulating and inspiring environment for developing your research career.

Our Graduate School offers a busy schedule of activities ranging from formal seminars to social events.

Researchers are encouraged to travel and participate in conferences and seminars.

You’ll also be in the right place in Edinburgh to meet distinguished researchers from all over the world who are attracted to conferences held at the School and the various collaborative centres based here. You’ll find opportunities for networking that could have far-reaching effects on your career in mathematics.


You will enjoy excellent facilities, ranging from one of the world’s major supercomputing hubs (EPCC) to generous library provision for research at the leading level, including the new Noreen and Kenneth Murray Library at King’s Buildings.

The School provides all postgraduates with access to software packages such as Maple, Matlab and Mathematica. We offer training in all the relevant programs you need to achieve your research aims.

As a research student, you will have your own desk with desktop computer and are allocated parallel computing time on 'Eddie', the Edinburgh Compute and Data Facility.

It is also possible to arrange use of the BlueGene/Q supercomputer facility if your research requires it.

Career opportunities

You will gain a qualification that is highly regarded in both academia and industry. Future career options are diverse, with past students finding positions in academic institutions, forensics, finance, the law and biological and agricultural organisations.

Further Information

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