Postgraduate study

Statistics with Data Science

Awards: MSc

Study modes: Full-time, Part-time

Funding available

Programme website: Statistics with Data Science

In this digital and data-rich era the demand for statistics graduates from industry, the public sector and academia is high, yet the pool of such graduates is small. The recent growth of data science has increased the awareness of the importance of statistics, with the analysis of data and interpretation of the results firmly embedded within this newly recognised field.

This programme is designed to train the next generation of statisticians with a focus on the newly recognised field of data science. The syllabus combines rigorous statistical theory with wider hands-on practical experience of applying statistical models to data. In particular the programme includes:

  • classical and Bayesian ideologies
  • computational statistics
  • regression
  • data analysis of a range of models and applications

Graduates will be in high demand. It is anticipated that the majority of students will be employed as statisticians within private and public institutions providing statistical advice/consultancy.

To be awarded the MSc degree you need to obtain a total of 180 credits. All students take courses during semester 1 and 2 to the value of 120 credits which will be a combination of compulsory and optional courses. Successful performance in these courses (assessed via coursework or examinations or both) permits you to start work on your dissertation (60 credits) for the award of the MSc degree. The standard dissertation will take the form of consultancy-style case projects in different application areas.

The set of courses available is subject to review in order to maintain a modern and relevant MSc programme.

Previous compulsory courses for 2018-19:

  • Bayesian Data Analysis
  • Bayesian Theory
  • Generalised Regression Models
  • Incomplete Data Analysis
  • Statistical Programming
  • Statistical Research Skills

Previous optional courses for 2018-19 include:

  • Applied Statistics
  • The Analysis of Survival Data
  • Biomedical Data Science
  • Credit Scoring
  • Fundamentals of Operational Research
  • Fundamentals of Optimization
  • Genetic Epidemiology
  • Large Scale Optimization for Data Science
  • Machine Learning and Pattern Recognition
  • Nonparametric Regression Models
  • Object-Oriented Programming with Applications
  • Probabilistic Modelling and Reasoning
  • Python Programming
  • Scientific Computing
  • Statistical Consultancy
  • Statistical Learning
  • Statistical Methodology
  • Stochastic Modelling
  • Time Series

At the end of this programme you will have:

  • knowledge and understanding of statistical theory and its applications within data science
  • the ability to formulate suitable statistical models for new problems, fit these models to real data and correctly interpret the results
  • the ability to assess the validity of statistical models and their associated limitations
  • practical experience of implementing a range of computational techniques using statistical software R and BUGS/JAGS

Trained statisticians are in high demand both in public and private institutions. This programme will provide graduates with the necessary statistical skills, able to handle and analyse different forms of data, interpret the results and effectively communicate the conclusions obtained.

Graduates will have a deep knowledge of the underlying statistical principles coupled with practical experience of implementing the statistical techniques using standard software across a range of application areas, ensuring they are ideally placed for a range of different job opportunities.

The degree is also excellent preparation for further study in statistics or data science.

A UK 2:1 degree, or its international equivalent, in a numerate discipline such as mathematics, engineering, computer science, physical or biological sciences, economics or business. You must also have studied probability and statistical theory at university level. You can increase your chances of a successful application by exceeding the minimum programme requirements.

International qualifications

Check whether your international qualifications meet our general entry requirements:

English language requirements

All applicants must have one of the following qualifications as evidence of their English language ability:

  • an undergraduate or masters degree, that was taught and assessed in English in a majority English speaking country as defined by UK Visas and Immigration

  • IELTS Academic: total 6.5 with at least 6.0 in each component

  • TOEFL-iBT: total 92 with at least 20 in each section

  • PTE(A): total 61 with at least 56 in each of the Communicative Skills scores

  • CAE and CPE: total 176 with at least 169 in each paper

  • Trinity ISE: ISE II with distinctions in all four components

Degrees taught and assessed in English must be no more than three and a half years old at the beginning of your degree programme. IELTS, TOEFL, Pearson Test of English and Trinity ISE must be no more than two years old at the beginning of your degree programme.*

(*Revised 8/11/2018 to provide more accurate information on English language qualifications expiry dates.)

Find out more about our language requirements:

  • Programme Secretary, Miss Gemma Aitchison
  • Phone: +44 (0)131 650 5386
  • Email: statsmsc@ed.ac.uk
  • School of Mathematics
  • James Clerk Maxwell Building
  • Peter Guthrie Tait Road
  • The King's Buildings Campus
  • Edinburgh
  • EH9 3FD

We encourage you to apply at least one month prior to entry so that we have enough time to process your application. If you are also applying for funding or will require a visa then we strongly recommend you apply as early as possible. We may consider late applications if we have places available, but you should contact the relevant Admissions Office for advice first.

Due to high demand, the school operates a number of selection deadlines. We will make a small number of offers to the most outstanding candidates on an ongoing basis, but hold the majority of applications until the next published selection deadline.

Applicants who are not made an offer at a specific selection deadline will either be notified that they have been unsuccessful in securing a place on the programme, or if they do not hear then they are still being considered and their application will be carried forward to the next selection deadline for further consideration at that time.

Selection deadlines

Round Deadline
1 31 January 2019
2 31 March 2019
3 30 June 2019

You must submit a reference with your application.

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

Further information

  • Programme Secretary, Miss Gemma Aitchison
  • Phone: +44 (0)131 650 5386
  • Email: statsmsc@ed.ac.uk
  • School of Mathematics
  • James Clerk Maxwell Building
  • Peter Guthrie Tait Road
  • The King's Buildings Campus
  • Edinburgh
  • EH9 3FD