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The University of Southampton

STAT6088 Statistics in Government

Module Overview

The module provides an overview of issues and ideas concerning the scope and organisation of Official Statistics and its processes and products, including Statistical Acts and Codes of Practice. The module provides a general foundation for the more detailed study of these elements and identifies links with other relevant disciplines

Aims and Objectives

Learning Outcomes

Learning Outcomes

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • Having successfully completed this module, you will have a broad overview of the fundamental issues underlying the organisation of Official Statistics and be able to apply this knowledge in discussing the relative merits of alternative approaches.
  • Having successfully completed this module, you will gain an overview of issues relating to data quality in official statistics and processes for monitoring and improvement.


- Overview of the importance of statistics, policy and administrative uses. - History of the development of official statistics in the UK. - UK Fundamental Principles: EU Law for Statistics; UK Framework for National Statistics: roles and responsibilities; Nature of National Statistics Acts; The UK Statistics and Registration Service Act; The benefits / dis-benefits of a UK Statistics Act. - Code of Practice: Contents and intentions; Key issues. - Models for quality, quality framework and public trust in Official Statistics. - Scientific Principles for Official Statistics - brief overview of the role of conceptual frameworks (eg sampling, national accounts, etc.); Role of international organisations (UN, OECD, EU, IMF, etc) and standards (SNA, BoP5, classification system - ISIC, CPA, IDC, etc); Role of city groups in development; Role of international peer review. - Organisational issues: Centralisation, decentralisation, devolution ; Management of National Statistical Offices: Key issues; Professional Issues, ethics, professional bodies.

Learning and Teaching

Teaching and learning methods

Depending on feasibility, teaching may be delivered face to face intensively over a week, or online using a mixture of synchronous and asynchronous online methods, which may include lectures, discussion boards, workshop activities, exercises, and videos. A range of resources will also be provided for further self-directed study.

Independent Study79
Total study time100

Resources & Reading list

Holt D (2008). Official Statistics, public policy and public trust, JRSS A, 171, 2, 323-346. 

Statistics and Registration Service Act 2007. 

Fellegi I P (1995). Characteristics of an Effective Statistical System. 

Staff requirements (including teaching assistants and demonstrators). Video clip and guest lecturer from the UK Statistics Authority

Laux, Richard, Alldritt, Richard, Dunnell Karen (2007). Evolution of the United Kingdom Statistical System. Statistical Journal of the IAOS 24. , pp. pp47 - 59.



MethodPercentage contribution
Assessment  ( hours) 100%


MethodPercentage contribution
Assessment  ( hours) 100%

Repeat Information

Repeat type: Internal & External


Costs associated with this module

Students are responsible for meeting the cost of essential textbooks, and of producing such essays, assignments, laboratory reports and dissertations as are required to fulfil the academic requirements for each programme of study.

In addition to this, students registered for this module typically also have to pay for:

Approved Calculators

Candidates may use calculators in the examination room only as specified by the University and as permitted by the rubric of individual examination papers. The University approved model is Casio FX-570 This may be purchased from any source and no longer needs to carry the University logo.

Books and Stationery equipment

Recommended texts for this module may be available in limited supply in the University Library and students may wish to purchase reading texts as appropriate.


You will be expected to provide your own day-to-day stationery items, e.g. pens, pencils, notebooks, etc.


Where a module specifies core texts these should generally be available on the reserve list in the library. However due to demand, students may prefer to buy their own copies. These can be purchased from any source. Some modules suggest reading texts as optional background reading. The library may hold copies of such texts, or alternatively you may wish to purchase your own copies. Although not essential reading, you may benefit from the additional reading materials for the module.

Please also ensure you read the section on additional costs in the University’s Fees, Charges and Expenses Regulations in the University Calendar available at

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