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The University of Southampton

STAT6111 Administrative data in Official Statistics

Module Overview

This module is one of two taught modules which together with a placement module make up training to supplement the MSc in Official Statistics and leading to the EMOS (European Masters in Official Statistics) accreditation awarded by Eurostat. It covers the variety of administrative data which can be used in official statistics, the techniques by which they can be combined with other data sources and used as a basis for statistical outputs, and the way in which quality of data and estimates which use administrative data are assessed and maintained. It compares different situations around Europe to demonstrate particular points.

Aims and Objectives

Learning Outcomes

Learning Outcomes

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • Apply knowledge of the availability and constraints of alternative data sources to assess their suitability for official statistics
  • Assess the benefits and risks of using administrative sources in relation to more traditional data sources
  • Analyse big data to provide candidate statistics of use as official statistics and assess their likely suitability and properties


- Data availability, data access, data law (compare and contrast different countries in Europe), consent. - Administrative Data. Sources; modes of collection, compilation and storage; quality of administrative data. Uses of administrative data in official statistics. Case study. - Register based statistical systems. - Data security, matching, anonymisation, hashing. - Analysis methods for matched data; accounting for matching error - Big Data in Official Statistics, sources, access. Data quality, information content, data mining. Relationships and causality. Timeliness. Case study. - Storage, processing, selection/sampling for massive data sets.

Learning and Teaching

Teaching and learning methods

A variety of methods will be used including lectures and workshops/tutorials, mixed in a 5 day course designed for students on release from the workplace. Students are also expected to read wider than the lecture material as part of their individual study, and to critically appraise different approaches.

Independent Study72
Total study time100

Resources & Reading list

EU project on big data with links to relevant papers (requires CROS-portal enrolment).

Wallgren, A., & Wallgren, B. (2014). Register-based Statistics: statistical methods for administrative data. 

Herzog, T. N., Scheuren, F. J., & Winkler, W. E. (2007). Data quality and record linkage techniques. 



MethodPercentage contribution
Exam  (2 hours) 100%


MethodPercentage contribution
Exam  (2 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.


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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