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Courses / Postgraduate / Official Statistics (MSc)

Official Statistics (MSc)

Master of Science
Typical Offer
2:2 degree View full entry requirements
1 year
Course Type
Next course starts
To be confirmed

COVID-19: this course is not running in the 2020/21 academic year

About this course

Boost your career as a statistician on this flexible course aimed at those working in UK government statistical services or similar organisations overseas. Gain specialist skills and knowledge that are central to the conduct of professional statistical work in government. You’ll graduate with the in-depth understanding and practical skills to take your career to the next level. 

This UK master’s course has been developed in partnership with The Government Statistical Service (GSS) to provide the core skills and knowledge you'll need as a professional government statistician. 

The topics you’ll study are closely aligned with the procedures for measurement and evaluation in government and related organisations.  

But many of the skills we teach, such as survey methods and data analysis, are also in demand by non-government organisations conducting large-scale statistical work. 

You’ll strengthen and update your knowledge in key areas such as: 

  • demographic methods 
  • regression modelling 
  • planning and running surveys 
  • government statistics 
  • evaluation and monitoring 

Please note that some of the modules on this course are taught at the ONS office in Newport, Wales. 

The University of Southampton has a strong reputation for research in statistics. We have major research contracts with the UK and EU government statistical agencies, and are heavily involved in EU Framework research projects. 

The course is supported by the GSS Human Resource Committee and the Office for National Statistics’ Human Resource Committee. 

There is also an option to undertake additional modules and a placement, which can lead to the European Masters in Official Statistics (EMOS) award from Eurostat

Flexible study

If you prefer, you can apply to study this course as:

  • a part-time master's - study the same course content over 2 or more years
  • a Postgraduate Certificate (PGCert) - you'll usually study for around 15 weeks and will not need to write a dissertation
  • a Postgraduate Diploma (PGDip) - you'll usually study for around 30 weeks and will not need to write a dissertation

Your modules and fees may vary if you choose a different study option.

Course lead

Your course leader is Paul Smith, Professor of Official Statistics. He is a member of the Royal Statistical Society, and has a special interest in sampling and estimation methods in government surveys. Read Professor Smith’s staff profile to find out more about his work. 


This course is accredited by:

European Master in Official Statistics logo
European Master in Official Statistics (EMOS)

Course location

This course is based at Highfield.

Awarding body

This qualification is awarded by the University of Southampton.

Download the programme specification

The programme specification sets out the learning outcomes of this course and details how the course is taught and assessed.