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The University of Southampton
Social Statistics and DemographyPart of Economic, Social & Political Science

Ben Winkley MSc Official Statistics

Department for Business, Innovation and Skills

Ben Winkley's Photo

Hi, I'm Ben Winkley and I studied MSc Official Statistics within Social Sciences: Social Statistics & Demography at the University of Southampton.

The flexibility of the course helped me fit studying around my work schedule.

Q: Why did you choose to undertake your studies at the University of Southampton?

As soon as I started working for BIS, my line manager recommended that I study towards the MSc Official Statistics. I have a degree in management from Warwick Business School and had studied some statistics, but it was important to strengthen my core stats skills for my work.

Q: What skills have you gained from studying at the University of Southampton?

The MSc courses are giving me confidence and understanding to be able to contribute to all sorts of projects across the department both for current and future posts that I will hold. They also help me gain experience in sections of the competency framework that I would not have been exposed to in my job.

Q: How are you finding the work-life balance?

So far, I have taken four modules each year and this seems to be a reasonable pace. Study does not impinge on my ability to work hard in BIS and yet I am progressing through the course at an encouraging rate. The evenings leading up to a coursework deadline or exam can sometimes be busy, but I don't think that the course is too costly on my personal time, especially when compared with the skills that I am gaining.

Q: What have you enjoyed most about studying here?

One of the biggest strengths of the course is that there is a lot of overlap between the students attending each module. I have formed good friendships with statisticians from across the GSS. We spend time together during the weeks of lectures and, when needed, can discuss problems we are having with assignments and also with our jobs. These friendships have really helped me work better 'across the GSS'. From time to time, one of us encounters a problem that we know another student has a good data source on. Sharing data and knowledge between us not only improves efficiency, it is a great way to promote the MSc to our managers!

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