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

MSc Applied Statistics

MSc Applied Statistics provides postgraduate instruction in the theory and methods of applied statistics. The programme is for students whose interests lie in the theory and application of statistical methods, and in methods for designing, collecting and analysing large –scale data.

You will benefit from the cutting-edge research conducted in the research centres in which professors from our department hold leading positions: the Southampton Statistical Sciences Research Institute and the ESRC National Centre for Research Methods.

Introducing your course

Do you enjoy using numbers and data to provide answers to current problems? Apply for the Masters in Applied Statistics degree and enhance your knowledge of statistics. The masters course at the University of Southampton will teach you how to analyse and understand statistical methodology. The Masters in Applied Statistics can open to the door to a career as an experienced statistician in a wide range of sectors such as government, medicine, social research and data analytics in the private sector.

This programme provides postgraduate instruction in the theory and methods of applied statistics for students whose interests lie in the collection and analysis of quantitative social science data.

View the programme specification for this course for 2019/20 entrants

View the programme specification for this course for 2020/21 entrants

View the programme specification for this course for part-time 2020/21 entrants

To Apply

You should apply using the University's online application form. More details can be found on our Apply page.

Applications can be submitted at any time, although we would encourage you to apply before the end of May. If you are seeking financial support for your postgraduate studies, we recommend that you  apply early enough to have time to gather the necessary documentation for your funding body/sponsor.

For all applications, two academic references are required. Unfortunately we cannot consider applications until we have received both references.

Programme Structure

The programme is run by the Division of Social Statistics & Demography with input from Mathematics and the Division of Sociology & Social Policy. Several modules are provided jointly for this programme and for the Diploma/MSc Statistics with Applications in Medicine and MSc Statistics (run by Mathematics).

For those planning to work with large surveys, there are courses in survey methods and survey design, which are supplemented with a number of modelling courses, for example in generalised linear models and modelling multilevel data.

For those planning to analyse complex datasets, modelling courses such as Modelling Multilevel Data, Modelling Longitudinal Data and Survival Analysis are all relevant.

Other options include courses relevant to medical and social statistics.

The programme is normally full-time, and lasts for 12 months, with nine months of taught modules between October and June of the academic year, followed by three months of research and preparation of a masters dissertation. It is possible to take this programme over 27 months of part-time study, providing suitable arrangements can be made.

Key Facts

  • Since the Division of Social Statistics was founded in 1975, we have been at the forefront of international research into methodology for the design and analysis of sample surveys. Today, we are a leading international centre for research in social statistics.
  • Our main areas of research expertise include, for instance, sampling, small-area estimation, census and administrative data, and analysis of ‘big data’.

Typical entry requirements

Language requirements

Competency in English language is essential for this master's degree. You should have an IELTS score of at least 6.5 overall, with at least 5.5 in each component, or equivalent. Students who do not have a degree from a British University, or who are from a country that is not on the list of those exempt from testing, will be required to present evidence of IELTS score or equivalent. Further details are available in English language proficiency page ( All language evidence should be less than two years old.

Intensive pre-Masters postgraduate pre-sessional summer course in English language is available at the University if required. Find out more here.

Selection process

We welcome applications from students who have, or expect to have, an Upper second-class honours degree involving a substantial statistical theory component as outlined below.

Your application will be considered on its merits, with motivation and postgraduate experience in a statistical environment potentially important factors.

Non-graduate qualifications, in particular the Graduate Diploma of the Royal Statistical Society, may be accepted in place of an undergraduate degree. Full details of previous statistical training in the form of syllabuses, reading lists and, in particular, examination papers will be helpful in assessing your suitability for the programme.

Academic background
This pathway is suitable for statisticians, mathematicians, econometricians, engineers and other science graduates whose training equips them to study applied statistics at graduate level. It is also suitable for social scientists with a good training in statistics.

Past students have held first degrees in subjects such as mathematics, economics, statistics, and statistics and psychology.

The main prerequisite for the programme is a good grounding in the basic theory and methods of statistics, to the level of texts such as:

  • AM Mood, FA Graybill and DC Boes (3rd ed, 1974), Introduction to the Theory of Statistics, McGraw-Hill
  • MH DeGroot (2nd ed, 1986), Probability and Statistics, Addison-Wesley
  • HJ Larson (3rd ed, 1982), Introduction to Probability Theory and Statistical Inference, Wiley

This page contains specific entry requirements for this course. Find out about equivalent entry requirements and qualifications for your country.

Typical course content

The taught component of the programme consists of 30 study weeks divided into two semesters. In the week before the first semester begins, you will attend a four-day induction course which will introduce you to the computing and library facilities available at Southampton.

The programme of study consists of a combination of compulsory and option modules and a dissertation to be completed over the summer months. A total of 120 CATS points are required to complete the taught component of the programme.

Year 1

Supervised research for MSc Social Statistics
You will undertake supervised research starting in June and submit a dissertation in September. Providing satisfactory supervision arrangements can be made, you can work on a topic of your own choice.

Dissertations are about 15,000 words in length. They should demonstrate your mastery of the topic area, but they are not expected to contain a substantial original contribution. They generally take the form of a computer-based analysis of social science data or a computer-based examination of a statistical technique.

Examples of recent dissertation titles are:

  • Statistical methods for social networks
  • Multilevel models of class context on voters at the 1983 General Election
  • Log-linear models for complex survey data
  • Variance estimation for the Gini coefficient
  • Applications of graphical chain modelling
  • Exact inference for two-way contingency tables
  • Estimation of pay distributions from new earnings survey data
  • Comparing asset with money metric-based measures of poverty in Malawi

In addition to the core and compulsory modules listed below, option modules to the value of CATS must be selected. Modules on other MSc programmes (e.g. MSc Economics) may be taken as options after discussion with your academic tutor and the MSc programme coordinator.

Semester One
Core [?]
A core module is a module which must be taken and passed.
Credits are based on the Credit Accumulation and Transfer Scheme (CATS).
Credits are based on the Credit Accumulation and Transfer Scheme (CATS).
Credits are based on the Credit Accumulation and Transfer Scheme (CATS).
Credits are based on the Credit Accumulation and Transfer Scheme (CATS).
Credits are based on the Credit Accumulation and Transfer Scheme (CATS).
Credits are based on the Credit Accumulation and Transfer Scheme (CATS).
Semester Two
Credits are based on the Credit Accumulation and Transfer Scheme (CATS).
Credits are based on the Credit Accumulation and Transfer Scheme (CATS).
Credits are based on the Credit Accumulation and Transfer Scheme (CATS).
Credits are based on the Credit Accumulation and Transfer Scheme (CATS).
Credits are based on the Credit Accumulation and Transfer Scheme (CATS).
Credits are based on the Credit Accumulation and Transfer Scheme (CATS).
Credits are based on the Credit Accumulation and Transfer Scheme (CATS).
Credits are based on the Credit Accumulation and Transfer Scheme (CATS).
Credits are based on the Credit Accumulation and Transfer Scheme (CATS).
Credits are based on the Credit Accumulation and Transfer Scheme (CATS).
Core [?]
A core module is a module which must be taken and passed.
Credits are based on the Credit Accumulation and Transfer Scheme (CATS).
Credits are based on the Credit Accumulation and Transfer Scheme (CATS).

Please note: This specification provides a concise summary of the main features of the programme and the learning outcomes that a typical student might reasonably be expected to achieve and demonstrate if s/he takes full advantage of the learning opportunities that are provided. More detailed information can be found in the programme handbook (or other appropriate guide or website).

Tuition fees

List of tuition fees for this course and it's variations
Course TitleAwardYear of entryMode of studyUK/EUInternational
Applied StatisticsMSc 2020Full-time£9,250£18,812
Applied StatisticsMSc 2020Part-time£4,625£9,406
View the full list of course fees


Scholarships, bursaries, sponsorships or grants may be available to support you through your course. Funding opportunities available to you are linked to your subject area and/or your country of origin. These can be from the University of Southampton or other sources.

Explore funding opportunities

Costs associated with this course

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.

There will also be further costs for the following, not purchasable from the University:

EquipmentApproved calculator: 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.
StationeryYou will be expected to provide your own day-to-day stationery items, e.g. pens, pencils, notebooks, etc. Any specialist stationery items will be specified under the Additional Costs tab of the relevant module profile.
BooksWhere 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.
EquipmentIT: Software licenses - All specific pieces of software required as part of your programme are available on the University’s public workstations. Statistical software can be downloaded via iSolutions for free:
EquipmentIT: Hardware - Public workstations loaded with all specific pieces of software that are required as part of your course are available in Building 58. Public workstations loaded with more generic software are available across the campus. You may, however, benefit from having your own PC or laptop and a USB stick.
Printing and copyingMuch of your coursework, such as essays and projects, is likely to be submitted online. However, there are some items where it is not possible to submit online and students will be asked to provide a printed copy, including the MSc dissertation. Information about generic University printing, including printing costs, can be found here: Information about dissertation printing can be found here:

In some cases you'll be able to choose modules (which may have different costs associated with that module) which will change the overall cost of a programme to you. 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

Teaching methods

Modules are taught using a variety of methods, which include lectures, seminars, group work and project work.

Lectures offer an overview of a topic, an explanation of difficult concepts or a discussion of key issues. Lectures presume a certain amount of additional reading, so it is often a good idea to read references before attending the corresponding lecture.

Seminars provide a forum for a closer examination of particular aspects of each module and are an important part of the learning process. Usually, it is only by discussing and questioning aspects of a subject that their full implications can be understood. You will prepare papers and lead discussions or debates, and so develop your written and presentational skills.

The increasing use of web-based, video-based and PowerPoint-based teaching methods demonstrates our commitment to the effective use of available equipment and resources.

Assessment methods

Each module will involve one or two sessions each week spread over the semester. For each module, you will be expected to write one or more essays (or equivalent), make presentations or contribute to seminar discussions.

Some modules are assessed by essays (or equivalent), others by exams and some by a mix of these methods. Exams are held at the end of each semester.

Study locations

Hartley Library

Highfield campus

Economic, Social and Political Science is based on the main campus of ...Find out more

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