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MSc Official Statistics

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School of Social Sciences
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Short courses last one week, plus examination. For MSc 16 modules + dissertation are required
Professional and government statisticians
School of Social Sciences, University of Southampton, Highfield, Southampton, SO17 1BJ, Hampshire, United Kingdom

The MSc programme has been developed jointly by the University of Southampton with the UK Government Statistical Service (GSS) to cover the core skills and knowledge needed by professional government statisticians. Both the GSS Human Resource Committee and the Office for National Statistics (ONS) Human Resource Committee have given their full backing and support for the programme.

The modular structure of the programme is designed to enable you to tailor your individual scheme of study to your other commitments. The successful completion of 16 instructional modules leads to the award of Diploma in Official Statistics. If you pass the Diploma assessment you will be permitted to undertake a supervised dissertation for the degree of MSc Official Statistics. The successful completion of 8 instructional modules leads to the award of Certificate in Official Statistics.

All degrees are awarded by the University of Southampton and are subject to the same academic standards system as other Certificate, Diploma and MSc degrees at the University. Teaching takes place at the Office for National Statistics' London or Newport offices and at the University of Southampton and is delivered by experienced personnel from both universities and government.

Entry requirements:

A Second Class Honours degree from a recognised institution. If the degree did not involve single or joint honours in statistics then evidence is required of statistical training to a level at least equivalent to the Higher Certificate of the Royal Statistical Society. Details of previous statistical training in the form of syllabi, reading lists and examination papers are helpful in this case.


The fees for 2009/10 entry were:

Students starting the programme: £2000.
Students commencing their 2nd year: £2000.
Students commencing their 3rd year: £850.
Students commencing their 4th year: £550.
Students commencing their 5th year: £550.

Short courses (individual modules):

The different modules of the MSc may be taken as one-off courses, with or without assessment, if you just want to update or refresh your statistical skills in a particular area. They may also be relevant if you are not sure whether you wish to enrol for the MSc programme and you wish to try out a module first. The short courses typically last one week, plus an examination later in the year.

The first three days (Monday to Wednesday) are formal, including lectures, workshops and group discussions. Two further days (Thursday and Friday) will be available for reviewing the material and completing any coursework. A feedback session will be provided on Friday to discuss issues arising from the private study. Alternatively, people may opt to go home after the first three days to complete the coursework in their own time and at their own pace. Two further days will be needed to complete the coursework and/or undertake an examination near the end of the university semester.

The courses will either be run at the University of Southampton or at the Office for National Statistics' London offices in Pimlico, and each short course costs £500.

To see the current course programme, please visit our website:

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