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Applied Statistics and Operational Research (MSc - Postgraduate Diploma)

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  • Objectives
    This degree covers both the theory and application of modern statistical and mathematical modelling techniques required to solve applied problems in industry, the public services, commerce and scientific research. While practically orientated, the degree proceeds from a strong theoretical background so as to develop the ability to tackle new and non-standard problems with confidence. The mutual dependence of practice and theory is emphasised wherever possible. This degree is ideally suited to you if you are considering a career move into statistics and operational research, or if your work already involves aspects of data analysis, the interpretation of statistics, the optimal design and control of systems, or the modelling and prediction of time-dependent phenomena.
  • Entry requirements
    The MSc programmes at Birkbeck are not conversion courses. Applicants should have a first degree at second-class honours level at least with Mathematics or Statistics as a main field of study or with substantial mathematical or statistical content. Other equivalent qualifications may be accepted, for example the Graduate Diploma of the Royal Statistical Society. Applicants who do not fully satisfy the entrance requirements, but who have a degree or equivalent qualification, and some knowledge of statistics, may be admitted to the part-time MSc Qualifying Course. The examination at the end of the qualifying course consists of papers in theoretical statistics, practical statistics and subsidiary mathematics. Passing these examinations entitles the candidate to a Certificate of Continuing Education in Statistics. To qualify for entry to the MSc programmes, the examinations must be passed at the level of a second-class honours degree. Exemption may be granted from part of the qualifying course and from the corresponding part of the examination.
  • Academic Title
    Applied Statistics and Operational Research (MSc / Postgraduate Diploma)
  • Course description
    These programmes have been specially designed to meet the needs of part-time students in employment. Many students, as part of their everyday work, are involved in data analysis, the interpretation of statistics, the optimal design and control of systems or in the modelling and prediction of time dependent phenomena. Over two years, in lectures and in practical computing sessions, the courses cover both the theory and the application of modern statistical and mathematical modelling techniques required to solve applied problems in industry, the public services, commerce and research. While practically oriented, the programmes all proceed from a strong theoretical background so as to develop the ability to tackle new and non-standard problems with confidence. The mutual dependence of practice and theory is emphasised wherever possible.

    Course Structure
    After a common first year of compulsory courses in theoretical and applied statistics, the second year allows students to orient their course towards their own particular interests and career objectives. The first year provides a broad education and training in statistics at postgraduate level before specialization in the second year. The first year thus provides an excellent stopping off point, in the form of a Postgraduate Certificate in Applied Statistics, for those who do not need more advanced or more specialized training.

    In the second year students select four 10-week half-modules (two in the autumn term and two in the spring term) from the range of offered courses covering advanced statistical analysis, operational research, stochastic modelling and applications, and modern computer-intensive statistical methods. The choice of courses determines the title of the MSc awarded. If desired, one of the four courses may be replaced by a supervised, individually prescribed reading course.

    As well as following their chosen four option courses, students are required to complete a project, or sustained, independent investigation. The project is a full module and is carried out over eleven months, from October 1 at the beginning of the second year, to the following September 1. The project is intended to show that a student is able to tackle a substantive problem requiring an analysis using statistical, stochastic modelling or operational research methods, and can give a well-organized, clear exposition of the problem, the analysis and the conclusions in terms that can be understood by a non-specialist.

    All three MScs are accredited by the Royal Statistical Society for Graduate Statistician status.

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