MSc-Postgraduate Diploma-Postgraduate Certificate Statistics and Management Science

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  • Objectives
    There is continued demand for well-qualified statisticians and management scientists in a wide range of industries and businesses, as well as in local and central government and its associated services. One reason for this demand is the need for greater and deeper understanding of statistical and management science methodologies in today's businesses, with technology providing ever increasing amounts of data to be processed and interpreted. This programme aims to meet this need by imparting an awareness of the usefulness and applicability of modern statistical and management science technology and of the software-based skills that nowadays give ready access to them. The programme emphasises not only the development of analytical skills but also the ability to communicate findings to often, non-technical, colleagues in the workplace. This programme has been developed to equip students from a broad variety of academic backgrounds, and/or those with appropriate professional experience, with the knowledge and skills to apply statistical, operational research and related techniques to practical situations. It also aims to demonstrate the wide applicability of these approaches within a business or industrial context. It has been structured, as far as possible, to facilitate access to those wishing to study part-time whilst remaining in full-time employment. Currently part-time students attend one day per week.
  • Academic title
    MSc/Postgraduate Diploma/Postgraduate Certificate Statistics and Management Science
  • Course description

    Core modules

    -Problem Structuring Approaches
    -Elements of Statistics
    -Applied Statistics
    -Operational Research
    -Research Methods

    Optional modules (three of the following)

    -Statistical Models
    -Applied Multivariate Techniques
    -Prediction: Forecasting and Data Mining
    -Combinatorial Optimisation and Heuristics
    -Decision Analysis

    A mathematics 'learning pack' will be given to students who feel that their maths needs some brushing up.

    Teaching and learning
    An essential objective of this programme is that you will be expected to take major responsibility for your own learning through a high proportion of time spent on independent study.

    Additionally, lectures, seminars, discussions, case studies and group work will be used to develop the topics covered in the modules and to allow for application of methods to particular problems. There will be extensive use of computer packages to assist analyses. Students come from a wide variety of industrial and commercial backgrounds and will be encouraged to present, discuss and evaluate techniques in light of their own perspectives and experiences, complementing the examples and experiences brought by the lecturers.

    A variety of assessment methods will be used depending on the aims of the individual modules. Commonly, this consists of one piece of coursework and a written or oral examination. Extra help in mathematics and statistics is also available in the Department’s Mathematics and Statistics Resource Centre.


    Guided and supported by an academic supervisor, carrying out the individual research project and writing up the dissertation will make demands on your ability to:

    -apply learning acquired in the Research Methods module
    -manage your work autonomously and within a limited period of time
    -think and reflect in a critical and original manner
    -present reasoned arguments backed up by evidence
    -write a concise, structured and cogent dissertation

    Study facilities
    Bristol Institute of Technology hosts its own servers to provide Windows, Linux and Unix based operating systems. There are over 500 available workstations in our teaching laboratories, as well as a large open-access laboratory, providing PC and Unix based machines. The Bristol Institute of Technology has its own IT Helpdesk, staffed by students from within the Bristol Institute of Technology, and available for both students and staff to use. There are also 24 hour computer labs on campus available for student use.

    The Bristol Institute of Technology operates an extensive pastoral care system that includes induction programmes and access to academic staff and student advisers for guidance and support throughout your time here as a student.

    Study time
    Students will qualify for the awards MSc, Postgraduate Diploma and Postgraduate Certificate by accumulating credits on completion of modules, as follows:

    -The MSc in Statistics and Management Science requires 180 credits, including 60 credits for the dissertation;
    -The Postgraduate Diploma in Statistics and Management Science requires 120 credits, all from the taught part of the course ie no dissertation is completed;
    -The Postgraduate Certificate in Statistics and Management Science requires 60 credits, again all from the taught part of the course.

    Taught modules are worth 15 credits and may be considered as either core (ie a module that must be taken), or optional. Typically full-time students can expect 12 hours classroom contact time per week. Part-time students should expect a proportionate number of contact hours per week based on the number of modules being studied.

    Full-time students can expect to attend the University two days per week, part-time students one day per week.

    All students will undertake a 60 credit dissertation – a substantial piece of independent work that must be completed in order to achieve the full MSc qualification.

    An exception to the structure given occurs when the Decision Analysis optional module is chosen. This module is also taught to final year undergraduate students and is spread over two semesters.

    Module availability

    We cannot guarantee that each pathway, or option module, will run in each academic year, but we will determine in good time which pathways will be running. The decision will be dependent on the number of students wishing to take a pathway and whether appropriate physical and staff resources are available.

    A variety of assessment methods will be used depending on the aims of the individual modules. Commonly this consists of one piece of coursework and a written or oral examination per module. 
    Careers/further study
    There is an increasing demand in business and industry for graduates with skills in quantitative analysis. One of the reasons for this demand is that there is a need for a greater and deeper understanding of statistical and management science techniques in today's organisations, where information technology is providing ever-increasing amounts of data to be processed, interpreted and exploited. This programme caters for this demand, and will enhance the career prospects of those who successfully complete the course.

    In terms of preparation for a general management career, there are few better ways of gaining an overview and understanding of how organisations work. Typically, statisticians and management scientists are involved in projects which draw on a wide range of business skills and dealings with anyone from the shop-floor and front line, right up to boardroom level. In many organisations, such professionals are a prime source for recruitment into higher levels of general management.

    Extra information
    Bristol Institute of Technology Graduate School

    The Bristol Institute of Technology Graduate School represents all postgraduate study and students within Bristol Institute of Technology and captures the idea of a distinctive multicultural and vibrant postgraduate community. It cuts across the four departments in the Bristol Institute of Technology, the research centres, as well as the support services – bringing all elements of the postgraduate student experience together. It was launched in August 2001 and expanded during 2004 to incorporate postgraduate taught students.

    The Bristol Institute of Technology has a large postgraduate community – around 280 taught and over 100 research students – who study a range of courses and disciplines on both a full-time and part-time basis. Students come from all backgrounds, nationalities and faiths. We believe that by integrating postgraduate taught and research students in the Graduate School, greater co-operation and closer working between these two groups will be encouraged. The Graduate School aims to improve the quality of postgraduate education and thus the postgraduate student experience. It currently provides a range of student events each year, including social activities, poster presentation sessions and an annual student conference. Additionally training and workshops are provided, some through UWE’s Graduate Studies Office.

    All postgraduate taught students have access to a team of Student Advisers who offer a range of support and information services to help you settle in and address any needs you might have. The Student Advisers have expertise on the structure of your course as well as experience in some of the financial and personal worries often faced by students. Students will also work very closely with their Programme Leaders on academic matters.

    Frequently Asked Questions
    How much additional time and independent study will this course require?

    A 15 credit module typically involves two to three hours per week over a 12 week period in structured activities, although this may vary. You should reckon on devoting approximately a further nine hours per week to each module. This means that a full time student may need to spend up to 50 hours per week on his/her studies. In practice, of course, students spread this load over the holiday period, and there may be times of particularly intense activity, when deadlines need to be met.

    How much time and effort will I be expected to put into the dissertation?

    You should view your dissertation as a part time activity over the duration of the course. Writing the dissertation is demanding, not so much because of its length, which is about 15,000 words, but because you are expected to identify a research question that is important and interesting to you, and then think analytically and creatively about this question. This will involve extensive, critical reading of literature.

    I am in the final year of my undergraduate degree. Why should I do a postgraduate degree and what better career prospects can this give me?

    By doing a Master's degree, you would be gaining skills and knowledge valued by employers – making yourself much more attractive to employers and much more likely to be invited to interview. A higher qualification such as a Master's degree sets you apart from other potential employees in the market place. You will also study Statistics and Management Science in much more depth than you would at undergraduate level, and will be encouraged to think more critically throughout your degree. Additionally, you will learn to work independently – in fact this is crucial in a Master's qualification such as this – a skill which employers really value

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