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MSc Applied Statistics in Health Sciences (online)

We also offer our MSc Applied Statistics in Health Sciences (on campus).
Join our upcoming webinar to find out more about our MSc Programmes in Applied Statistics (online)

Key facts

  • Start date: September or January
  • Accreditation: on successful completion of the MSc, you may be eligible for GradStat status
  • Study mode and duration: online across 24 or 36 months, part-time. Standalone modules can also be taken for CPD purposes or working towards an MSc over a maximum of 60 months.

Study with us

  • a conversion course, designed for those with a background in a broad range of disciplines
  • gain skills in problem-solving, the analysis and manipulation of complex data, and use of statistical software packages
  • learn to interpret and report the result from data analyses
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Why this course?

Our course is run by academics who work in the health sector as well as in higher education. Statisticians from the Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA), an Executive Agency of the Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs (Defra) as well as those who have extensive experience in working with the National Health Service (NHS) in Scotland, will provide lectures based around real-life problems and data from the health sciences.

The course is entirely delivered online. The course is ideally suited to those working full-time or with other commitments. You can study and complete the modules when it’s most convenient for you – you don’t need to be online at specific times.

Although the programme is focused on health, the skills set provided will also equip you with the necessary training to work as an applied statistician in other areas such as insurance, finance and commerce.

You can also study the MSc in Applied Statistics in Health Sciences full-time on campus.

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Programme skills set

On the online Applied Statistics in Health Sciences MSc programme you'll have the opportunity to acquire:

  • in-depth knowledge of modern statistical methods used to analyse and visualise real-life data sets, and the experience of how to apply these methods in a professional setting
  • skills in using statistical software packages used in government, industry and commerce
  • the ability to interpret the output from statistical tests and data analyses, and communicate your findings to a variety of audiences including health professionals, scientists, government officials, managers and stakeholders who may have an interest in the problem
  • problem-solving and high numeracy skills widely sought after in the commercial sector
  • practical experience of statistical consultancy and how to interact with professionals who require statistical analyses of their data


On successful completion of the MSc, you may be eligible for GradStat status. This may be awarded by submitting a transcript to the Royal Statistical Society as part of the evidence of meeting RSS GradStat criteria.

Department of Mathematics & Statistics

At the heart of the Department of Mathematics & Statistics is the University’s aim of developing useful learning. We're an applied department with many links to industry and government. Most of the academic staff teaching on this course hold joint-appointments with, or are funded by, other organisations. These include APHA, Public Health and Intelligence (Health Protection Scotland), Greater Glasgow and Clyde Health Board, and the Marine Alliance for Science and Technology Scotland. We bridge the gap between academia and real-life. Our research has societal impact.

Dr Louise Kelly, senior lecturer in MSc Applied Statistics in Health Sciences

The training is fast-paced, bringing students up to speed with the necessary practical skills in a very short time period. This means that our graduates are very attractive to government and industry

Dr Louise Kelly, Senior Lecturer

Find out more about the course from Louise

Wanting to balance work with study, I was looking for an MSc Statistics program that could be applied to my daily work as well as one that extended my knowledge and improve my employability. I chose the online MSc Applied Statistics at the University of Strathclyde where the course modules cover a good range of solid and practical topics, while giving a timeframe which works well for full-time working professionals. Although the program is online, I did not feel there was any gap with the lecturers as they are very passionate and engaged. It is a fantastic programme, which I strongly recommend to any individual who is interested in statistics as a key focus of their career path.

Thi Nguyen, MSc Applied Statistics with Finance (online) student

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Course content

  • Throughout your studies, you will take 120 credits of compulsory taught classes and in your final year you'll also undertake your MSc Project (60 credits)
  • September start programmes terms are as follows: Term 1 September – December, Term 2 January – April and Term 3 April – July
  • January start programmes terms are as follows: Term 1 January – April, Term 2 April - July and Term 3 September – December

Foundations of Probability & Statistics (20 credits)

The course and thus this introductory module is aimed at graduates who have not previously studied statistics at university level. The module will provide the foundation elements of probability and statistics that are required for the more advanced classes studied later on.

This will include:

  • an introduction to probability distributions
  • introductory hypothesis testing
  • non-parametric hypothesis testing
  • linear regression
  • introductory power and sample size calculations

Data Analytics in R (20 credits)

This module will introduce the R computing environment and enable you to import data and perform statistical tests. The module will then focus on the understanding of the least squares multiple regression model, general linear model, transformations and variable selection procedures.

You can expect to cover concepts such as:

  • use of functions and packages in R
  • use of the tidyverse for data manipulation
  • data visualisation using both base R and ggplot2
  • multiple linear regression
  • using variable selection techniques to cope with large data sets
  • more general model comparison

Statistical Modelling & Analysis (20 credits)

This module will cover the fundamental statistical methods necessary for the design and analysis of scientific experiments. There will be an emphasis on the use of real data and the interpretation of statistical analyses in the context of the research hypothesis under investigation.

You will cover topics such as:

  • analysing designed experiments such as randomised block, factorial, nested and repeated measures designs
  • classification techniques such as logistic regression, nearest neighbours and discriminant analysis
  • clustering techniques
  • dimension reduction using principal component analysis

Quantitative Risk Analysis (10 credits)

This module will cover the theory of assessing risks under uncertainty. It will focus on the practical assessment of risk using simulation methods such as Monte Carlo simulation. You'll develop skills in communicating risk to risk managers as well as formulating practical risk questions that can influence policy decisions.

You can expect to learn about:

  • uncertainty and variability
  • bootstrapping
  • Monte Carlo Simulation
  • selecting appropriate probability distributions based on given scenarios

Survey Design & Analysis (10 credits)

Surveys are an important way of collecting data. This class will introduce you to the methods that are commonly used to design questionnaires and analyse data resulting from these questionnaires.

You’ll consider:

  • how to design appropriate survey questions
  • a variety of sampling methods
  • analysing data for different sampling methods

Medical Statistics (20 credits)

This module will cover the fundamental statistical methods necessary for the application of classical statistical methods to data collected for health care research. There will be an emphasis on the use of real data and the interpretation of statistical analyses in the context of the research hypothesis under investigation.

Topics covered will include:

  • survival analysis
  • analysing categorical data using hypothesis tests
  • experimental Design and sampling
  • clinical measurement

Effective Statistical Consultancy (10 credits)

This module covers all aspects of statistical consultancy skills necessary for being a successful statistician working in any research or customer environment. You will work on real-life problems in small groups and have the opportunity to interact with stakeholders researchers to formulate hypotheses.

This module will cover how to:

  • engage with professionals working in business, industry and the public sector
  • apply their statistical knowledge in different situations
  • effectively communicate statistical results to non-statisticians

Bayesian Spatial Statistics (10 credits)

This module will introduce you to Bayesian statistics and the modern Bayesian methods that are used in a variety of applications. Like with other modules, the focus is on real-life data and using statistical software packages for analysis.

You will gain experience in working with the following:

  • visualising spatial data
  • geospatial data, including methods for prediction
  • Bayesian modelling using software to implement Markov Chain Monte Carlo
  • areal unit modelling

Research project (60 credits)

You'll undertake a research project in which you'll work on a real-life data set, putting the theoretical skills you have learned into practice.

I loved the broad range of topics covered as it gave me an overview of the application of statistics in health science as well as the balance between theory and practical skills.

Andrew, MSc Applied Statistics in Health Sciences (online)

Find out more about the course from Andrew

Learning & Teaching building exterior.

Teaching staff

The following staff are all involved in the teaching and research project supervision (project availability may vary year-to-year).

Staff memberResearch expertise
Andrew Browne

Previous research experience includes analysis of data from clinical trials, observational studies, and systematic reviews. Teaching and pedagogical interests focus on the teaching of statistics to those from other disciplines.

Professor David Greenhalgh

Research interests include mathematical and statistical techniques applied to biological problems, in particular mathematical and statistical modelling in epidemiology. 

Dr Kim Kavanagh

Statistical expertise in the analysis and modelling of large observational health datasets with research interest in the fields of public health epidemiology, pharmacoepidemiology and digital health.

Dr Louise Kelly

Part-time Senior Risk Analyst Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA) with research interests in veterinary and public health risk assessment and mathematical modelling projects relating to e.g. bovine tuberculosis, bovine brucellosis, foot and mouth disease, bluetongue, camplyobacter, salmonella and rabies.

Dr Ainsley Miller

Teaching Associate with interests in mathematics and statistical pedagogy, in particular easing the transition from school to university and understanding the mental health struggles of students. Member of the core team of the Scottish Qualification Authority's Higher Applications of Mathematics course. Qualified Mental Health First Aider and Sexual Assault First Responder who runs a support service for all mathematics and statistics students.

Professor Chris Robertson

Professor of Public Health Epidemiology in the Department of Mathematics & Statistics, and Head of Statistics at Public Health Scotland. Main research interest is in statistical modelling of infectious diseases and in epidemiological studies. 

Ryan Stewart

Teaching Associate with interest in statistical pedagogical research. Statistical expertise in the linkage and analysis of large administrative datasets in the field of public health epidemiology and policy. Member of Higher Education Academy.

Dr David Young

Part-time Senior Consultant Statistician for NHS Scotland with research interests in the design, conduct and analysis of medical research studies.

Learning & teaching

Classes are delivered using the MyPlace online teaching environment hosted by the University of Strathclyde.

You’ll learn through video lectures, interactive sessions, independent reading of articles and texts and discussion forums.

On average, you'll study five hours of online material per module per week, plus additional self-study. You’ll also have regular assistance from dedicated tutors who'll interact and communicate with you through online forums and email.

You'll be part of a community of students working collaboratively to share and enhance learning.


All assessment will be undertaken online. The assessment will take the form of large-scale projects where you’ll be asked to demonstrate your knowledge on a real-world data set. Projects will involve writing code, interpreting statistical outputs, and producing a report, or presentation outlining the findings from your analysis. Group work may be undertaken in some classes.

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Entry requirements

Academic requirements/experience

Minimum second-class (2:2) Honours degree or international equivalent.

Mathematical training to A Level or equivalent standard.

Prospective students with relevant experience or appropriate professional qualifications are also welcome to apply.

For Australia and Canada, normal degrees in relevant disciplines are accepted.

Mathematical knowledge

Applicants are required to have some prior mathematical knowledge, for example A Level or equivalent, in:

  • calculus
  • linear algebra
  • differential equations

If you have any questions, email

English language requirements

You must have an English language minimum score of IELTS 6.0 (with no component below 5.5).

We offer comprehensive English language courses for students whose IELTS scores are below 6.0. Please see ELTD for full details.

As a university, we now accept many more English language tests in addition to IELTS for overseas applicants, for example, TOEFL and PTE Cambridge. View the full list of accepted English language tests here.

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Fees & funding

Please note, for courses that have a January 2024 start date, 2023/24 academic year fees will apply. For courses that have a September 2024 date, 2024/25 academic year fees will apply.”

Fees may be subject to updates to maintain accuracy. Tuition fees will be notified in your offer letter.

All fees are in £ sterling, unless otherwise stated, and may be subject to revision.

Annual revision of fees

Students on programmes of study of more than one year should be aware that tuition fees are revised annually and may increase in subsequent years of study. Annual increases will generally reflect UK inflation rates and increases to programme delivery costs.

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Tuition fees
  • £5,083 (per year of study, 3 year programme)
  • £7,625 (per year of study, 2 year programme)

For those intending to study stand-alone modules, the cost will be £847 per 10-credit module payable on registration.

Find out more about fees.

Available scholarships

Scholarships of £1,800 are available to new students joining for September entry of one of our online programmes in the 2024/2025 academic year.

We have a Faculty of Science scholarship for online students available to help fund your studies. Find out more.

Take a look at our scholarships search for funding opportunities.

Additional costs

International students may have associated visa and immigration costs. Please see student visa guidance for more information.

How can I fund my course?

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Scottish postgraduate students

Scottish postgraduate students may be able to apply for support from the Student Awards Agency Scotland (SAAS). The support is in the form of a tuition fee loan and for eligible students, a living cost loan. Find out more about the support and how to apply.

Don’t forget to check our scholarship search for more help with fees and funding.

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Students coming from England

Students ordinarily resident in England may be to apply for postgraduate support from Student Finance England. The support is a loan of up to £10,280 which can be used for both tuition fees and living costs. Find out more about the support and how to apply.

Don’t forget to check our scholarship search for more help with fees and funding.

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Students coming from Wales

Students ordinarily resident in Wales may be to apply for postgraduate support from Student Finance Wales. The support is a loan of up to £10,280 which can be used for both tuition fees and living costs. Find out more about the support and how to apply.

Don’t forget to check our scholarship search for more help with fees and funding.

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Students coming from Northern Ireland

Postgraduate students who are ordinarily resident in Northern Ireland may be able to apply for support from Student Finance Northern Ireland. The support is a tuition fee loan of up to £5,500. Find out more about the support and how to apply.

Don’t forget to check our scholarship search for more help with fees and funding.

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International students

We've a large range of scholarships available to help you fund your studies. Check our scholarship search for more help with fees and funding.

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There are many exciting career opportunities for graduates in applied statistics. The practical, real-life skills that you'll gain means you'll be much in demand in international organisations. A report by the Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry identified statistics and data mining as “two key areas in which a 'skills gap' is threatening the UK's biopharmaceutical industry.”

Typical employers of statisticians and data analysts include:

  • government
  • health services
  • pharmaceutical companies
  • human, animal, plant and environmental research institutes
  • insurance companies
  • banks
  • internet information providers such as Google
  • retailers

Typical graduate roles

Typical job roles of recent graduates include:

  • statistician
  • data analyst
  • statistical programmer
  • data scientist

Abstract image of doctor looking at tablet, graphs overlayed.

I chose Strathclyde for the attractive course content and distance learning option. Everything covered was grounded in practical examples and case studies felt realistic and believable. The lecturers would typically have a wealth of professional experience and could comment on the theory as well as what you would do 'in the real world'. The course was well organised with material/assessments released in a manageable way. Students felt listened to and, where the schedule could be adjusted to help with time management, it was. I felt supported and enabled to do well by lecturers who were always willing to go the extra mile to help. 

Sam, MSc Applied Statistics in Health Sciences (online)

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Modules can be taken either stand-alone for CPD purposes or as part of a programme of study working towards a MSc award over a maximum of 60 months. If interested in this mode of study, please email for further information on how to apply.

Apply for online delivery below, or apply for MSc in Applied Statistics in Health Sciences full-time on campus.

Start date: Jan 2024

Applied Statistics in Health Sciences (2 year online) - January

Start date: Jan 2024

Start date: Sep 2024

Applied Statistics in Health Sciences (2 year online) - September

Start date: Sep 2024

Start date: Sep 2024

Applied Statistics in Health Sciences (3 year online) - September

Start date: Sep 2024

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Contact us

PGT Admissions Team

Telephone: +44 (0)141 553 6023