MSc Applied Statistics in Health Sciences (online)

Key facts

  • Start date: September
  • Study mode and duration: 36 months part-time

Study with us

  • designed for those with a background in a broad range of disciplines
  • learn about probability and how to analyse data
  • gain skills in problem-solving, big data and use of statistical software packages
  • provides an opening to a career as an applied statistician, without having previously studied statistics
  • become equipped with the necessary training to work as an applied statistician in other areas such as insurance, finance and commerce
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Why this course?

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

The course is entirely delivered online and access to a Windows PC is required. 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.

The course has been designed by academics who also work as statisticians in the public sector, who are experts in understanding real-life statistical problems, data, and relating theory to practice. 

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.

Science formulas and maths equations

What you'll study

In Year 1 you’ll study three modules, equipping you with fundamental probability and data analysis skills. In Year 2 there are five modules, each focusing on a different applied element of being a statistician. The course concludes in the final year with a research project that will involve the analysis of a real-life data set.

Programme skills set

On the programme you'll acquire:

  • in-depth knowledge of modern statistical methods that are 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 that are 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 that are 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
  • through the contacts with APHA and NHS staff, an understanding of what it's like to work as an applied statistician in practice including, for example, during disease outbreaks

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, including 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
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Course content

Semester 1

Foundations of Probability & Statistics

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

Semester 2

Data Analytics in R

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

Semester 3

Statistical Modelling & Analysis

This class 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.

Semester 1

Risk Analysis

This class 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.

Survey Design & Analysis

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

Semester 2

Medical Statistics

This class 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. Software packages such as Minitab will be introduced.

Semester 3

Bayesian Spatial Statistics

This class will introduce you to Bayesian statistics and the modern Bayesian methods that are used in health care research. Again, the focus is on real-life data and using statistical software packages for analysis.

Effective Statistical Consultancy

This cover all aspects of statistical consultancy skills necessary for being a successful statistician working in any research environment. You'll work on real-life problems in small groups and have the opportunity to interact with health care researchers to formulate hypotheses.

MSc Project

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. Working with APHA and the NHS on one of their policy-driven problems is possible. 

If you're working, you'll have the option of basing your project at your workplace – making your studies even more relevant and beneficial for both you and your employer.

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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 week plus additional self-study. You’ll also have regular assistance from dedicated tutors who will 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.

Assessment

The form of assessment varies for each class. For most classes the assessment involves both coursework and examinations.

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Entry requirements

Academic requirements/experience

Minimum second-class Honours degree or international equivalent.

Mathematical training to A Level or equivalent standard.

Prospective students with relevant experience or appropiate 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, eg A Level or equivalent in:

  • calculus
  • linear algebra
  • differential equations

If you have any questions, email (science-masters@strath.ac.uk).

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

2020/21

All fees quoted are per academic year unless stated otherwise.

Scotland/EU

£3,583 (60 credits)

Rest of UK

£3,583 (60 credits)

International

£3,583 (60 credits)

Available scholarships

Take a look at our scholarships search for funding opportunities.

Please note: the fees shown are annual and may be subject to an increase each year. Find out more about fees.

How can I fund my course?

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Scottish and non-UK EU postgraduate students

Scottish and non-UK EU 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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Careers

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
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Apply

Applied Statistics in Health Sciences (online)

Qualification: MSc
Start Date: Sep 2020
Mode of Delivery: part-time

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