Applied Statistics (Postgraduate Certificate)

This programme as been specially designed to meet the personal and career development needs of people who want to continue working while also studying in the evening. Many of our students are involved in data analysis, the interpretation of statistics, the optimal design and control of systems, and the modelling and prediction of time-dependent phenomena. They bring a wealth of knowledge and experience into the classroom, and you’ll find yourself surrounded by committed, enthusiastic students from all backgrounds, careers and cultures. This programme is ideal if you are considering a career move into statistics, or if your work already involves aspects of data collection and exploration, the interpretation of statistics, or the modelling and forecasting of time-dependent phenomena.

The programme covers both the theory and application of statistical and stochastic modelling techniques to applied problems in industry, the public services, commerce and research. It proceeds from a strong theoretical background, but it is practically oriented, in order to develop your ability to tackle new and non-standard problems confidently. The mutual dependence of practice and theory is emphasised throughout the course.

Highlights

  • Accredited by the Royal Statistical Society - graduates may be granted Graduate Statistician (GradStat) status.
  • Birkbeck brings together research and teaching across economics and finance, mathematics and statistics in a single department, which creates significant interdisciplinary synergies.
  • Our teaching is informed by the needs of employers and you will be taught by academics who are professional practitioners involved in the world of economics and international finance. They provide specialist advice and in-house training for government departments and City firms and banks.
  • Our Department houses active research groups in mathematics, econometrics and statistics, macroeconomics and microeconomics, which all host visiting speakers and organise seminars.
  • The Birkbeck Centre for Applied Macroeconomics and the Commodities Finance Centre are our two research centres, which disseminate research, host events and house visiting academics.
  • You will have access to a wide range of study resources, including University of London seminar programmes in probability and statistics, and excellent library facilities close by in Bloomsbury. Extensive computing facilities include PCs and UNIX platforms. 

Course structure

You take two core modules. These cover: probability and distribution theory; statistical inference; Markov Chains; introductory time series and forecasting; multiple linear regression; generalised linear modelling; experimental design. You will apply the theory and principles that you learn to the analysis and modelling of data in a wide range of contexts and gain experience in the use of a statistical package such as R.

Read more about this programme and read our programme handbook.

Module groups

  • Entry Requirements

    Entry requirements

    A good upper second-class degree or above with mathematics or statistics as a main subject.

    Other degrees or professional qualifications may also be acceptable, such as the Birkbeck Graduate Certificate in Statistics or the Graduate Diploma of the Royal Statistical Society.

    International entry requirements

    If English is not your first language or you have not previously studied in English, our usual requirement is the equivalent of an International English Language Testing System (IELTS Academic Test) score of 6.5, with not less than 6.0 in each of the sub-tests.

    If you don't meet the minimum IELTS requirement, we offer pre-sessional English courses, foundation programmes and language support services to help you improve your English language skills and get your place at Birkbeck.

    Visit the International section of our website to find out more about our English language entry requirements and relevant requirements by country.

    Visa requirements

    If you are not from the European Economic Area (EEA) and/or Switzerland and you are coming to study in the UK, you may need to apply for a visa.

    The visa you apply for varies according to the length of your course:

    • Courses of more than six months’ duration.
    • Courses of less than six months’ duration.
    • Pre-sessional English language courses.

    International students who require a Tier 4 visa should apply for our three-year evening study BA/BSc/LLB degrees, as these are classified as full-time study and qualify for student visa status. If you are living in the UK on a Tier 4 visa, you will not be eligible to enrol as a student on Birkbeck’s part-time evening study degrees.

    For full information, read our visa information for international students page.

    Credits and Accredited Prior Learning (APL)

    If you have studied at university previously, you may have accumulated credits through the modules you studied. It may be possible to transfer these credits from your previous study to Birkbeck or another institution. You should discuss this with the Programme Director when you are making your application.

    Find out more about credits and Accredited Prior Learning (APL).

  • Fees

    Fees

    Part-time home/EU students: £2900 pa
    Part-time international students: £4950 pa

    Students are charged a tuition fee in each year of their programme. Tuition fees for students continuing on their programme in following years may be subject to annual inflationary increases. For more information, please see the College Fees Policy.

  • Teaching and assessment

    Teaching

    At Birkbeck, almost all of our courses are taught in the evening and our teaching is designed to support students who are juggling evening study with work and other daytime commitments. We actively encourage innovative and engaging ways of teaching, to ensure our students have the best learning experience. In the 2017 Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF), the government’s system for rating university teaching, Birkbeck was allocated a Silver award.

    Teaching may include formal lectures, seminars, and practical classes and tutorials. Formal lectures are used in most degree programmes to give an overview of a particular field of study. They aim to provide the stimulus and the starting point for deeper exploration of the subject during your own personal reading. Seminars give you the chance to explore a specific aspect of your subject in depth and to discuss and exchange ideas with fellow students. They typically require preparatory study.

    Our distance-learning and blended-learning courses and modules are self-directed and we will provide you with interactive learning opportunities and encourage you to collaborate and engage via various learning technologies. These courses involve limited or no face-to-face contact between students and module tutors.

    In addition, you will have access to pastoral support via a named Personal Tutor.

    Methods of teaching on this course

    Most scheduled teaching sessions are either lectures, or practical computing sessions held in a workstation room, which make use of modern statistical and mathematical software.

    Lectures present theory, worked problems and example applications to the class as a whole. Workstation sessions allow you to gain practical experience in the analysis and modelling of data. They are therefore self-paced and very informal, with students working individually using detailed guidance notes while members of staff provide tutorial assistance.

    Contact hours

    On our taught courses, you will have scheduled teaching and study sessions each year. Alongside this, you will also undertake assessment activities and independent learning outside of class. Depending on the modules you take, you may also have additional scheduled academic activities, such as tutorials, dissertation supervision, practical classes, visits and fieldtrips.

    On our taught courses, the actual amount of time you spend in the classroom and in contact with your lecturers will depend on your course, the option modules you select and when you undertake your final-year project.

    On our distance-learning and blended-learning courses, discussion, collaboration and interaction with your lecturers and fellow students are encouraged and enabled through various learning technologies, but you may have limited or no face-to-face contact with your module tutors.

    Timetables

    Timetables are usually available from September onwards and you can access your personalised timetable via your My Birkbeck Profile online (if you have been invited to enrol).

    Indicative class size

    Class sizes vary, depending on your course, the module you are undertaking, and the method of teaching. For example, lectures are presented to larger groups, whereas seminars usually consist of small, interactive groups led by a tutor.

    Independent learning

    On our taught courses, much of your time outside of class will be spent on self-directed, independent learning, including preparing for classes and following up afterwards. This will usually include, but is not limited to, reading books and journal articles, undertaking research, working on coursework and assignments, and preparing for presentations and assessments.

    Independent learning is absolutely vital to your success as a student. Everyone is different, and the study time required varies topic by topic, but, as a guide, expect to schedule up to five hours of self-study for each hour of teaching.

    On our distance-learning and blended-learning courses, the emphasis is very much on independent, self-directed learning and you will be expected to manage your own learning, with the support of your module tutors and various learning technologies.

    Study skills and additional support

    Birkbeck offers study and learning support to undergraduate and postgraduate students to help them succeed. Our Learning Development Service can help you in the following areas:

    • academic skills (including planning your workload, research, writing, exam preparation and writing a dissertation)
    • written English (including structure, punctuation and grammar)
    • numerical skills (basic mathematics and statistics).

    Our Disability and Dyslexia Service can support you if you have additional learning needs resulting from a disability or from dyslexia.

    Our Counselling Service can support you if you are struggling with emotional or psychological difficulties during your studies.

    Our Mental Health Advisory Service can support you if you are experiencing short- or long-term mental health difficulties during your studies.

    Assessment

    Assessment is an integral part of your university studies and usually consists of a combination of coursework and examinations, although this will vary from course to course - on some of our courses, assessment is entirely by coursework. The methods of assessment on this course are specified below under 'Methods of assessment on this course'. You will need to allow time to complete coursework and prepare for exams.

    Where a course has unseen written examinations, these may be held termly, but, on the majority of our courses, exams are usually taken in the Summer term, during May to June. Exams may be held at other times of the year as well. In most cases, exams are held during the day on a weekday - if you have daytime commitments, you will need to make arrangements for daytime attendance - but some exams are held in the evening. Exam timetables are published online.

    Find out more about assessment at Birkbeck, including guidance on assessment, feedback and our assessment offences policy.

    Methods of assessment on this course

    Written examinations during the daytime in May/June, assessed coursework throughout the year.

  • Careers and employability

    Careers and employability

    Graduates can pursue careers in data collection, research, and analysis, modelling and forecasting. Possible professions include statistician, operational researcher, or research scientist (maths). This degree may also be useful in becoming a forensic statistician or high education lecturer.

    Find out more about these professions.

    Further information about careers in statistics is available from the Royal Statistical Society website.

    We offer a comprehensive Careers and Employability Service to help you advance your career, while our in-house, professional recruitment consultancy, Birkbeck Talent, works with London’s top employers to help you gain work experience that fits in with your evening studies.

  • How to apply

    How to apply

    You apply directly to Birkbeck for this course, using the online application link.

    Birkbeck can give you all of the information and help you need to complete your application form.

    Application deadlines and interviews

    You should apply as early as possible and by the beginning of September at the latest. We need to receive your supporting documents, i.e. your transcript, before we can proceed with your application.

    Interviews by arrangement.