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Individually Prescribed Reading Course Applied Statistics


  • Credit value: 15 credits at Level 7
  • Assessment: a 7500-word essay (100%)

Module description

The idea of the individually prescribed reading course is to give flexibility and be responsive to the interests and needs of students. It allows you to choose a subject related to your own personal interests or the requirements of your work, and thereby allows a much wider range of choice than would be possible with just the options offered as lecture courses.

The topic of the individual course can be any specialised subject within the field of probability, statistics, stochastic modelling or operational research. Initial guidance on source materials may be obtained from the assigned supervisor, normally the member of staff whose research interests are nearest. You are then required to locate other material, including recent work in the area, from a variety of sources (eg recent monographs, survey articles, research papers) and should put in about 90 hours of private study, reading and understanding the material, integrating the different sources, evaluating, comparing and criticising different approaches, and writing up the results in an extended, expository essay. You are advised to discuss your progress with your supervisor on two/three occasions after the initial meeting and to obtain comments on a draft plan and on one draft section of your essay before submitting a final version.

Learning objectives

By the end of this module, you should be able to demonstrate:

  • a substantial knowledge and understanding of some chosen specialist area of statistics or operational research or mathematical finance
  • the ability to understand advanced, specialist material
  • the ability to locate relevant materials, books and academic papers on a topic of interest
  • the ability to learn independently by study of a range of sources including learned journals
  • the ability to produce a substantial, well-structured and well-presented expository document covering complex material.