Faculty of Science


Please note: Information on this page relates to the 2015 academic year unless otherwise specified.

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This subject is taught by the School of Mathematics, Statistics and Operations Research.


Statistics is concerned with the collection, analysis and interpretation of data, and provides a mathematical tool for understanding an information-rich world. By studying both theory and practice, a Bachelor of Science (BSc) majoring in Statistics gives students a solid education in the informed analysis of experimental and survey results.

The study of Statistics provides an extremely useful complement to a range of other subject areas including sciences, geography, linguistics and social policy. Within the Statistics major there are three optional pathways:

  • Mathematical Statistics emphasises the theoretical aspects of statistics and is suited to students with a good background in mathematics with calculus. MATH 177 is strongly recommended for this emphasis.
  • Applied Statistics emphasises the uses of statistics in life sciences and social sciences. It is often taken in conjunction with a major in one of those disciplines. STAT 193 is the recommended starting point for this emphasis.
  • Operations Research emphasises statistical, mathematical and computational methods used in decision analysis and data science. Students following this pathway are also recommended to take MATH 177.

As information technology expands the opportunities to gather and analyse statistics, those with expertise in this area will be increasingly in demand. A firm foundation in statistics is a highly marketable skill for a graduate to have.

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Undergraduate information

BSc major requirements

  1. 30 100-level points from (MATH, STAT)
  2. MATH 277 or STAT 292; 15 further 200-level MATH or STAT points; 30 further 200-level points from the Science Schedule or other approved courses
  3. 30 300-level points; 30 further 300-level points from (MATH, OPRE, STAT) in which 15 points may be replaced by an approved 300-level course from another subject

First-year courses

The Statistics major can be taken with either a Mathematical or Applied emphasis.

Although not explicitly stated in the majoring requirements, all students should include one (or both) of MATH 177 or STAT 193 in their first year programme.

  • MATH 177 is needed for a major in Statistics (with Mathematical Statistics or Operations Research emphasis) and for a major in Actuarial Science.
  • STAT 193 is highly recommended for a major in Statistics (with an Applied Statistics emphasis).
  • MATH 177 and STAT 193 can be successfully combined.
  • Students need to take MATH 142 and MATH 151 to proceed to some of the second year STAT and OPRE courses.

Entry criteria for first-year courses

  • Entry to MATH 177 requires at least 16 AS credits NCEA level 3 Mathematics or Statistics, including AS 3.6 (differentiation, AS91578) and 3.7 (integration, AS91579) or MATH 141. Otherwise students are advised to take STAT 193.

Postgraduate information

Information about postgraduate study in Statistics can be found on the School of Mathematics, Statistics and Operations Research website.

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How to find out more

You can order more information on this subject by registering on our Request for Study Material database.

Victoria's Student Recruitment, Admission and Orientation Office offers advice on courses and help with planning your degree.

Contact the Science Faculty Office for information on Admission, qualifications and courses, course advice and selection criteria, exemptions and prerequisites and your Application to Study.

Statistics courses are taught within the School of Mathematics, Statistics and Operations Research, Cotton Building.

Dr Richard Arnold
Programme Director
Phone: 04 463 5668
Email: richard.arnold@msor.vuw.ac.nz

School Office
Phone: 04 463 5666
Email: office@msor.vuw.ac.nz

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Related subjects and careers

Related Subjects Careers

Actuarial Science
Computer Science
Ecology and Biodiversity
Māori Studies
Social Policy

Data Analyst
Economic analyst
Financial analyst
Market researcher
Policy analyst
Social science researcher
Survey designer

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List of courses

Please note: the list below shows undergraduate-level courses only. For postgraduate courses, see the list of all Statistics courses.