Faculty of Science - Leading creativity and innovation in the sciences

Undergraduate major in Statistics

Subject description

FoS infographic - Statistics is ranked in the top 100 worldwide (QS World University Rankings by subject 2016)

Who needs statistics today and in the future? Anyone who wants to be able to look critically at numerical information and not be easily misled. Anyone who has problems to solve, problems they won’t be able to solve until they find out a little more about the world and how it operates - problems from finding ways to make a business more profitable right through to improving living standards and fighting cancer. Investigation - asking questions, designing ways to collect data to answer those questions, collecting data, making sense of what the data say to produce sensible answers - this is the subject matter of statistics and a set of general life skills.

We live in an information age. Computers allow us to collect and store information in quantities that previously would not even have been dreamt of. But raw, undigested data stored on computer disks are useless until people can start to make sense of them. Statistics is the human side of the computer revolution, an information science, the art and science of extracting meaning from seemingly incomprehensible data. Statistics applies to almost any field; this is why some training in statistics can help make you more effective and more employable, regardless of the career direction you choose.


Postgraduate Statistics

The fascination of advanced study and the excitement of a career in statistics is one of the world's best kept secrets. What other discipline can accommodate people whose passions are as disparate as pure mathematics (well, almost pure), computer science, medical research, research in biology, social research, engineering, forensics, image reconstruction..., or encompass several of these? Statistics can provide a home for people who love playing with theoretical abstractions. It can also provide a home for people who are driven by the desire to solve practical problems - people who have little patience with abstraction unless they can see direct practical applications.

Few other areas can give you as wide a range of employment possibilities. Do you know yet whether you want to be an academic? Or to work in business or industry? In agriculture? The health sector? Private consultancy? Public sector analysis and planning? Postgraduate study in statistics can help prepare you for any of these. And to a large extent, you can postpone making such difficult choices.

Our recent graduates have found employment in industry, research institutes, medical research teams, government departments, market research companies, insurance companies, investment banks, and in universities. For many of these jobs, a postgraduate degree has been essential.



Bachelor of Science (BSc) - Statistics major

First or single major must include: 

Second major must include:

Stage I courses

When planning your enrolment in Statistics courses, it is important to be aware of the following:

You may take only one of the equivalent courses between STATS 101 or 108. To advance to Stage II Data Analysis, you must take either STATS 101 or 108.

You may take STATS 125 and/or STATS 150 regardless of the other courses you are doing.

STATS 125 is a prerequisite for STATS 210 (Statistical Theory), so it must be taken prior to enrolling in STATS 210. Students planning to do a Master in Statistics must take STATS 210. Students should take MATHS 108 (or an equivalent course) in your first year, as you will need to take MATHS 208, 250 or equivalent (for which MATHS 108 is a prerequisite) at the same time as STATS 210.

Plan your degree with our Statistics planner


Career opportunities

Statistics is the ideal partner course for people who want to enhance their quantitative capabilities while pursuing their career choice subject. A second major in statistics, a minor in statistics or a conjoint degree with statistics can provide you with an employment advantage in almost any field: finance, psychology, economics, marketing, law, biology, accounting, journalism etc. To be employed as a specialist statistician you will probably need a postgraduate qualification in statistics.

Statisticians apply their skills in a wide range of industries; banks, insurance companies and other financial institutions, web-based and IT companies, market research organisations, pharmaceutical and other manufacturing companies, public health and utilities providers, Crown Research Institutes, government departments such as Treasury, Statistics New Zealand and MAF, local bodies, universities and technical institutes.

Across these organisations statisticians design studies, analyse data and make projections to better inform decisions. Successful statisticians often begin their careers in technical roles and are promoted into management. Consulting statisticians enjoy a wide diversity of statistical applications for problem solving. In one week a practicing statistician can help to investigate a case of disputed authorship, design an experiment to evaluate the effects of a new treatment for a disease, analyse a set of data gathered by an ecologist, and help a freight carrier to study work processes to find ways to make the company more profitable.


Help and advice

For further information, refer to the Statistics Undergraduate Handbook or contact the Stage I/Undergraduate Advisers for Statistics. 

David Smith
Phone: +64 9 373 7599 ext 85390

Christine Miller
Phone: +64 9 373 7599 ext 84275

Alternatively, staff at the Department of Statistics, located on Level 3 of Building 303, 38 Princes Street, can help you with their general enquiries and refer you to the relevant academic advisors.

Phone: +4 9 373 7599 ext 86893 or 87510
Email: ugadvice-statistics@auckland.ac.nz
Web: www.stat.auckland.ac.nz


Further information