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Course content

Medical statistics is a fundamental scientific component of health research. Medical statisticians interact with biomedical researchers, epidemiologists and public health professionals and contribute to the effective translation of scientific research into patient benefits and clinical decision-making. As new biomedical problems emerge, there are exciting challenges in the application of existing tools and the development of new superior models.

About this degree

The UCL Medical Statistics degree provides students with a sound background in theoretical statistics as well as practical hands-on experience in designing, analysing and interpreting health studies, including trials and observational studies. The taught component equips students with analytical tools for healthcare economic evaluation, and the research project provides experience in using real clinical datasets.

Students undertake modules to the value of 180 credits.

The programme consists of a foundation course, six core modules (90 credits) two optional modules (30 credits) and the research dissertation (60 credits).

Core modules

  • Foundation Course (not credit bearing)
  • Statistical Inference
  • Statistical Models and Data Analysis
  • Medical Statistics I
  • Medical Statistics II
  • Statistical Computing
  • Applied Bayesian Methods

Optional modules

  • At least one from:
  • Statistics for Interpreting Genetic Data
  • Bayesian Methods in Health Economics
  • and at least one from:
  • Epidemiology
  • Statistical Design of Investigations

Dissertation/report

All MSc students undertake an individual research project, culminating in a dissertation of approximately 10,000–12,000 words.

Teaching and learning

The programme is delivered through a combination of lectures, tutorials and classes, some of which are dedicated to practical work. External organisations deliver technical lectures and seminars where possible. Assessment is through written examination and coursework. The research project is assessed through the dissertation and a 15-minute presentation. 

Workshops running during the teaching terms provide preparation for this project and cover the communication of statistics, for example, the presentation of statistical graphs and tables.

Further information on modules and degree structure is available on the department website: Statistics (Medical Statistics) MSc

Careers

Medical statisticians enable the application of the best possible quantitative methods in health research and assist in the reliable translation of research findings to public and patients’ health care.

The National Institute of Health Research (NIHR) has identified medical statistics as one of the priority areas in their capacity building strategy and has awarded UCL two studentships annually for this MSc.

Recent career destinations for this degree

  • Biostatistician, Boehringer Ingelheim
  • Statistical and Epidemiological Modeller, University of Oxford
  • PhD in Statistical Science, UCL
  • Graduate Bio-Statistician, PRA International

Employability

There is an acute shortage of medical statisticians in the UK and employment opportunities are excellent. Recent graduates from this programme have been employed by clinical trials units, the pharmaceutical industry, NHS trusts and universities (e.g. London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, UCL).

Why study this degree at UCL?

One of the strengths of UCL Statistical Science is the breadth of expertise on offer; the research interests of staff span the full range from foundations to applications, and make important original contributions to the development of statistical science.

UCL is linked with four NHS hospital trusts and hosts three biomedical research centres, four clinical trial units and an Institute of Clinical Trials and Methodology. Established links between UCL Statistical Science, the NIHR UCLH/UCL Biomedical Research Centre and the Clinical Trial Units provide high-quality biomedical projects for Master's students and opportunities for excellent postgraduate teaching and medical research.


Visit the Statistics (Medical Statistics) (MSc) page on the University College London website for more details!

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