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The emphasis is on statistical thinking rather than mathematical techniques, consequently statistical or mathematical theory are not discussed. The conceptual basis of the methods is emphasised; the aim is to develop an intuitive understanding of how the methods work. Underlying assumptions of the standard methods and what can be done when these assumptions are invalid are discussed. While it is likely that most participants will have some previous exposure to statistics as undergraduates, the course does not assume prior knowledge of statistical ideas and methods. However, because all participants are graduates, the coverage is conceptually more sophisticated than most undergraduate first level courses.
The course is intended for graduates of disciplines, other than statistics, who want to develop and deepen their knowledge of statistical methods for solving problems involving data arising in business and industry, in public service agencies or in research agencies. Applications will be considered from degree level graduates in any discipline. While the mathematical level of the course is kept to a minimum, some background in mathematics is essential; Leaving Certificate mathematics is an acceptable standard for most modules.