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Applied Statistics in Health Sciences (MSc)

Course Description

This unique Masters in Applied Statistics in Health Sciences provides an opening to a career as an applied statistician, without having previously studied statistics.

The course is run in collaboration with the Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA), an Executive Agency of the Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs (Defra). Statisticians from APHA, as well as those who have extensive experience in working with the National Health Service in Scotland, will provide lectures based around real-life problems and data from the health sciences.

Although the programme is focused on health, the skill set provided will also equip you with the necessary training to work as an applied statistician in other areas such as insurance, finance and commerce.

What you'll learn

The three compulsory modules covered in Semester 1 will equip you with fundamental probability and data analysis skills. In Semester 2 there's four compulsory modules, each focusing on a different applied element of being a statistician. The course concludes with a research project which will involve the analysis of a real-life data set.

Programme skills set
On the programme you'll acquire:
-in-depth knowledge of modern statistical methods that are used to analyse and visualise real-life data sets and the experience of how to apply these methods in a professional setting
-skills in using statistical software packages that are used in government, industry and commerce
-the ability to interpret the output from statistical tests and data analyses and communicate your findings to a variety of audiences including health professionals, scientists, government officials, managers and stakeholders who may have an interest in the problem
-problem solving and high numeracy skills that are widely sought after in the commercial sector
-practical experience of statistical consultancy and how to interact with professionals who require statistical analyses of their data
-through the contacts with APHA and NHS staff, an understanding of what it's like to work as an applied statistician in practice including, for example, during disease outbreaks

Guest lectures
Several modules will be taught by academics who also work for other organisations including government and health services.


The Department of Mathematics & Statistics has teaching rooms which provide you with access to modern teaching equipment and computing laboratories that are state-of-the-art with all necessary software available. You'll also have a common room facility, a modern and flexible area which is used for individual and group study work, and also a relaxing social space.

The Department of Mathematics & Statistics

At the heart of the Department of Mathematics & Statistics is the University’s aim of developing useful learning. We're an applied department with many links to industry and government. Most of the academic staff teaching on this course hold joint-appointments with, or are funded by, other organisations, including APHA, Public Health and Intelligence (Health Protection Scotland), Greater Glasgow and Clyde Health Board and the Marine Alliance for Science and Technology Scotland (MASTS). We bridge the gap between academia and real-life. Our research has societal impact.

Course content

Semester 1 Compulsory classes:
The three compulsory classes covered in semester 1 will equip you with fundamental probability and data analysis skills.

-Foundations of Probability & Statistics
-Data Analytics in R
-Applied Statistical Modelling

Semester 2 Compulsory classes:
Each class focuses on a different applied element of being a statistician.

-Medical Statistics
-Bayesian Spatial Statistics
-Effective Statistical Consultancy
-Risk Analysis
-Survey Design & Analysis
-Semester 3

Learning & teaching

Classes are delivered by a number of teaching methods:
-lectures (using a variety of media including electronic presentations and computer demonstrations)
-computer laboratories

Teaching is student-focused, with students encouraged to take responsibility for their own learning and development. Classes are supported by web-based materials.


The form of assessment varies for each class. For most classes the assessment involves both coursework and examinations.

How can I fund my course?

A number of scholarships are available for outstanding UK, EU and international applicants. For details, please visit our scholarship search: https://www.strath.ac.uk/studywithus/scholarships/

Scottish students:
Students living in Scotland can find out more about funding from the Student Awards Agency Scotland.

English/EU students:
Students ordinarily resident in England may be eligible to apply for a loan of up to £10,000 to cover their tuition fees and living costs. Students resident in the EU may also apply.


There are many exciting career opportunities for graduates in applied statistics. The practical, real-life skills that you'll gain means you'll be much in demand in international organisations. A report by the Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry identified statistics and data mining as “two key areas in which a 'skills gap' is threatening the UK's biopharmaceutical industry.”

Typical employers of statisticians and data analysts include:

-Health services
-Pharmaceutical companies
-Human, animal, plant and environmental research institutes
-Insurance companies
-Internet information providers such as Google

Visit the Applied Statistics in Health Sciences (MSc) page on the University of Strathclyde website for more details!

Entry Requirements

An honours degree, or overseas equivalent, and mathematical training to A level or equivalent standard. Applications are also welcome from those with appropriate professional qualifications or those who can demonstrate relevant practical experience. English requirements: IELTS 6.5 is required for all non-English speakers.

Course Fees

Scotland/EU: £5,000, Rest of UK: £6,000, International: £13,900

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