The course trains students from a variety of academic backgrounds to work as statisticians in various sectors including higher education, research institutions, the pharmaceutical industry, central government and national health services. It provides training in the theory and practice of statistics with special reference to clinical trials, epidemiology and clinical or laboratory research.
There is a shortage of well-trained medical statisticians and graduates from this course are in high demand. Graduate typically pursue careers in medical and epidemiological research, the pharmaceutical industry and various governmental institutions. Find out more about our graduate careers and destinations.
The PSI Andrew Hewett Prize is founded in memory of Andrew Hewett, an alumnus of the School and awarded by the PSI (Statisticians in the Pharmaceutical Industry) to the best student on the course.
Duration: one year full-time or part-time over two years. Modes of study explained.
Watch staff and students talk about the course.
By the end of this course students should be able to:
- select appropriate study designs to address questions of medical relevance
- select and apply appropriate statistical techniques for managing common types of medical data
- use various software packages for statistical analysis and data management
- interpret the results of statistical analyses and critically evaluate the use of statistics in the medical literature
- communicate effectively with statisticians and the wider medical community, in writing and orally through presentation of results of statistical analyses
- explore current and anticipated developments in medical statistics
All students take five compulsory modules:
- Foundations of Medical Statistics
- Introduction to Statistical Computing (Stata/SAS/R)
- Clinical Trials
- Basic Epidemiology
- Robust Statistical Methods
Terms 2 and 3
Students take a total of five modules, one from each timetable slot (Slot 1, Slot 2 etc.). The list below shows recommended modules. There are other modules which can only be taken after consultation with the course director.
- Generalised Linear Models (compulsory)
- Statistical Methods in Epidemiology (compulsory)
- Analysis of Hierarchical & Other Dependent Data*
- Epidemiology of Non-Communicable Diseases
- Modelling & the Dynamics of Infectious Diseases
- Social Epidemiology
- Survival Analysis and Bayesian Statistics (compulsory)
- Advanced Statistical Modelling*
- Advanced Statistical Methods in Epidemiology*
During the summer months (July - August), students complete a research project, for submission by early September. This usually consists of analysing a set of data and writing a report, but methodological research can also be undertaken.
The normal minimum entrance qualification for registration at the School on a Master's programme is at least one of the following:
- a second-class honours degree of a UK university, or an overseas qualification of an equivalent standard, in a subject appropriate to that of the course of study to be followed
- a registrable qualification appropriate to the course of study to be followed, in medicine, dentistry or veterinary studies
Applications with an appropriate technical qualification, or equivalent qualification and experience from overseas, are also welcomed.
For the MSc Medical Statistics it is preferred that students should normally have obtained a mathematically-based first degree which includes some statistics. Graduates from other fields who have quantitative skills and some familiarity with statistical ideas may also apply.
Any student who does not meet the minimum entry requirement above but who has relevant professional experience may still be eligible for admission. Qualifications and experience will be assessed from the application.
As part of the admissions process all suitable applicants will be invited to interview. Applicants who live overseas will be offered a Skype or telephone interview and those who live in the UK will be invited to the School. We are also happy to interview UK applicants by Skype or telephone if preferred, due to work or study commitments.
You will need the equivalent of a bachelor's degree to undertake an MSc. This will usually require you to have a BSc degree or have completed the first three years of your medical degree. More information on intercalating an MSc at the School
Fees and funding
New Funding: NIHR MSc Studentships in Medical Statistics
Three National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) funded studentships are available for the 2016-17 academic year. These studentships have been made available with the aim of building research capacity in medical statistics, and will be targeted towards students who are planning to go on to work in areas of benefit to the National Health Service.
The studentships are open to UK and EU applicants only and cover all course fees as well as providing a tax free living allowance. The 2016-17 stipend rate has not yet been confirmed. In 2015-16 the annual stipend rate was GBP 16,057.
How to Apply
Students wishing to apply for an NIHR studentship should apply to study for the MSc in Medical Statistics, as a first choice, by the funding deadline. All eligible applications will be considered for this funding.
First deadline: 15 April 2016
Second deadline: 10 June 2016
Incomplete applications will not be considered for this funding.
How to apply
Applications should be made online. Paper application forms are available upon request and will normally incur an administration fee of £50. You must send a copy of the personal details and photograph page of your passport with all paper applications. Your application will not be considered until you have provided the above documents.
Applicants wishing to be considered for School scholarships should apply as early as possible. Deadlines for scholarship applications appear on the Master's funding page. Course applications will be considered until all places on the course have been filled. Notification of when a course is closed will appear on the relevant course page. All applicants should be able to start the course on the first day of the academic year.
Students interested in part-time or split-study should contact the Course Directors, via the Registry, to discuss course requirements and likely timetables, and should read the Master's degree information.
All applicants are encouraged to apply as early as possible to ensure availability of a place and a timely decision on their application. This is particularly important for applicants with sponsorship deadlines.
The final closing date for taught Master’s applications is as follows:
- 11th August 2016 by midnight British Summer Time (BST) for international applicants requiring a Tier 4 Student Visa, and
- 29th August 2016 by midnight British Summer Time (BST) for applicants not requiring a Tier 4 Student Visa.
Do you need a visa?
If you have EU nationality or you are from Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway or Switzerland, you do not need immigration permission to come to the UK. You can enter, study and work in the UK without restriction. If you have dual nationality, and you choose to come to the UK using your EEA or Swiss passport, you do not need immigration permission.
For useful guidance on EEA nationals in the UK, go to the UKCISA website.
Students from outside the EEA
All non-EEA nationals who want to study in the UK must hold immigration permission that allows you to study in the UK.
If you are coming to the School to study on a full time degree programme and you have no other immigration permission for the UK, you will need to apply for a Tier 4 Student visa. You can only apply for Tier 4 when your offer at the School is unconditional.
If you already hold a Tier 4 visa for a different institution, you will probably have to apply for a Tier 4 visa for the School before you can start studying with us.