Applications for academic year 2017/18 are now open

Applications for the MSc in Statistics are considered in three rounds; for more information about the rounds and details on how to apply please see the main College Online Postgraduate Prospectus.

The Statistics section is part of Imperial's Department of Mathematics, which is part of the Faculty of Natural Sciences.

Message from the Course Director (Dr Ed Cohen)

Statistics is a dynamic and thriving scientific discipline that has relevance in almost every area of the modern world. Statisticians work on fascinating problems at the interface of where mathematics meets the natural sciences, medicine, engineering, social and political science, data science and finance, as well as being a theoretically rich and diverse discipline its own right. 

We look forward to hearing from exceptional students to join our MSc programme in the academic year 2017-2018. 

The MSc in Statistics at Imperial provides outstanding training both in theoretical and applied statistics. We offer compulsory courses in the autumn term which ensure that all students obtain advanced knowledge of probability theory, the fundamentals of statistical inference and applied and computational statistics.

One of the highlights of the Imperial MSc in Statistics is the great variety of optional courses we offer in the spring term, which provide depth and exposure to the diverse range of statistical applications and methods. Based on their interest, our MSc students choose a topic for their major research project, which they will be working over the entire summer. This project pulls the material from the Core Course and Optional Courses together, and provides students with the opportunity to work extensively on either theoretical or practical problems in Statistics.

Key course information

For entry requirements, fees, funding, application rounds and how to apply please see the main College Online Postgraduate Prospectus

Further information

Further details about the course can be found below.

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Further information

Why study statistics?

"The really sexy job in the 2010s is to be a statistician."
Hal Varian - Chief Economist, Google

"Every aspect of modern life is touched by statistics."
D.J. Hand

Why Study Statistics?

Statistical methods are becoming more and more prevalent in business, industry, technology, government, and academia (for the 2013 International Year of Statistics a video about the use of statistics was created). As such there is a wide choice of career opportunities for well qualified statisticians. UK employers face difficulties in finding such individuals. Illustrations of career opportunities are medical research and drug development (the pharmaceutical sector is mandated by law to carry out statistical experiments and employs thousands of statisticians), banking (statistical models play a central role in both personal and investment banking), government (the Government Statistical Service employs some 1200 professional statisticians), and cutting edge web employers (squeezing information from masses of internet data requires sophisticated statistical methodology). Moreover, the demand for statistical expertise is growing as automatic electronic data acquisition means that more and more massive databases are being compiled and that industry, business, and government are ever more reliant on automated statistical routines for trolling enormous data archives.

The discipline of statistics itself continues to grow, as new methods and tools are developed, and in many areas a Master’s degree is the qualification of choice, providing a broad and deep foundation in the subject. 

Overall, the discipline of statistics offers the opportunities for highly remunerated, intellectually challenging, and socially beneficial employment in an exceptionally wide range of areas.

Helpful Careers Pages:

Why this course?

The MSc distinguishes itself from other programmes at leading UK Universities through the breadth and the depth of the Optional Courses.

Almost all courses are specifically designed for the MSc in Statistics (all courses with an M5MS?? coding fall in this category). The number of students on these courses is kept small, to ensure an excellent learning environment.

The entire Statistics Section is involved in running the MSc. This allows a very wide choice of summer research projects.

The Statistics Section has strong links to the financial and industrial sectors. This will be a particular benefit in relation to the major project, which can be conducted in conjunction with an external partner.

You will be part of a very stimulating environment:
About Imperial: Consistently rated amongst the world's best universities, Imperial College London is a science-based institution with a reputation for excellence in teaching and research.  In the 2014 REF assessment it was concluded that Imperial is home to the greatest concentration of high-impact research of any major UK university. Imperial came 9th in the QS and 8th in the Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2016/17.
About the Statistics Section: The Statistics Section has an international reputation for conducting methodological and applied statistical research at the highest level. Particular areas of current activity include statistical genetics and biostatistics, astrostatistics, statistical methods in retail financial services, time series, core statistical methodology, classification and data mining, with many interactions and overlaps between these areas of research.  The Section is one of the leading statistics groups in UK. In the 2008 RAE, Imperial was ranked third nationally. In the 2014 REF assessment Imperial was ranked 3rd nationally for mathematical sciences. Imperial is ranked 5th worldwide for statistics in the QS World University Rankings 2015 QS World University Rankings 2015.

In November 2013 the MSc in Statistics was accredited by the Royal Statistical Society, implying that graduates are granted the Society's professional status of Graduate Statistician on application.

Programme Details

To find out more about the course, including course handbooks, timetables, information on careers support offered and social events, please see the current student pages.


We offer a range of scholarships for postgraduate students to support you through your studies. Try our scholarships search tool to see what you might be eligible for. See Imperial Postgraduate Scholarships for general opportunities.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Is there a part-time option?
    No, there is currently no part-time option.

  • How big is the MSc?
    The cohort size is typically between 40-50 students.

  • When can I apply?
    Applications are open from now until the 14th of June.

  • I do not have a Mathematics or a Statistics degree. Can I apply for this course?
    We encourage applications from outstanding students from other disciplines who are able to demonstrate
    • strong mathematical ability and
    • a well motivated and genuine interest in advanced study in Statistics.
    Prior studies involving only elementary courses in Probability and Statistics and the mere use of standard statistical software packages (e.g. SPSS, SAS) are normally not considered to be adequate preparation for this course.

  • What statistical software is being used?
    Most courses that have practical parts will use R as main language.

  • Do I need programming experience?
    A number of courses on the MSc programme will involve computational work in the statistical programming language, R. It is strongly desirable that you have some prior experience of any modern programming language, e.g. R, Java, C/C++, Python, MATLAB, etc.

  • I completed my studies many years ago and I have been working in industry. Can I apply?
    Experienced applicants with relevant industrial experience are highly encouraged to apply. All candidates are subject to the same selection criteria.

  • I did not receive an offer. Why?
    The number of high quality applications we receive greatly exceeds the number of places available on the course. Unfortunately, this means that we have to disappoint a large number of applicants.

  • Will I receive feedback if my application is unsuccessful?
    We will provide limited feedback on request. Please e-mail for this. However, note that many rejections are due to the heavily oversubscribed nature of this particular MSc.