The ability to understand, interpret and analyse data is central for many qualified jobs in the private and public sector, organisations and within research. The Master's programme in Statistics gives a solid foundation of statistical theory and a broad toolbox of methods for working with data in many different application areas. A Master's degree in Statistics not only opens up a wide array of opportunities in the working life, but also prepares you for a career in research.
Why this programme?
In today's society, the quantity of information and data that are available are enormous. To be able to sort out what is relevant from this information, data must be analysed and summarised in ways which highlights what is important while filtering out that which is unnecessary.
Statistics is the science that has been developed to achieve this goal and its relevance has never been greater than it is today, as statistical methods are used in all different areas of society. The goal for the Master's programme in Statistics is to give you both the depth and breadth which is required to work with qualified tasks within a wide array of areas. The programme also prepares you for future PhD studies.
The statistical methods taught in this programme will answer questions such as:
What is the effect of a new medical treatment, and how strong is this effect?
Who will win the upcoming election?
What policies will affect the unemployment rate?
How can images and texts be automatically grouped and classified?
How should the graphical user interface for a web page or app be design for customers to be as satisfied as possible?
The early courses in the programme gives a solid foundation in statistical theory and programming. In the subsequent courses, you will learn how to use the statistical methods to deal with real and important problems. Prominent researchers teach within the courses, which means that the content comes directly from the international research frontier. The progression in the programme entails a higher level of intellectual maturity and deeper insights into the complexities of the subject. This, together with the ability to integrate knowledge and skills and to independently formulate and solve problems, is demonstrated in your Master's thesis.
The programme leads to a Master of Social Science (120 credits) with Statistics as the main field of study. After one year of study it is also possible to obtain a Master of Social Science (60 credits).
How did you choose your programme?
I did my Bachelor’s degree in political science with statistics as the main field of study. The more courses I did in statistic, the more I discovered was left to learn. When I’d finished my thesis I wanted to learn more about statistics. Partly, the different statistic methods and mathematical knowledge, but also statistical programming. The master in statistics was an obvious choice.
What is the best thing about studying at Uppsala University?
I like that there are strong student traditions, and that the teaching is of great quality. There is also an advantage that this is such a big university with a lot of different areas of research. At my department specifically I think it’s great that there are many teachers and researchers that take part in research at other departments. It gives a good insight in how statistical methods can be applied to different scientific areas.
What is most challenging?
There are many challenges, but that’s also fun. It can be frustrating with a small piece of code not working, or an integral I can’t solve – but when you solve it is all the more satisfying. I think an important part is to give yourself enough time to face the challenges, so that you have time to take breaks. It’s good to learn how to prioritise, and that some things just take longer than others.
Describe the student life!
There is always something to do, in Uppsala's student life. You can get active in a student union or student nation, or your programme’s student organisation. It’s also nice to just meet up with some friends at a nation pub after a long day of studies. But, as I’m from Uppsala I think I’m a bit blind to what the city and the student life has to offer.
What is your reason for studying and your ultimate goal?
I want to graduate with knowledge in computer analytics. Statistics have so much more to offer than I thought, and learned during my Bachelor’s degree. My ultimate goal is to absorb as much knowledge as possible to be able to solve complex problems and find out what I think is most interesting. I find inspiration for something new during every course.
What advice do you have for other students interested in applying for the same programme?
My best advice is to find a good structure for your studies. It’s important to give yourself time to have a break and recharge. There are many times where I’ve been stuck with at problem, and then figured out the answer on the bike ride home, or when making dinner. I also think it is important to discuss with your course mates, and to not be afraid of asking questions to your teachers.
Three short questions! Favourite place in Uppsala?
Hågadalen-Nåsten, a nature reserve. It’s the best place for recharging.
What is the best student tradition at Uppsala University?
All the dinners and gasques.
Where is the best place to study?
The small study rooms in “Tryckeriet” at Campus Ekonomikum.
The programme comprises four semesters of full-time study. For the first three semesters, courses generally give 7.5 credits and are given in parallel, each at half speed (that is, there are two courses given in parallel any given time).
The programme starts with the courses "Linear Algebra for Statisticians" and "Statistical Programming with R". These courses aim to give you skills in mathematics and programming that are necessary for studies on the programme. Early during the programme, the courses "Probability Theory" and "Inference" are given. These courses aim to consolidate and deepen the theoretical understanding for randomness and how to draw conclusions from data containing random variation.
For the rest of the first three semesters, more specialised courses are given where you learn how to handle and analyse data. Here there are also some opportunities to choose which courses to take. On the third semester, it is also possible to do an internship worth 30 credits.
The last semester you write a Master's thesis worth 30 credits. It is not unusual for the thesis to be written in cooperation with a company or a public institution. If you wish to conclude your studies after one year, you replace coursework worth 15 credits during the second semester with a 15 credit Master's thesis.
Courses within the programme
Below is the current courses given in the programme. It is also possible to choose courses from other departments. The prerequisite to write the Master's thesis is 52,5 credits of statistics courses at advanced level.
Semester 1 Linear Algebra for Statisticians (7.5 c) Statistical Programming with R (7.5 c) Probability Theory (7,5 c) Generalised Linear Models (7.5 c)
Semester 2 Inference (7.5 c) Advanced Econometrics (7.5 c) Causal inference (7.5 c) Structural Equation Models (7.5 c)
Semester 3 You choose four of the following courses. Alternatively, you can do an internship (30 c) Multivariate Statistical Analysis (7.5 c) Time Series Econometrics (7.5 c) Bayesian Statistics and Data Analysis (7.5 c) Categorical Data Analysis (7.5 c) Financial Econometrics (7.5 c) Machine Learning (7.5 c)
Semester 4 Master's thesis in Statistics (30 c)
The Master's Programme in Statistics is an international education and is taught in English. Instruction is mainly in the form of lectures, seminars and tutorials with elements of assignments.
On a seminar, you present your ideas and discuss with your classmates regarding a course book or other study material that you are required to read before the seminar; while the teacher usually only moderates the discussion. The aim is to develop critical thinking and collaborative skills, which is required for your future career development. All the students are expected to be active participants in all forms of discussions.
Examination of the courses is in the form of written exams, assignments and seminars.
During the programme you will also have the opportunity to experience a semester of supervised training at a public authority, an organisation or a company that can provide work assignments of value to your selected specialisation and future career plans. The traineeship semester comprises 30 credits.
The Master's Programme in Statistics prepare you for a successful career, both nationally and internationally. As a statistician, data analyst or data scientist you generally work close with subject matter experts within different areas, and your role is to have knowledge on how to collect, analyse and interpret data.
Knowledge and skills of working with data are in very high demand in the labour market, and due to its methodological breadth, the Master's Programme in Statistics gives you excellent opportunities to be hired in a wide range of fields, both in the private and public sectors. With an exam, you are also eligible for PhD studies, which open up the possibility for an academic career as researcher in statistics.
An alumni survey was conducted among our former master students during 2021. This survey showed that the career opportunities for our students are excellent. A majority received a job even before they finished their degree, and 95 per cent had a job within five months after receiving their degree. Most alumni also reported that they had a qualified job which required a Master's degree. The many opportunities created by the programme can also be seen based on the different jobs the alumni have. For instance, they work in private companies in the finance, tech and life science industries, but also in government authorities and universities. More information about the results from the alumni survey can be found in the written report on the survey.
Career support During your time as a student, UU Careers offers support and guidance. You have the opportunity to take part in a variety of activities and events that will prepare you for your future career. Learn more about UU Careers.
Below you will find the details about eligibility requirements, selection criteria, and tuition fees. For information on how to apply and what documents you need to submit, check the application guide. For this programme, besides the general supporting documents, you also need to submit two programme-specific documents: 1. a summary of your previous degree project; 2. a statement of purpose.
Requirements: Academic requirements A Bachelor's degree, equivalent to a Swedish Kandidatexamen, from an internationally recognised university. Also required is 90 credits in statistics.
Language requirements Proficiency in English equivalent to the Swedish upper secondary course English 6. This requirement can be met either by achieving the required score on an internationally recognised test, or by previous upper secondary or university studies in some countries. Detailed instructions on how to provide evidence of your English proficiency are available at universityadmissions.se.
Students are selected based on:
an overall appraisal of previous university studies with emphasis on grades in relevant fields and degree project (if any);
a summary in English (1-2 pages) of a previous degree project (if any); and
a statement of purpose (1-2 pages).
Tuition fee-paying students and non-paying students are admitted on the same grounds but in different selection groups.
If you are not a citizen of a European Union (EU) or European Economic Area (EEA) country, or Switzerland, you are required to pay application and tuition fees. Fees cover application and tuition only and do not cover accommodation, academic literature or the general cost of living. Read more about fees.