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Statistics (Medical Statistics) MSc

Medical statistics is a fundamental scientific component of health research. Medical statisticians interact with biomedical researchers, epidemiologists and public health professionals and contribute to the effective translation of scientific research into patient benefits and clinical decision-making. As new biomedical problems emerge, there are exciting challenges in the application of existing tools and the development of new superior models.

Key information

Programme starts

September 2017

Modes and duration

Full time: 1 year
Part time: 2 years

Tuition fees (2017/18)

£9,840 (FT) £4,970 (PT)
£22,850 (FT) £11,530 (PT)

Application dates

All applicants
Open: 3 October 2016
Close: 15 March 2017

Note on fees: The tuition fees shown are for the year indicated above. Fees for subsequent years may increase or otherwise vary. Further information on fee status, fee increases and the fee schedule can be viewed on the UCL Current Students website.

Accreditation: Royal Statistical Society (RSS)
Location: London, Bloomsbury

Entry requirements

A minimum of an upper second-class Bachelor's degree in a quantitative discipline from a UK university or an overseas qualification of an equivalent standard. Knowledge of mathematical methods and linear algebra at university level and familiarity with introductory probability and statistics is required. Relevant professional experience will also be taken into consideration.

English language requirements

If your education has not been conducted in the English language, you will be expected to demonstrate evidence of an adequate level of English proficiency.

The English language level for this programme is: Standard

Further information can be found on our English language requirements page.

International students

Country-specific information, including details of when UCL representatives are visiting your part of the world, can be obtained from the International Students website.

International applicants can find out the equivalent qualification for their country by selecting from the list below.

Select your country:

Degree information

The UCL Medical Statistics degree provides students with a sound background in theoretical statistics as well as practical hands-on experience in designing, analysing and interpreting health studies, including trials and observational studies. The taught component equips students with analytical tools for health care economic evaluation, and the research project provides experience in using real clinical datasets.

Students undertake modules to the value of 180 credits.

The programme consists of a foundation course, six core modules (90 credits) two optional modules (30 credits) and the research dissertation (60 credits).

Core modules

  • Foundation Course (not credit bearing)
  • Statistical Inference
  • Statistical Models and Data Analysis
  • Medical Statistics I
  • Medical Statistics II
  • Statistical Computing
  • Applied Bayesian Methods

Optional modules

At least one from:

  • At least one from:
  • Statistics for Interpreting Genetic Data
  • Bayesian Methods in Health Economics
  • and at least one from:
  • Epidemiology
  • Statistical Design of Investigations


All MSc students undertake an individual research project, culminating in a dissertation of approximately 10,000–12,000 words.

Teaching and learning

The programme is delivered through a combination of lectures, tutorials and classes, some of which are dedicated to practical work. External organisations deliver technical lectures and seminars where possible. Assessment is through written examination and coursework. The research project is assessed through the dissertation and a 15-minute presentation.

Workshops running during the teaching terms provide preparation for this project and cover the communication of statistics, for example, the presentation of statistical graphs and tables.

Further information on modules and degree structure is available on the department website: Statistics (Medical Statistics) MSc


Two National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) studentships in Medical Statistics are available for the 2017/18 academic year. The studentships cover tuition fees at the UK/EU rate and a maintenance stipend of £16,296 per annum (based on the standard UK Research Council rate with London weighting). All eligible applicants will automatically be considered.

For a comprehensive list of the funding opportunities available at UCL, including funding relevant to your nationality, please visit the Scholarships and Funding website.


Medical statisticians enable the application of the best possible quantitative methods in health research and assist in the reliable translation of research findings to public and patients’ health care.

The National Institute of Health Research (NIHR) has identified Medical Statistics as one of the priority areas in their capacity building strategy and has awarded UCL two studentships annually for this MSc.

Top career destinations for this degree

  • Graduate Bio-Statistician, PRA International
  • Statistical and Epidemiological Modeller, University of Oxford
  • Biostatistician, Boehringer Ingelheim
  • PhD Statistical Science, University College London (UCL)


There is an acute shortage of medical statisticians in the UK and employment opportunities are excellent. Recent graduates from this programme have been employed by clinical trials units, pharmaceutical industry, NHS trusts and Universities (e.g. London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, UCL).

Careers data is taken from the ‘Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education’ survey undertaken by HESA looking at the destinations of UK and EU students in the 2012–2014 graduating cohorts six months after graduation.

Why study this degree at UCL?

One of the strengths of UCL Statistical Science is the breadth of expertise on offer; the research interests of staff span the full range from foundations to applications, and make important original contributions to the development of statistical science.

UCL is linked with four NHS hospital trusts and hosts three biomedical research centres, four clinical trial units and an Institute of Clinical Trials and Methodology. Established links between the Department of Statistical Science, the NIHR UCLH/UCL Biomedical Research Centre and the Clinical Trial Units provide high-quality biomedical projects for Master's students and opportunities for excellent postgraduate teaching and medical research.

The programme has been accredited by the Royal Statistical Society. Graduates will automatically be granted the society's Graduate Statistician status on application.

Accreditation: The programme is accredited by the Royal Statistical Society, enabling you to be granted the society's Graduate Statistician (GradStat) status.

Department: Statistical Science

Student / staff numbers › 37 staff including 18 postdocs › 55 taught students › 62 research students

Research Excellence Framework (REF)

The Research Excellence Framework, or REF, is the system for assessing the quality of research in UK higher education institutions. The 2014 REF was carried out by the UK's higher education funding bodies, and the results used to allocate research funding from 2015/16.

The following REF score was awarded to the department: Statistical Science
85% rated 4* (‘world-leading’) or 3* (‘internationally excellent’)

Learn more about the scope of UCL's research, and browse case studies, on our Research Impact website.

What our students and staff say

Staff view

"UCL Statistical Science was the first independent statistics department to be established worldwide. My research focuses on the development and application of Monte-Carlo methods for model calibration. In an era of big data, mathematical models are becoming increasingly challenging, so fitting a model to observations many times requires developing new computational algorithms that will go far beyond standard techniques."

Alexandros Beskos

Statistics MSc and Statistics (Medical Statistics) MSc
UCL Statistical Science
Staff view

"I enjoy teaching, particularly the opportunity to engage with graduate students in statistical science and to help them become more confident and interested in this branch of mathematics. I work on a variety of applied and methodological projects in biostatistics. On the applied side, I contribute statistical expertise to collaborative projects in medical science, such as clinical trials, and large cohort studies in areas such as rheumatology, ophthalmology and neuroscience."

Aidan O'Keefe

Statistics MSc, Statistics (Medical Statistics) MSc, Drug Discovery and Development MSc
UCL Statistical Science

Application and next steps


Students are advised to apply as early as possible due to competition for places. Those applying for scholarship funding (particularly overseas applicants) should take note of application deadlines.

Who can apply?

The programme is accessible to students with first degrees in a quantitative discipline, (such as mathematics, statistics, physics, chemistry, biology, computer science, engineering or economics) who wish to gain advanced training in medical statistical theory and applications in order to enter specialist employment or academic research.

Application deadlines

All applicants
15 March 2017

For more information see our Applications page.

Apply now

What are we looking for?

When we assess your application we would like to learn:

  • why you want to study Statistics (Medical Statistics) at graduate level
  • why you want to study Statistics (Medical Statistics) at UCL
  • what particularly attracts you to this programme
  • how your academic background meets the demands of this programme
  • where you would like to go professionally with your degree

Together with essential academic requirements, the personal statement is your opportunity to illustrate whether your reasons for applying to this programme match what the programme will deliver.

Contact information

Page last modified on 20 October 2016 at 12:07 by UCL Publications & Marketing Services. Please contact us for content updates.


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