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Professional Certificate in Practical Statistics - Learning outcomes

Educational aims

This certificate introduces you to the key idea of statistics. The aim is for you to achieve:

  • familiarity with exploratory data analysis, problems arising in the collection of data, sampling techniques, models of distributions, statistical inference, experimental design, and statistical modelling techniques
  • familiarity with the key ideas of medical statistics; time series; multivariate statistics; Bayesian statistics; linear and generalised linear modelling
  • the ability to use a range of statistical computing packages
  • the ability to communicate and critically comment on the results of statistical investigations and data analysis
  • an appreciation of the ubiquitous role of variability in the world around us
  • an appreciation of the setting, breadth and applicability of statistics in today’s world
  • the skills necessary to use statistics at work

Learning outcomes

Knowledge and understanding

On completion of this certificate, you’ll have knowledge and understanding of:

  • a variety of statistical methods for exploring summarising, analysing and presenting data
  • the elements of statistical inference
  • methodologies for data analysis such as: normal linear models; analysis of variance; simple and multiple regression; generalised linear modelling; and diagnostics

Cognitive skills

On completion of this certificate, you’ll be able to:

  • apply statistical models and analysis techniques to a wide range of practical problems, using a variety of statistical computer packages where appropriate
  • evaluate statistical evidence
  • interpret the results of a statistical analysis and comment critically on the choices of model and analyses resulting from them

Practical and/or professional skills

On completion of this certificate, you’ll be able to:

  • analyse and evaluate problems involving statistical data and plan strategies for their solution
  • exhibit a high level of skill in the use of a variety of statistical software to explore and analyse data
  • be an independent learner, able to acquire further knowledge with little guidance or support

Key skills

On completion of this certificate, you’ll be able to demonstrate the following skills:

  • read and/or listen to documents and discussions having statistical content, with an appropriate level of understanding
  • communicate information having statistical content accurately and effectively, using a format, structure and style that suits the purpose
  • prepare statistical content for a range of purposes, which may include writing for both specialist and non-specialist audiences; writing reports including statistical analysis of data and experiments

Teaching, learning and assessment methods

You’ll acquire knowledge and understanding – as well as cognitive skills – through distance-learning materials that include specially written module texts, guides to study, assignments, and specimen examination papers; and through a range of multimedia material including computer software. Modules at higher levels will build on the foundations you developed studying modules at lower levels.

You’ll work independently with the distance-learning materials, and be supported by optional face-to-face and online tutorials.

You’ll be continuously assessed throughout each module. Each module will have a threshold (or thresholds) that you must meet to pass the continuous assessment. Written tutor feedback on assignments provides you with individual tuition and guidance. Each module has a final examination or end-of-module assessment that you must pass. Generally, you’re permitted to bring the module handbook into the examinations, this reduces the need for memorisation and allows you to concentrate on applying concepts and techniques.