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Statistics deals with being able to handle and control uncertainty. Not in the sense that you make uncertainty disappear, but by incorporating uncertainty into your way of dealing with the world.
The programme is offered in English.
Uncertainty can come from not knowing very much about the phenomenon being studied, but it can also be more fundamental: Regardless of how much we know, it is not possible to say which cancer patients will develop metastases - nor is it possible to say whether tossing a coin will end up heads or tails.
Surprisingly enough, randomness produces very stable structures when looked at from the right perspective. And it is the statistician's job to utilise these stable structures to understand how the world functions.
Complex statistical problems arise in almost all types of research, and advanced statistical methodologies are widely used. Consequently, statisticians are in high demand as partners and team members in many projects.
Profile and Career
In practice, statistics is a combination of three different disciplines:
- Probability theory, which is the field of mathematics that describes uncertainty.
- Theoretical statistics, which comprises philosophical considerations about how best to translate between mathematics and reality.
- Practical data processing, which is an area of applied computer science.
You will often also need to acquire significant insights into the field which the study in question deals with.
Graduating in statistics give the competences to:
- Conduct independent statistic analysis and complex experiments and observational research.
- Research contemporary topics with probabilistic methods.
- Develop new statistical solution models
- Independently take responsibility for his or hers own professional development and specialization.
There is high demand for statisticians and there is zero unemployment. Statisticians find jobs in, for instance:
- The pharmaceutical industry
- The public health insurance sector
- The financial sector
- Agricultural research
Some statisticians are employed at universities as scientists or teachers. This requires you to get a PhD. Others work as consultants or as private entrepreneurs.
The structure of the programme is very free, and you can compose your course of study as you choose. The courses offered seek to couple mathematical, statistical and practical aspects, usually with a focus on a special type of study and the theoretical and practical problems it entails.
You may choose to specialise in one of the programme's three tracks and become, for example, a probability theoretician or obtain skills in statistical computing.
There are good opportunities for participating in external projects and for having credit for them transferred as part of your studies.
The programme concludes with a thesis, where you work in depth with an academic problem. Often, the thesis has a practical point of departure, where the solution to the problem may of importance to many people.
Possible thesis topics:
- Survival analysis - analysis of waiting times
- Ruin problems
- Markov Chain Monte Carlo methods
- Cointegration - stable correlations in explosive processes
- Missing data - when it is informative that data is missing
It is also possible to study abroad during your degree. You can choose to study abroad for one or two semesters or for a shorter period of time, for instance attend a summer school course.
The Faculty of Science will not be awarding any scholarships for the academic year 2014/2015.
Please note that many scholarships are offered by companies or organisations, it can be worthwhile to research your particular options from your home country