Graduate Certificate

Graduate Certificate in Statistics

The Graduate Certificate in Statistics is ideal if you don't have all the background knowledge for a masters degree in statistics. This part-time distance learning programme runs from late September until early June, and serves as a preliminary course for two of our MSc degrees.

Students who do well enough on this course should be able to progress on to either our Statistics course or Statistics with Medical Applications course. Unfortunately, the Graduate Certificate isn't suitable for students who want to do the Statistics with Financial Mathematics course.

Related: MSc Statistics courses


To be considered for September 2017 entry, the deadline for receipt of complete applications including all references, transcripts and other required documentation is 18th August 2017.

Application form

Applications must be supported by two references, including at least one academic reference. These will be carried forward as references for entry onto your MSc.

Find out more

If you would like to know anything more about the course, visit the following pages or e-mail

You can also visit us throughout the year:

Postgraduate open days, visit afternoons and online chats

About the course

This nine month part-time distance learning programme covers the relevant first year undergraduate mathematics, and the relevant first and second year probability and statistical theory. You only have to be in Sheffield for the exams in early June.

You will be given directed reading and exercises from standard text books. There may also be tailored course material available online. Sheffield lecturers will give you feedback and comments on your work, and they'll be available to discuss it with you.

There are no formal lectures or video-casts but module tutors can help with any questions. Each course module has an online forum for discussions. In general, you'll need to dedicate around 20 hours a week to your studies.

Entry requirements

We ask for a good degree in a relevant quantitative subject (eg, biomedical science, computer science, economics, business studies, medicine) and, preferably, a good performance in A Level mathematics or equivalent (for example some Open University or Royal Statistical Society modules). Email if you have any questions about entry requirements.

Fees and funding

The course fees for 2017/18 entry are:

  • £2,830 for UK and EU students,
  • £2,830 for students from outside the EU

There are various sources of funding that could help you with your postgraduate studies:

Postgraduate Student Funding Table | Scholarships for international students

Course structure

You'll do the following modules:

  • Mathematical Methods for Statistics – areas of mathematics such as calculus and linear algebra which are used in statistics
  • Probability & Probability Distributions – elementary probability theory, standard distributions and some important results with applications in Statistics.
  • Basic Statistics – exploratory data analysis, basic inference including hypothesis testing, experimental design, and including use of statistical software

Coursework contributes 20% to your final mark and exams contribute the remaining 80%. For more information about these modules, choose the Level 5 tab on our module list webpage.

Module list

An average mark of approximately 65% will usually allow you to progress onto either our Statistics or Statistics with Medical Applications course, provided you meet the University's English language requirements.

Preparing for the course

Below are three of the core texts for A Level mathematics. Next to each one chapters covering material you should be familiar with before you start the Graduate Certificate. If you are unfamiliar with any of these topics you should work on them material before you start the course. The titles are from the 'AS and A Level Modular Mathematics' series of the Edexcel exam board:

  • Core1 (ISBN 978-0-435519-10-0) - 1: Algebra and functions; 2: Quadratic functions; 3.1-3.3 Equations and inequalities
  • Core2 (ISBN 978-0-435519-11-7) - 8: Graphs of trigonometric functions
  • Core3 (ISBN 978-0-435519-09-4) - 3: The exponential and log functions

If you want to read some material before you start we recommend you look at some of these sections, which will be covered in the first half of your course:

  • Core1 (ISBN 978-0-435519-10-0) - 3.4 & 3.5: Equations and inequalities; 6: Sequences and series; 7: Differentiation; 8: Integration
  • Core2 (ISBN 978-0-435519-11-7) - 5: The binomial expansion; 7: Geometric sequences and series; 9: Differentiation; 11: Integration
  • Core3 (ISBN 978-0-435519-09-4) - 2: Functions; 8: Differentiation
  • Core4 (ISBN 978-0-435519-07-0) - 5: Vectors; 6: Integration
  • Statistics1 (ISBN 978-0-435519-12-4) - All
  • Statistics1 (ISBN 978-0-435519-13-1) - All