Nick Cowans

Course: Graduate Certificate in Statistics

After studying for a BSc in biochemistry and an MSc in pharmacology I worked in a research laboratory, where statistical analysis of data was vital in the interpretation of our results. I wanted to understand more about statistical methodology, as my formal mathematical background had ended at A level.

The graduate certificate was able to bring me up to the level required to enter the MSc in statistics in the areas of mathematics, probability and basic statistics, as well as introducing me to the statistical programming environment R. I found the certificate very interesting and enjoyable, and it was an excellent introduction to studying by distance-learning whilst working full time.

The course is well organised, consisting of directed reading from high quality texts, thoughtful assignments set and marked by the tutors and exams sat in Sheffield. I was able to go onto study for my MSc in statistics at Sheffield over two years, which has allowed me to move into an exciting new career path with greater emphasis on statistics.

While studying for the MSc, it became clear why particular topics had been covered in the graduate certificate, making it particularly useful for those intending on graduating to the Masters at Sheffield after the certificate.