September 2021 start
PG Certificate


School of Mathematics and Statistics, Faculty of Science

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. Students who perform well on the programme can progress on to the MSc in Statistics.
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Course description

 This nine-month part-time distance learning course 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 exams in June.

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


An average mark of approximately 65% will usually allow you to progress onto the MSc Statistics, provided you meet the University's English language requirements.

How to apply

You'll need to apply using our Alternative Routes and Programmes Online Application form.

Select programme code MASU34

Apply now


Explore modules


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


Around 20 per cent of your assessment will be based on coursework, with the rest based on your final exams.


This is a distance learning course – more information about how the course is delivered can be found on the Statistics course site.

Entry requirements

We usually ask for a second class (2:1 or 2:2) degree in mathematics or a quantitative subject (for example biochemistry, biomedical science, computer science, economics, medicine, engineering) and at least grade B in A Level mathematics, or equivalent.

Preparing for the course - reading material

Below are three of the core texts for A Level mathematics. Next to each one are 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 this material before you start the course. The titles are from the AS and A Level Modular Mathematics series of the Edexcel exam board:

  • Core 1 (ISBN 978-0-435519-10-0) – 1: Algebra and functions; 2: Quadratic functions; 3.1-3.3 Equations and inequalities
  • Core 2 (ISBN 978-0-435519-11-7) – 8: Graphs of trigonometric functions
  • Core 3 (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

English language requirements

Overall IELTS score of 6.5 with a minimum of 6.0 in each component, or equivalent.

Apply now

Apply using our Alternative Routes and Programmes Online Application form.

Select programme code MASU34

Apply now


+44 114 222 3789

The content of our courses is reviewed annually to make sure it's up-to-date and relevant. Individual modules are occasionally updated or withdrawn. This is in response to discoveries through our world-leading research; funding changes; professional accreditation requirements; student or employer feedback; outcomes of reviews; and variations in staff or student numbers. In the event of any change we'll consult and inform students in good time and take reasonable steps to minimise disruption. We are no longer offering unrestricted module choice. If your course included unrestricted modules, your department will provide a list of modules from their own and other subject areas that you can choose from. Any supervisors and research areas listed are indicative and may change before the start of the course.