Explore this course:
School of Mathematics and Statistics,
Faculty of Science
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.
There are three modules and you'll either be given directed reading from standard textbooks or a fully comprehensive set of course notes, depending on the module, as well as examples and exercises to work through. There may also be tailored course material available online, in the form of additional notes or links to video lectures, for example. Our lecturers will give you feedback and comments on your work and each module has an online forum for discussions. You'll need to dedicate around 20 hours a week to your studies.
An average final mark of approximately 65 per cent on the Graduate Certificate, with at least 60 per cent in each of the three modules, will usually allow you to progress onto the MSc Statistics or MSc Statistics with Medical Applications, 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
- Mathematical Methods for Statistics
The module is a distance-learning instrument aimed at graduates who wish to undertake a postgraduate Masters course in Statistics but lack the appropriate mathematical and statistical background. It introduces the mathematical concepts and methods needed for such a masters course and gives training in their use. It covers ideas and techniques from real analysis and linear algebra, including multiple integration and differentiation and matrix algebra and the theory of quadratic forms.20 credits
- Probability and Probability Distributions
The module is a distance-learning instrument aimed at graduates who wish to undertake a postgraduate Masters course in Statistics but lack the appropriate mathematical and statistical background. It introduces the concepts of probability theory and distribution theory needed for such a masters course, and gives training in their use. It covers the laws of probability and of conditional probability, the concepts of random variables and random vectors and their distributions, and the methodology for calculating with them. It also discusses Laws of Large Numbers and Central Limit phenomena20 credits
- Basic Statistics
The module is a distance-learning instrument aimed at graduates who wish to undertake a postgraduate Masters course in Statistics but lack the appropriate mathematical and statistical background. It introduces the basic concepts of statistical inference and of rational decision-making under uncertainty, and it demonstrates how they may be applied in a wide range of practical circumstances. Implementation of the methodology with appropriate software forms an integral part of the unit.20 credits
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.
An open day gives you the best opportunity to hear first-hand from our current students and staff about our courses. You'll find out what makes us special.
Nine months, part-time – 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.
We usually ask for a second class (2:1 or 2:2) degree in 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
Overall IELTS score of 6.5 with a minimum of 6.0 in each component, or equivalent.
If you have any questions about entry requirements, please contact the department.
Fees and funding
Apply using our Alternative Routes and Programmes Online Application form.
Select programme code MASU34
+44 114 222 3789
Any supervisors and research areas listed are indicative and may change before the start of the course.
Recognition of professional qualifications: from 1 January 2021, in order to have any UK professional qualifications recognised for work in an EU country across a number of regulated and other professions you need to apply to the host country for recognition. Read information from the UK government and the EU Regulated Professions Database.