School of Mathematics

Student experience

Our students and graduates share their experience of studying a Statistics MSc programme at the University of Edinburgh.

Student blogs

Visit our student blog, "Blogarithms", to learn about what life is like as a maths MSc student here in Edinburgh! Our student bloggers come from all over the world, and study a variety of Mathematics MSc programmes.

University of Edinburgh Blogarithms

Graduate testimonials

MSc Statistics and Operational Research


Image of Ben, and MSc Statistics and Operational Research graduate.

From: UK 

Working towards an MSc in Edinburgh was a great way to spend a year. I found Edinburgh to be a beautiful city, and I met many great people - both students and academics from all over the world. 

The course has a taught and a dissertation component. My experience was that the taught component is very broad, and challenges students in a variety of areas of statistics. Some of the content I particularly enjoyed learning about from the taught courses include: 

  • applying Bayesian algorithms like MCMC in practice - only after this did I truly start to appreciate some of the nuances considered in a theoretical course about Bayesian statistics; 

  • linear and integer programs - I remember being amazed when I first discovered how applicable this paradigm is (from problems in logistics and even to timetabling), and for example how natural it is to write an integer program to solve sudoku puzzles (especially compared to the sort of algorithm you might expect to see from the computer science world); 

  • issues around imperfect data sets in the real world - naive approaches do not work very well to combat situations, for example, where data is missing, and it was interesting looking at how these problems can be partially remedied. 

My favourite part of the course however was the dissertation component. My dissertation was in statistics (as opposed to OR), and this involved frequent 1-1 sessions with my supervisor. Over 3 months, I learnt about techniques from Extreme Value theory, and ultimately applied these to time series data in my thesis. I found that writing the thesis drew upon lots of areas from the taught component of the course - it was very satisfying to think how much I had learnt throughout the year. The amount of support that I

received from my supervisor over the summer was incredible, and I would recommend this experience to anyone who wants to deep dive into statistics or OR. 

MSc Statistics with Data Science 

Image of Aevar, an MSc Statistics with Data Science graduate

From: Iceland 

After finishing my bachelor's degree in applied mathematics and working for three years as a credit risk modeling expert, I wanted to expand my knowledge in statistics, machine learning, and data science. Hence, I decided to pursue an MSc in Statistics with Data Science at the University of Edinburgh. 

The course was challenging, and I spent a decent amount of time in the library. I felt comfortable studying on campus. The university's resources and the support from the staff were excellent. Working with other students and socializing was a big part of my experience, and I have made some great fri

ends from the programme. The core modules offered a good foundation in statistics focusing on theory and application, along with great programming courses. The combination of available elective modules from the School of Mathematics and the School of Informatics was perfect. 

The highly technical and mathematical program gave me excellent skills in all aspects of data science and statistical analysis. The consultation projects I worked on this summer proved that I could apply my knowledge and skills in multiple sectors. I highly recommend this program to anyone interested in broadening their statistical and data science knowledge. 

This year has been full of unique experiences and hard work. Edinburgh is a beautiful city and a great place to live. The University of Edinburgh is a vital part of Edinburgh's vibrant cultural and social life.