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University of Canterbury
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Bachelor of Arts (BA) majoring in Statistics

This course is available


Level of Study

Bachelor's Degree


3 years

Next start date

Expected July 2022


University of Canterbury


The Bachelor of Arts is a flexible degree so you can specialise or study a wide variety of topics. Over the three years of your degree, you will gain the critical thinking, creative problem solving, and communication skills that employers want. Unique practical experiences such as internships are on offer too. The Bachelor of Arts requires a minimum total of 360 points. Each major has specific course requirements, but all consist of a minimum of 135 points in a single Arts subject. Of these, at least 60 points must be at 300-level and at least 45 points at 200-level.

We are increasingly becoming a data-driven society with advances in technology and the accumulation of massive data.

Statisticians make sense of data, and use those insights to explain what is observed and predict what is as yet unknown. There are many avenues for study and work, from statistical theory to its application in biology, climate science, forestry, medicine, the social sciences, engineering, physics, agriculture, finance and economics, and even history and archaeology.

It is up to the statistician to use appropriate logic, collect the necessary data, develop or apply the correct methodology, and interpret the results accurately. Then there is the challenge of communicating those results to the wider public.

Some of the statistical projects done right here at UC are:

  • using neural networks to predict climate extremes
  • using random forest method to find rogue pine trees
  • using Bayesian statistics for early prediction of grape yield
  • showing equivalence of alternative test strategies to reduce the number of animal trials in the pharmaceutical industry
  • using historical records to study changes in crime rates and punishment practices over the last 400 years
  • studying the effects of intervention programmes on the success of various student groups

A large number of students benefit from taking an introductory course in Statistics because it is used in so many subjects.

Double degrees

It is possible to combine an Arts degree with other degrees.

Career opportunities

Many of our graduates are employed with Stats NZ as statisticians, and in other organisations, such as Plant and Food, Fonterra, District Health Boards, and the Department of Conservation as research officers, analysts, and statistical programmers. Crown Research Institutes also employ a large number of statisticians. Other graduates are employed in the financial sector and by insurance companies, and industrial and commercial companies. Many large companies employ statisticians to deal with the increasing demand for the collection and interpretation of data.

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