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Module Descriptor School of Computer Science and Statistics

Module CodeST7001
Module NameBase Module (Post Graduate Certificate in Statistics)
Module Short TitleN/a
Semester TaughtMichaelmas
Contact HoursLecture hours:44
Lab hours:4
Tutorial hours:

Total hours:48
Module PersonnelLecturing staff:: Gerard Keogh
Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of the Base Module students should be able to:

  • demonstrate a systematic understanding of the fundamental inferential ideas which underpin statistical methods
  • demonstrate a broad understanding of the role of statistical ideas and methods
  • covering both data collection and data analysis
  • demonstrate a competence in the use of basic statistical tools

They will have a sound basis on which to develop further their statistical skills.

Learning Aims

The base module is introductory and will lay down the foundations on which other modules will build. The fundamental statistical inferential ideas of significance tests and confidence intervals are the central topics. The various inferential methods will be unified through the concept of a statistical model, which is an abstract representation of the quantity we wish to describe. For example, we may choose to represent the weights of filled containers by a Normal distribution with a particular centre (mean) and measure of spread (standard deviation). This would allow us to introduce formal tests to determine when the process average weight changes.

Of course, the value of any formal procedure will depend on how well the underlying model represents the characteristics of the practical problem. When models are fitted, good statistical practice requires the assessment of the models used; this is done mainly by use of graphical procedures. These may be simple scatterplots of two characteristics of a number of individuals (e.g., heights and weights of a sample of people) to determine whether or not the assumption of a linear relationship between the two characteristics is reasonable. Alternatively, the graph might be a Normal probability plot (quantile-quantile plot) of residuals (differences between observed and predicted values) after a complex multiple regression model has been fitted to the data. Many questions can be answered by simple plots, so the course will emphasis practical methods that can be applied across many empirical disciplines.

Module Content

Specific topics addressed in this module include:

  • Data summaries and graphs
  • Statistical models
  • Sampling distributions: confidence intervals and tests
  • Comparative experiments: t-tests, confidence intervals, design issues
  • Counted data: confidence intervals and tests for proportions, design issues
  • Cross-classified frequency data: chi-square tests
  • Introduction to Regression Analysis
  • Introduction to Analysis of Variance
  • Statistical computing laboratory
Recommended Reading List

The course notes are extensive and are the primary source material needed for the course. The following book is a suitable general reference for the base module.
D.S. Moore and G. P. McCabe, Introduction to the practice of statistics, Freeman, 5th edition, 2006

My own book was written for analytical chemists, but it would be suitable reading for most natural scientists and engineers. Moore and McCabe would be more suitable for social scientists.

E. Mullins, Statistics for the quality control chemistry laboratory, Royal Society of Chemistry, 2003.

Those with medical interests will find the following a useful reference book:

D. G. Altman, Practical statistics for medical research, Chapman and Hall, 1991.
Those interested in business and industry will find lots of interesting examples in:
M. Stuart, "Introduction to Statistical Analysis for Business and Industry, a problem solving approach", Hodder Arnold Publishers, 2003.

Module Prerequisitesnone
Assessment Details

% Exam: 100%

Module Website
Academic Year of DataN/a