Master of Statistics

Entry Requirements & Fees

To enter the Master of Statistics program, students must:
  • Have completed a Bachelor of Mathematics or a Bachelor of Science with a major in mathematics or statistics; and
  • Have sufficient mathematical and/or statistical background, as indicated by an average of 65 or above in relevant level III mathematics and/or statisitics university courses.

A formal application must be made using by applying online. A flyer with further details is available (PDF).

Prospective students should note that all these programs have English language requirements.
Entry to this program is available in March (Semester 1) or July (Semester 2).


All coursework masters programs at UNSW are fee-paying. For sources of postgraduate course funding for local students please go to Commonwealth Supported Assistance.
For international students please refer to International Fees.

Program Description

The program is intended for students who have completed a Mathematics or Statistics major in a Bachelor of Science or Bachelor of Mathematics program, or in a related  area, and who wish to further their knowledge of statistics. The Master of Statistics program is the longest running program of its kind in Australia. It covers a wide range of statistical theory and practice and provides advanced training for those who are currently, or are aiming to become, practicing statisticians. In addition, the program will provide a means of obtaining the necessary preparation for further reseach in Statistics.

Program Structure

Each candidate's proposed program of study requires the approval of the Postgraduate Coursework Director.
The program consists of 72 units of credit (UoC) and is comprised of 12 (UoC) of compulsory core coursework courses, a supervised research project worth 12 (UoC) and 48 (UoC) of electives chosen from the School of Mathematics and Statistics or with the approval of the PG Director 18 (UoC) of electives can be taken from other areas of the University provided they are at Postgraduate level. 
Students need to have maintained a WAM of 70 or higher in the first eight courses of their program to progress to the project. Students who do not achieve the required WAM will be awarded with the Graduate Diploma in Statistics (5659) providing they pass 8 courses.

Core Courses

There are two compulsory courses 12 (Uoc):
  • MATH5905 Statistical Inference (Offered in Semester 2)
  • MATH5835 Stochastic Processes (Offered in Semester 1)
Students may choose the remaining eight courses 48 (UoC) from a wide variety of courses within the School of Mathematics and Statistics, or 18 (UoC) from elsewhere within the University. A list of elective graduate level courses is given here, but in any given year only a subset of these courses is offered.

Suggested Elective Courses Include:

  • MATH5335 Computational Methods for Finance
  • MATH5805 Special Topics in Statistics
  • MATH5806 Applied Regression Analysis
  • MATH5816 Continuous Time Financial Modelling
  • MATH5825 Measure, Integration & Probability
  • MATH5826 Statistical Methods in Epidemiology
  • MATH5836 Data Mining and its Business Applications
  • MATH5845 Time Series
  • MATH5855 Multivariate Analysis
  • MATH5885 Longitudinal Data Analysis
  • MATH5895 Nonparametric Statistics
  • MATH5945 Categorical Data Analysis
  • MATH5960 Bayesian Inference & Computation
  • MATH5965 Discrete Time Financial Modelling
  • MATH5975 Introduction to Stochastic Analysis
  • MATH5985 Term Structure Modelling
Up to 18 (UoC) may be taken in graduate courses offered by other departments or schools within the University. Each candidate's proposed program of study requires the approval of the Postgraduate Director. Students are not permitted to take MATH5846 or MATH5856 in this program. Students wishing to take a course from Actuarial Studies the course code must be ACTL53** not ACTL51**
External Courses: With the permission of the Postgraduate Director, a student may take courses from other disciplines at UNSW, other mathematics schools (for example, at University of Sydney), and external courses such as those taught at the AMSI Summer School.

Course Timetables

Timetables for Postgraduate Coursework courses can be found on our Timetables page, under the heading "Honours and Postgraduate Timetables".
For the convenience of part-time and full-time students, classes are typically taught from 5:00pm to 8:00pm on weekdays during semester.

The Masters Project

The 12 (UoC) research project is compulsory. Progression to the project is subject to academic performance.
Students seeking to enrol in a project are required to have the approval of the Postgraduate Director and normally will be required to have attained a WAM of 70 or higher in the first eight master courses.
Students should also seek the guidance from the School at an early stage of study to ensure that the study plan being followed is best suited to lead to the project.
In addition, admission to a particular project is subject to appropriate research and supervision resources being available.
Students who do not attain a WAM of 70 or higher in the first eight courses of their program will be normally awarded with the Graduate Diploma in Mathematics and Statistics (5659).
The project involves writing a thesis on the chosen topic. The project could include a literature survey and a critical analysis of the topic area; or could be a small research project. This should prepare you for the problem-solving and report-writing aspects of future employment, or for progression to a research degree. Each student works under the supervision of one or more members of the School. Members of the School are flexible about the range of areas in which they will supervise students. Prospective students should start talking to staff members about possible topics well before they start on the project. An early decision about a topic will facilitate an early start with the project. Supervision by individual staff members is dependent on staff agreement and availability.
The project will be assessed for quality in four major areas (see below), each of which is important. The written thesis will be assessed by two or three markers, one of which may be the supervisor, and each marker will provide a written assessment and grade(s) based on the following:
  • Exposition: Clarity of the presentation. Sufficient introductory and summary material. Organisation and style of the presentation.
  • Literature coverage: Adequate coverage of related material in the field. Placing the topic in a wider context.
  • Critical analysis and insight: Understanding of the problem and/or model. Quality of the discussion. Discussion of the advantages and limitations of the problem/method.
  • Originality: E.g. by modifying or extending earlier theory or methods, or by developing new examples, or by an application to a new area.
The project provides an opportunity to specialise in a particular area of Statistics to develop research capability and to understand, interpret and use in practice results published in scientific journals. The candidate presents a typed project report, in the layout of an article along with an oral presentation summarising the main points. Typical projects require analysis of a substantial data set using advanced statistical software.

Examples of Projects

  • Transfer Function Modelling in Applied Time Series Analysis
  • Density Estimation using Wavelets
  • Markov Mixture Regression Models for Count Data
  • Testing The Lack of Fit of a Model and Outliers Detection using Nonparametric Regression
  • Generalised Linear Autoregressive Models for Count Time Series
  • The Epidemiology of Cutaneous Melanoma in New South Wales
  • Statistical Analysis of Sydney Television Viewing
  • Analysis of bank failures: the case of Indonesia
  • Logistic Regression for Predicting Sea Breeze Occurrence in Sydney Harbour
  • Statistical Inference using ARCH and GARCH Processes
  • Methodology for Electricity Pool Price Forecasting.

Statistics Staff and Research Interests

The academic staff of the Department of Statistics cover a wide range of teaching, research and consulting interests. All academic staff are active in research. They also have extensive consulting experience within the research community at UNSW as well as for leading commercial clients in areas such as financial mathematics, expert witnessing in legal cases, meteorological modelling, epidemiology and market research. International visitors to the Department may lecture in current topics to the Masters students.

Career Prospects

Our graduates find employment very quickly after graduation. Prospective employment opportunities exist in the area of Finance and Insurance, Industry, the Public Sector, in Computing Companies and other Private Companies. The starting salaries are quite good. Many overseas students attend the course. An incomplete list of our graduates from recent years includes students from Bangladesh, China, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Lebanon, Philippines, Singapore, South Korea, Sri Lanka and other countries around the globe.
"The Master of Statistics degree has provided me with a much greater understanding of how to value and think about complex financial products. The selection of courses has been highly relevant to my career in financial markets and has provided me with a solid base from which to move (should I so desire) into a diverse range of job functions. As a part-time student with full-time work commitments I have been particularly impressed with the level of support provided by academic staff - both in terms of the quality of teaching and in their willingness to discuss subject material outside of designated hours. I would recommend the degree to anyone with an interest in probability and statistics and a desire to enhance their knowledge, understanding and career potential".
Gordon Browne, Equity Derivatives Trader, BNP Equities, Sydney.
"Three years ago, when I first enrolled in my Masters of Statistics, it was clear that another qualification was necessary to further my career. The number of choices was enormous. Should I take a course in Finance, or would Management be more to my taste? Research revealed that the MStat at UNSW contained three courses in Financial Mathematics, from Stochastic Calculus to the Heath-Jarrow-Morton Model. This made up my mind. Statistics was it! The course proved to be much more interesting (and better taught) than I expected. It was also obvious that the skills I was learning were adding significantly to my worth as a financial statistician. Competition in the Australian finance industry is intense, especially for technical staff, and the UNSW MStat is an invaluable career edge".
Edmund Bosworth, Assistant Group Treasurer, Credit Union Services Corporation, Australia, NSW Branch Secretary of the Statistical Society of Australia.

Further Assistance

Dr Gery Geenens
Director of Postgraduate Studies (Coursework)
School of Mathematics and Statistics
UNSW Australia (The University of New South Wales)
UNSW Sydney NSW 2052 Australia
Phone: (02) 9385 7032
Fax: (02) 9385 7123
Inquiries via email must be sent to