Master of Science (Statistics)

Apply now! ▸

Making sense of the world

The explosion of information and data available to the world has made those who can interpret it indispensable.

Find out more about the Master of Science parent structure

What is it like?

The Master of Science (Statistics) will teach you the key theories of statistics and the quantitative skills to conduct robust statistical analyses that are effective in the real world. It is most appropriate if you are passionate about statistics and wish to move on to further in-depth research.

Science of evidence

Statistics is the science of evidence. It allows us to quantify risk and make effective decisions even when we are uncertain about the world around us. Is this new treatment effective against breast cancer? What advertisements should my website display in order to increase my revenue? How can I better interpret that weak distress signal coming from a vessel far out at sea?

Learn from the experts

Your lecturers in the Master of Science (Statistics) are experts in their field, leading international statistical research.

Friendly environment - passionate scientists

There is a well-established community of fundamental scientists and students at Massey. We have large active student groups where we work together to share discoveries and research and provide peer support.


Massey University’s programme is ranked in the top 200 university statistics programmes in the world by Quacquarelli Symonds (QS) rankings.

A multi-disciplinary environment

When you study statistics at Massey, you’ll benefit from the multi-disciplinary environment, and a world-leading science faculty with expertise in all the fundamental sciences.

Complete in a shorter time

This degree is a 180 credit qualification, that can be completed full time in one and a half years.

Why postgraduate study?

Postgraduate study is hard work but hugely rewarding and empowering. A master’s degree will push you towards deeper understanding and a more creative approach.

Not just more of the same

Postgraduate study is not just ‘more of the same’ undergraduate study. It takes you to a new level in knowledge and expertise especially in planning and undertaking research.

Applied statistics

If you are already in the workforce and are looking for skills to directly apply to your role, or you are interested in a more applied master’s, you may be interested in the Master of Applied Statistics. This programme includes a ‘statistical consulting’ course.

A good fit if you:

  • Have an undergrad major in statistics, or equivalent
  • Are particularly interested in the theory and academic aspects of statistics
  • Are interested in progressing to further research such as a PhD
Rohan Maheswaranr
Master of Science (Statistics)
Science Advisor - Statistician, Department of Conservation

“At Massey, I learned how to apply statistics in real life especially using statistical software Minitab, SAS, and S-plus…”

Because of the foundation in S-plus given at Massey, I am using R for current work and teaching purposes.

My expertise with R was recognised when I was invited to run a workshop in “R commander and R for Statistical Research” at the international statistics conference.

My job is all about using statistics skills in conservation management. DOC needs evidence-based approach for protecting and managing much of the country’s indigenous biodiversity, including many unique ecosystems and species; promoting recreation; and facilitating tourism. This demands quantitative assessments that are based on data.

As in many environmental and social arenas, there is substantial variability involved in conservation management, so statistics becomes essential. My collaborations with science staff in the fields of terrestrial ecology, fresh water and marine science have resulted in considerable input into conservation management and a variety of co-authored papers and presentations.


It’s a great time to be a statistician! ‘Big Data’ has opened up a huge range of career opportunities for those who are talented in working with figures. Statistics skills can be applied in almost any industry.

Some key industries include:

  • Business: economics, engineering, marketing, computer science, data mining, business analytics
  • Physical sciences: astronomy, chemistry, physics
  • Health and medicine: genetics, clinical trials, epidemiology, pharmacology
  • Government: census, law, national defence
  • Environment: agriculture, ecology, forestry, animal populations

The extra quantitative skills that you get from the statistics qualification can set you apart from other graduates when applying for jobs.

Sought after by employers

International trends are for employers to reward postgraduate study well, especially in larger enterprises. The skills you learn are increasingly recognised as setting you apart from other potential employees.

Earn more

A Ministry of Education report found that:

  • Earnings and employment rates increase with the level of qualification completed
  • Five years after leaving study, most young domestic graduates will be earning above the national median earnings
  • Young masters graduates earn 86 per cent more than the national median
  • Good careers are associated with better health, better wellbeing and more satisfying lives

World-leading lecturers and supervisors

Massey’s statistics staff are internationally-renowned for their research and teaching and learning methods. You will be working with internationally-recognised researchers and specialists, for example:

Professor Steve Haslett

Dr Haslett is Professor of Statistics at Massey University, and formerly Director of the Statistical Research and Consulting Centre.  Dr Haslett's research interests are in design and analysis of sample surveys, small area estimation, generalized linear models, time series, analysis of contingency tables, and collaborative research in agriculture, biology (including ecology), education, criminology, health, and history.

He was the Convenor of the New Zealand Statistical Association's Survey Appraisals and Public Questions Committee from 1992 to 2000, and President of NZSA from 2002 - 2004. From 2004 to 2008 he was the Theory and Methods Editor of the Australia and New Zealand Journal of Statistics, and from 2009 to 2012 he was the Managing Editor / Editor-in-Chief.

Today, together with colleague Associate Professor Geoff Jones, one topic in which Dr Haslett specialises is small area estimation. Small area estimation uses statistical models to give estimates at finer levels than possible using methods based only on standard sample survey methods. They have been part of an international effort to develop a set of techniques for helping pinpoint the optimal places to distribute food aid, which they have applied in Bhutan, Bangladesh, Cambodia, Nepal, Pakistan and Timor-Leste and which is used by the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) as a major input into determining where best to distribute food aid.

Join the engine of the new New Zealand

Massey Contact Centre Mon - Fri 8:30am to 5:00pm 0800 MASSEY (+64 6 350 5701) TXT 5222 Web chat Staff Alumni News Māori @ Massey