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Master of Science (Statistics)

Key facts

  • Available at Manawatū
  • Available via Distance Learning
  • Available for international students studying in NZ or via distance learning

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 in areas such as statistical quality control, geophysical hazard modelling and transportation science.

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.

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 research 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.


t’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 2017 Ministry of Education publication The post-study earnings and destinations of young domestic graduates, found that in New Zealand:

  • Young master’s graduates earn more than one and a half times more than the national median (five years after study)
  • Earnings and employment rates increase with the level of qualification completed
  • Five years after completion, the median earnings of young master’s graduates are 15% higher than for those with a bachelor’s degree.

World-leading lecturers and supervisors

professor mark bebbington

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

Dr. Bebbington is a Professor in Geostatistics. He is internationally recognised for his expertise in the estimation of natural hazards using statistical approaches, having co-authored the standard review articles on probabilistic volcanic hazard analysis and eruption forecasting. He has also headed the International Association of Volcanology and Chemistry of the Earth’s Interior’s Commission on Statistics in Volcanology

His major research interest is in hazard estimation, particularly from earthquakes and volcanos. Another of his areas of research expertise is the quantitative techniques used in the management, monitoring and control of production processes and services. Recent work includes applications to biostatistics and fluvial dating/climatology.

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