Statistics – Bachelor of Science

Learn how to make sense of the information that surrounds us with Massey’s Bachelor of Science (Statistics).

Where you can study

Distance and online
Manawatū campus (Palmerston North)

International students

International students are not New Zealand citizens or residents.

Definition of New Zealand citizens and residents

Open to international students on campus in New Zealand

Specialise in Statistics for your Bachelor of Science at Massey

Theory and practical relevance

If you enjoy working with numbers, you will love studying statistics. It is a broad area of study that involves much more than the organisation and display of data. Statistics involves the careful analysis of underlying questions and critical examination of the sources of data. Modelling the variability in data to evaluate evidence is part of this broad science.

As a Bachelor of Science (Statistics) student you will learn the fundamental theory of statistics. You’ll also learn the quantitative skills to conduct robust statistical analyses that are effective in the real world. With these broadly useful skills, statisticians are able to work across all areas of science and industry – anywhere that data are found.

Sought-after skills

You’ll learn how to work with large data sets to discover patterns and draw conclusions. They are sought-after skills for many employers. As one of New Zealand’s first universities to offer courses in data mining, Massey has both the experience and strength to ensure you graduate a step ahead of the rest.


Some of the topics taught in statistics courses include:

  • probability models
  • data analysis
  • statistical models
  • statistical inference
  • biostatistics
  • experiments and surveys
  • multivariate models
  • statistical methods of quality improvement
  • data mining
  • simulation
  • forecasting and time series.

Learn from the best

Our lecturers are actively researching and bring that research to your learning. You also benefit from Massey’s broader expertise. We link in with areas such as our marine ecology area in Auckland and veterinary science in Manawatū. You’ll gain a practical understanding of the many different applications of statistics.

Complementary skills that set you apart

You could choose a double major or minor incorporating a wide range of courses, from volcanology and earth sciences, to infectious diseases and population ecology. If you are studying other science subjects or looking at studying business, studying statistics as a complementary subject can set you apart when applying for jobs.


A Bachelor of Science in Statistics is a good fit if you:

  • want to create quantitative solutions to modern day problems
  • enjoy teamwork with people from different subject areas
  • are confident working with computers.

Planning information

If you study full-time, in your first year, you’ll take eight 15-credit courses, making a total of 120 credits.

If you wish to study over two semesters, you should aim for 60 credits per semester. You may be able to take some courses at summer school. Make sure you include courses that are prerequisites for the next level of courses you wish to study.

The first-year structure is designed to provide you with a broad knowledge and skill set which will equip you to go on to more advanced courses in the second and third years.

You must pass at least 90 credits from the BSc Schedule A, including any compulsory courses, in your first 120 credits of study towards the Bachelor of Science.

Statistics has similar first-year core courses to several other majors available in the Bachelor of Science, allowing students to change their major before their second year. Changing your major may incur an increase in completion time.

Suggested structure

100-level courses

Take these in any order:

  • 247113 Science and Sustainability for Science or 247112 Science and Sustainability for ICT
  • 161122 Statistics (preferred) or 161111 Applied Statistics
  • At least one of: 160101 Calculus or 160102 Algebra or 160105 Methods of Mathematics (take 160102 Algebra if planning to take 160211).

Plus choose up to five 100-level elective courses. Two electives can be from a subject area other than Science.

200-level courses in the major

Take both of:

And take two from:

  • 160211 Linear Algebra
  • 161222 Design and Analysis of Experiments
  • 233214 GIS and Spatial Statistics.
300-level courses in the major

Take all four:


Completing a minor is optional. Minors increase the breadth of your degree. They give you extra knowledge, attributes and capabilities.

A minor must be in a different subject from your major.

A Bachelor of Science (Statistics) with a minor

You may choose a minor from any university undergraduate degree that has recognised minors. If the minor is from another undergraduate degree, the regulations of that qualification will apply.

Some BSc minors that are particularly compatible with Statistics include those shown below. Timetabling will prioritise these combinations to minimise clashes.

A Statistics minor (for students who are studying a different degree)

If you wish to complete a Statistics minor see the BSc regulations for requirements.

Official regulations

To understand what you need to study and must complete to graduate read the official rules and regulations for this qualification.

You should read these together with all other relevant Statutes and Regulations of the University including the General Regulations for Undergraduate Degrees, Undergraduate Diplomas, Undergraduate Certificates, Graduate Diplomas and Graduate Certificates.

Returning students

For returning students, there may be changes to the majors and minors available and the courses you need to take. Go to the section called ‘Transitional Provisions’ in the Regulations to find out more.

In some cases the qualification or specialisation you enrolled in may no longer be taking new enrolments, so may not appear on these web pages. To find information on the regulations for these qualifications go to the Massey University Calendar.

Please contact us through the Get advice button on this page if you have any questions.

Courses you can enrol in

Course planning key

Courses that need to be completed before moving onto a course at the next level. For example, a lot of 200-level courses have 100-level prerequisite courses.
Courses that must be completed at the same time as another course are known as corequisite courses.
Some courses are restricted against each other because their content is similar. This means you can only choose one of the offered courses to study and credit to your qualification.

Core courses for the Bachelor of Science

As well as the specialisation courses listed below, this qualification has core courses that you will need to complete.

Bachelor of Science core courses

Statistics courses

200-level courses

Compulsory courses

Choose 30 credits from
Course code: 161250 Data Analysis 15 credits

Biology, psychology, and other sciences require statistical methods for analysing and visualising data. This course is designed to be accessible to students from any discipline, first building a deeper understanding of fundamental statistical concepts, then teaching a range of practical approaches for exploring statistical relationships, testing hypotheses, evaluating models, and presenting conclusions.

Prerequisites: 1611xx or 297101 Restrictions: 161220

View full course details
Course code: 161251 Regression Modelling 15 credits

Common data analysis and regression techniques for application in science, business and social science. Topics include simple and multiple regression; linear models with categorical explanatory variables; model diagnostics; inference for linear models; polynomial regression; models for time dependence; methods for variable selection; non-linear and weighted regression.

Prerequisites: 1611xx or 297101 Restrictions: 161221

View full course details

Compulsory course selection

Choose 30 credits from
Course code: 160211 Linear Algebra 15 credits

Vector spaces, linear transformation, matrix representation, inner product spaces, isometries, least squares, generalised inverse, eigen theory, quadratic forms, norms, numerical methods.

Prerequisites: 160102, 160112, 160133 or 228172

View full course details
Course code: 161222 Design and Analysis of Experiments 15 credits

The planning, conduct and analysis of scientific experiments, using examples from chemical, biological, genomic, and engineering sciences. Manipulation and visualisation of experimental data; advantages and disadvantages of various designs; coping with missing data and practical constraints. Introduction to design techniques and concepts including randomisation, blocking, structured treatments, balance and orthogonality, crossed and nested effects, pseudo-replication.

Prerequisites: 1611xx or 297101 Restrictions: 161322

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Course code: 233214 GIS and Spatial Statistics 15 credits

Introduction to handling and analysis of digital geospatial data. Operation of GIS software, including collection, processing and understanding of data, production of maps and geospatial projection systems. Integration of spatial statistical software with GIS. Introduction to appropriate spatial statistics techniques including kernel smoothing, kriging, point processes and spatially correlated areal data.

Prerequisites: 161111 or 161122 or 297101 Restrictions: 233251, 233301

View full course details

300-level courses

Choose 60 credits from
Course code: 161304 Statistical Modelling 15 credits

This course covers the ideas underlying statistical modelling, its implementation through computational methods, and links to practical applications. Topics include probability and random variables, models for discrete and continuous data, model selection, model fitting and goodness of fit, model inference, and introduction to stochastic processes.

Prerequisites: (160101 or 160102 or 160105) and (161250 or 161251 or 161220 or 161221)

View full course details
Course code: 161323 Multivariate Analysis 15 credits

This course teaches methods to understand patterns and structures inherent in data sets containing many variables. The fundamentals of data visualisation, clustering, and dimension reduction with examples taken from a range of applications.

Prerequisites: One of 161222, 161220, 161221, 161250, 161251, 233214 Restrictions: 161762

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Course code: 161324 Data Mining 15 credits

A practical approach to data mining with large volumes of complex data; prepare, cleanse and visualise data; supervised and unsupervised modelling; ensemble and bundling techniques; use of leading software tools.

Prerequisites: One of 161122, 297101, 161220, 161221, 161250 or 161251 Restrictions: 161223 and 161777

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Course code: 161331 Biostatistics 15 credits

Sciences such as biology and medicine yield data that require a wide range of statistical techniques, including standard linear models and their extensions. Case studies are used to demonstrate topics such as nonlinear regression, linear models for binary and count data, and mixed effects models. Emphasis is placed on application of appropriate statistical techniques through extensive use of statistical software.

Prerequisites: 161250 or 161251 or 161220 or 161221 Restrictions: 161327, 161778

View full course details

Entry requirements

Admission to Massey

All students must meet university entrance requirements to be admitted to the University.

Specific requirements

There are no specific entry requirements for this qualification, outside of university admission regulations. However, there is some expected background knowledge.

Expected high school preparation

Knowledge gained in the following NCEA subjects (or the equivalent in Cambridge International Examinations, International Baccalaureate, or similar) will give you the expected background knowledge to take this major.

  • At least 16 credits in NCEA Level 2 Mathematics from the following list of standards: 91256, 91257, 91258, 91259, 91260, 91261, 91262, 91269

If it’s some time since you studied mathematics at school you can find out if you have the required background by taking this maths quiz.

English language requirements

To study this qualification you must meet Massey University's English language standards.

English language skills

If you need help with your English language skills before you start university, see our English for Academic Purposes (EAP) courses.

Can't meet the entry requirements?

If you need to do a course before you start your qualification, there may be options for you in Summer School.

Fees and scholarships

Fees, student loans and free fees scheme

Your tuition fees may be different depending on the courses you choose. Your exact fees will show once you have chosen your courses.

There will also be some compulsory non-tuition fees and for some courses, there may also be charges for things such as study resources, software, trips and contact workshops.

Already know which courses you're going to choose?

You can view fees for the courses that make up your qualification on the course details pages.

Student loans (StudyLink) and Fees Free scheme

You may be eligible for a student loan to help towards paying your fees.

The New Zealand Government offers fees-free tertiary study for eligible domestic students. Find out more about the scheme and your eligibility on the Fees Free website. To use the site's eligibility checking tool, you will need your National Student Number.

Current and returning Massey students can find their National Student Number in the student portal.

Fees disclaimer

This information is for estimation purposes only. Actual fees payable will be finalised on confirmation of enrolment. Unless otherwise stated, all fees shown are quoted in New Zealand dollars and include Goods and Services Tax, if any. Before relying on any information on these pages you should also read the University's Disclaimer Notice.

Careers and job opportunities

Earn more

A 2017 Ministry of Education publication, The post-study earnings and destinations of young domestic graduates, showed that those who complete a qualification in a science, agriculture, technology, computer science, engineering or mathematics field of study have high relative earnings after they complete their study compared to the national median. Earnings can be substantially more than other graduates.

Statistics is set to become an increasingly important discipline over the next 20 years. With a major in statistics, you can expect to be highly sought-after in the workplace and will rarely have trouble finding a job. Recent graduates have found employment in a remarkably wide variety of areas including:

  • scientific research
  • health services
  • environmental management
  • commerce (particularly finance and marketing)
  • social sciences
  • quality improvement
  • industry
  • teaching.

Employers include government agencies like Statistics New Zealand, Crown Research Institutes, schools, hospitals and medical research institutes, and private companies both large and small. Opportunities for statisticians exist worldwide, with a number of our students taking up overseas positions in places like Hong Kong and the USA shortly after graduation.

Careers for statisticians can be advertised under a wide variety of titles, such as:

  • biostatisticians
  • business systems analyst
  • data analyst
  • health informatics analyst
  • market researcher
  • modeller
  • quality assurance specialist
  • risk analyst/consultant
  • statistician
  • survey sampling analyst
  • test analyst.

International students

New Zealand is a great place to study. Massey University’s reputation is supported by our international rankings, accreditations and associations. We are rated five star plus by the QS World University Rankings.

Massey University has small class sizes, and our lecturers and staff are friendly and approachable.

As an international student, there are entry requirements that will apply to you. We recommend that you apply at least three months before your anticipated start date so your application can be processed in time. There are additional steps you will need to take. These include obtaining a visa and travel bookings if your study is to be in New Zealand.

What our students say

“My experience studying at Massey was really good, especially with statistics - the classes were really small, you weren't just a person in a crowded lecture theatre.”
Ellie Johnson

Bachelor of Science (Statistics)

“I have always been passionate about numbers so choosing to study a BSc that was numbers-related was an easy decision for me.”
Emily Hendy

Bachelor of Science (Statistics)

“Massey helped me to grow my ability to learn quickly and efficiently, and I use that every day at work. My studies also helped me pick up R and Python which I use every day to develop models and automate data processes.”
Marcus Koolaard

Bachelor of Science (Statistics)

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