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Statistics > Globally-oriented curriculum

How does the Statistics department claim to convey global knowledge?

There is little direct mention of global knowledge, either on the Statistics website or in the course handbooks for the undergraduate degrees supervised by Statistics.

There is some mention however of the international reputation of the department and the global nature of the undergraduate student body under Statistics.

"The Department of Statistics is internationally renowned for innovative, wide-ranging research, and for its high-quality degree programmes."

“Our 3-year and 4-year degree programmes attract well-qualified students from across the globe, and produce graduates who are in great demand.”

When it comes to curriculum, most modules available are focused on Mathematical or Statistical theory. Certainly this is the case for the Maths Stats degree, but with MORSE there seems to be some room for students to develop international knowledge by picking Economics modules that relate to international economics. However the distinction must be made in this case between the Statistics department itself conveying global knowledge and what is actually the case, which is Statistics MORSE students receiving global knowledge through choosing certain options under the Economics department.

With regards to the MORSE course especially, the diversity of the student body studying MORSE is also mentioned.

“In recent years the number of students from overseas has grown substantially and now forms over one-third of the intake.”

Perhaps, without explicitly stating it, the department considers the study of Probability and Statistical theory to be universal and not relevant to location. RAE results are quoted that rate research done by the department as mostly "internationally excellent" or "world leading" and hence the department may not feel a need to look outside for global knowledge as it already claims to be at the cutting edge.

“In the most recent national Research Assessment Exercise (RAE 2008), the Department had 70% of its activity rated as internationally excellent (grade 3* or higher), with more than a quarter classed as world leading (grade 4*). In volume of work rated 4* we rank second nationally in Statistics and Operational Research.”

As detailed in the section on community engagement, there is provision for an intercalcated year's study abroad with a partner University in the EU, although it should be investigated how accessible this is to students and how popular the uptake is.

Further Analysis

The department uses words like global and international primarily when describing either its own reputation, the research it performs or the makeup of the Statistics student body. Whether it intends the reader to associate any of this with the idea of global knowledge is unclear.

As a more general point, it is interesting that there is not actually much space at all devoted to undergraduates on the main page of the department. Also, the tab "undergraduate" is fifth down on the left. Compare this to the Classics and Ancient History department page, where undergraduate courses feature heavily on the main page and the second, third and fourth tabs on the left are devoted to (predominantly undergraduate) admissions, courses and modules.

While the Classics department claims opportunities to travel overseas as an incentive to prospective students, the Statistics department by contrast seems to claim mainly career based incentives to its students in the material found on the website. This seems to reflect a big difference in how each department views its potential students.


The concept of global knowledge may not be as directly applicable to Statistics as to other disciplines, but if we see global knowledge in terms of knowledge that is world leading or in terms of international diversity of the student/staff population then the department makes a claim for this.