The Postgraduate Support Officer in the Department of Statistics is the usual first point of contact for anyone interested in pursuing PhD research. Informal enquiries are welcome at any time, and the PhD Admissions Tutors will be pleased to give advice on the Graduate Programme and entry qualifications, as well as answer any queries.
Guidance on the personal statement
A personal statement is requested in the application form. We prefer applicants to write this up in a separate document to be uploaded with the application rather than entering the text directly in the online form. This makes it easier to circulate to members of staff. For PhD applicants this part of the application form is important.
For PhD applicants in Statistics, a fully developed research proposal is not required, (and is usually not desirable, but see the section on competitive scholarships below). Rather, we ask that applicants use the personal statement in the application form to provide information such as:
- What motivates you to do a PhD?
- What area(s) of probability or statistics particularly interest you?
- In what subject areas does your academic background best equip you to carry out research?
- What do you consider to be your particular strengths? (e.g., theoretical work? applied statistics? computational work?)
- Have you already identified and/or made contact with a particular potential supervisor in the Department? (See below).
Finding a Supervisor
Applicants are not expected to identify a PhD supervisor before applying. All PhD students are expected to join the Centre for Doctoral Training in Mathematics and Statistics which commences with 2 terms of taught modules. After this, students will choose their PhD supervisors and commence their project work.
An exception to this rule occurs when the PhD is funded by a competitive scholarship that requires a supervisor to be identified and a project to be developed at the time of application (e.g. The Chancellor's International Scholarship or the China Scholarship Council Award). In this case we recommend that you contact potential supervisors. It will help to look carefully through the list of active research interests in the Department. The admissions tutors may also match you with a supervisor, based on the areas of interest in your personal statement, to develop a project proposal for the scholarships.
All applicants to the graduate programme should have, or expect to obtain, a bachelor's degree in mathematics or statistics, or in a subject containing a substantial mathematical component. The normal entry requirement is a first class degree or equivalent grades from universities outside the UK. The level of competition is such that the majority of successful applicants have a first class degree or an MSc with distinction.
Exceptions can be made in particular cases, for example for an applicant with practical experience of statistical methods through his or her employment, but ability in mathematics is essential for technical aspects of PhD research.
English Language Requirements
Students who have not been educated in English are required to provided evidence of that their ability is IELTS 6.5 (with a minimum score of 6 in each component), TOEFL (iBT) 92 or equivalent. Details are given by Postgraduate Admissions:
The deadlines for applications are not the same as the deadlines for funding, so international applicants who do not require funding can apply by the end of June. This is to allow for English language tests to be taken and results sent to the University in time for enrolment.
Applicants who want funding should check the deadlines associated with the sources of funding for which they wish to apply. In general, it is best to submit an application four weeks before a funding deadline, as many funding sources expect you to have an offer before you apply for funding.
What will happen to my application?
Once your application is submitted, it will be considered by the PhD Admissions Tutors. If the application is complete, the PhD Admissions Tutors will ask several potential PhD supervisors to consider the application.
Shortlisted candidates will be invited for intervew. We normally conduct interviews by video conference. If you are living in the UK, you may wish to visit the Department. We hold a PhD open day at the end of term 1. (In 2020, this will take place on 25th November. However, because of Covid-19 it will take place virtually.)
The PhD Admissions Tutors aim to have a decision within a month of receiving the application and supporting documents. Formal offers are made by the University after all conditions, such as English language proficiency, have been verified. It can take 4 weeks for this checking to be completed.
Please note that an offer of a place to study is completely separate from funding arrangements. However, to apply for certain types of funding, you should make use of the appropriate place on the application form for admission: see the PhD fees and funding page for details.
When do I start?
All PhD students in the Department of Statistics are expected to join the Centre for Doctoral Training in Mathematics and Statistics. This includes a formal training component that starts in term 1. So incoming PhD students are expected to start at the beginning of the academic year (late September or early October). Only in exceptional circumstances can we deviate from that. Please be aware that offers conditional upon satisfying language requirements can lead to delays if you do not satisfy these requirements at the first try.
stats dot pg dot support at warwick dot ac dot uk