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Personalised PhD training

PhD students involved with the Statistics department can be on a "customised" PhD programme (described on these pages) or in one of our CDTs (Centres for Doctoral Training, see below). Although studying within a CDT is ideal if the topics spanned by the programme fully match your interests, students who already have a clear idea of their future direction and/or wish to start directly with their PhD project are better served by our customised PhD Programmes. These enable you to:

  • Start from day one working with your supervisor on a planned programme of research which fully matches your central interests. This is especially useful if you choose to study in a technical area of research where several months of preparation are often needed before you are equipped to pursue new exciting frontiers in your chosen domain.
  • Benefit from a wide range of training in your first year bespoke to your future trajectory. Training courses are chosen in consultation with your supervisor to equip you with research skills both for your project and more broadly for your future career.



Research in probability and statistics at Warwick

Warwick Statistics Department is one of the largest and most energetic research environments in the UK. It boasts many internationally recognised researchers eager to engage new bright students and collaborators so that they can contribute to their programmes of investigation. Research within the department can be conveniently divided into three areas which are rather distinct but present a lot of synergies:

  1. Probability and Stochastic Finance;
  2. Statistical Methodology and Computational Statistics;
  3. Data Intensive Research and Scientific Statistical Modelling.

We offer financial support to the best appropriate students for each of these streams. In particular we have funding to support a Home/EU student specifically targeted at these customised research programmes.

To find out more: Keep an eye out for news of the 2018/2019 Postgraduate Open Day (email for up-to-date information)


General enquiries

Postgraduate Support Officer: stats dot pg dot support at warwick dot ac dot uk


PhD Admissions Tutors

Prof Martyn Plummer Martyn dot Plummer at warwick dot ac dot uk

Dr Dario Spano D dot Spano at warwick dot ac dot uk


Why Warwick?

The University of Warwick has one of the largest Statistics departments in the world, with a thriving PhD program and a long-established reputation for research activity of the highest quality, enhancing both the PhD-student experience and the demand for our PhD graduates.

Warwick Statistics and Warwick Mathematics Institute together rank third nationally among mathematical sciences research groups, in the most recent UK government research assessment REF 2014. In particular, the research environment at Warwick is rated as the very best in the UK for mathematical sciences (achieving the maximum score of 100% at 4*).

You can find out more about our research in the Warwick Statistics Research Spotlights brochure (pdf file, about 40MB) featuring a sample of recent applied research projects, in the Departmental research pages and on Individual academics by research areas.


Research seminars and development

There are regular seminars and reading groups to engage in Workshops discussing cutting edge research topics take place throughout the year. In their first year students attend APTS (Academy for PhD Training in Statistics), or similar training programmes aimed at their research development. Seminars are open to everybody, and PhD students are particularly encouraged to take part.

The YRM (Young Researchers Meeting) takes place weekly during term time and gives students the opportunity to practice their presentations, talking about their work in a friendly environment.

Special departmental initiatives promote research and interaction in broad major areas and provide the Department's PhD students with a wide variety of academic resources, including sustained programmes of research seminars and international workshops.

Here are some of the initiatives at Warwick Statistics:

A new kind of Statistics PhD

Over the last few years we have become increasingly aware that several of our PhD students and younger academics are combining their study of methodological statistics with intensive involvement in statistical aspects of third sector activity (charities, government departments, etc). Here are a few examples: relating data-driven models to issues of food insecurity, developing statistical analysis to support supply decisions for foodbanks, crowdsourcing projects on how temperature affects plant growth and on how weather relates to pain in chronic conditions, and inference to support the London CleanAir project. Sometimes this involvement forms a major part of a PhD or research project, and sometimes it is a side-project undertaken in tandem with quite different methodological research, but in every case it is a very impressive example of statistical science used in conjunction with partners to deliver public good. We want to develop this kind of engagement as part of a new kind of Statistics PhD, running in tandem with our more classical PhD programme. Accordingly we have pulled together a proposal to support Statistics PhDs, the StatForge initiative. It is planned that the first year of the StatForge PhD programme will take the form of an MSc, training students both in statistical methodologies (for example, statistical machine learning, advanced Bayesian modelling, computationally intensive statistical inference) and in the important skills of statistical consultation, via a regular partner research laboratory in which students can collaborate with data owners and scientists, as well as mastering vital issues such as reproducible research, data ethics, and scientific communication and dissemination. The MSc will culminate in a project taking the form of a 4-month secondment to one of our partner organizations (for example, Barnardo’s, Amnesty International, ONS, DataKind UK, Home office, the Open Data Institute, NICE, ...). The plan is then for students to progress to PhD studies which may either grow out of the secondment activity or focus on development of some kind of statistical methodology, but which will in both cases involve continued opportunities to engage in statistical consultation to develop important practical consulting skills. We are applying for funding of this initiative as a new doctoral training centre, StatForge, planned to commence in October 2019 (proposal selected for second-stage consideration, with funding decision due in December 2019). This will have a yearly cohort of around 10 students. However in any case we already expect to gain support from Warwick University funds in the form of two 4-year MSc/PhD studentships to commence in October 2019. You can find out more about all this by coming to our StatForge Open Day on Wednesday 24 October 2018 (lunch from 1230, programme from 1300 to 1630, common room Math Sciences building at Warwick University, register at by Monday 15 October 2018; the first 30 applicants will be considered for a contribution to rail travel expenses by the cheapest reasonable route). You can apply to be considered as a possible StatForge PhD student by applying through the usual web application procedure (, making sure that you mention StatForge prominently in your application statement of "Purpose of Study". Strong applications completed before start of Tuesday 6 November 2018 will be considered for funding using the local Warwick funds mentioned above, with decision made by end-November; these applications and subsequent applications will be carried over for further funding decisions in February and in April 2019.


Centres for Doctoral Training

Students within a Centre for Doctoral Training generally have a taught first year, and then will focus on more specialised research. Hence, the typical length of such a PhD programme is four years.
We are currently involved in the following broad range of CDTs.

  • PhD opportunities within the Alan Turing Institute (a.k.a. "The Turing"): The Alan Turing Institute is a joint venture between the universities of Cambridge, Edinburgh, Oxford, University College London, Warwick, and the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC). Our doctoral studentship scheme leverages the strengths and expertise of these partners while harnessing the Turing’s unique convening power as the UK’s national institute for data science, to foster and develop exciting interdisciplinary engagement with the wider data science community and the world at large.
  • The Oxford-Warwick Statistics Program (OxWaSP) is a doctoral training centre run jointly with the Department of Statistics at the University of Oxford. Leading research in the theory, methods and applications of Statistical Science for 21st Century data-­intensive environments and large-­scale models. (OxWaSP has concluded its last intake in October 2018, and is closed to new applicants)

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  • Warwick's Mathematics and Statistics Doctoral Training Centre (MASDOC) provides exciting new opportunities at the interface between statistics, probability and applied mathematics.

  • The Leverhulme-funded "Bridges" programme of doctoral scholarships provides new opportunities for maths/stats graduates to bridge the social and mathematical sciences by involving quantitative approaches (mathematical, statistical or computational) to resolve social-scientific questions. The process for applications currently runs on a three-year cycle and is now closed. It is due to re-open in 2020

  • Mathematics for Real-World Systems (MathsSys) is a doctoral training centre coordinated by three interdisciplinary research centres. The PhD students will be supervised by academics from a range of departments including Statistics, Mathematics, Physics, Systems Biology and Computer Science. Information about further funding opportunities can be found at:

  • The Molecular Analytical Science (MAS) will train a new generation of scientists in exploiting synergies between different experimental methods and in combining data collection with experimental design, statistical analysis, modelling and simulation.








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Key benefits for our doctoral students

  • PhD supervision in all major areas of probability and theoretical, applied and computational statistics as well as related areas such as complexity science, systems biology and mathematical finance.
  • Warwick Statistics leads the national EPSRC-funded Academy for PhD Training in Statistics (APTS), which provides a unique programme of intensive courses and networking opportunities for first-year PhD students.
  • Involvement in several doctoral training centres and research initiatives covering a wide range of theoretical and applied fields.
  • A large and active community of PhD students offering e.g. the regular Young Researchers' Meeting to promote scientific interaction in a particularly friendly environment.
  • PhD students gain valuable experience in UG teaching such as problem classes. Teaching is part of academic life and leads to a deeper understanding of the subject benefitting your own research and helps acquiring communication, team work and organizational skills, which are highly sought after by employers in academia or other sectors. PhD students will undertake teaching (paid by the hour) and receive training and ongoing support for this work.
  • Funding from various sources to support PhD students, either partially or fully; awarded annually on a competitive basis. Funds are also available for external training (e.g. APTS), research workshops and conferences.


Why do a PhD in Statistics?

Statistics and probability are growing disciplines that open doors to a particularly wide variety of interesting and rewarding careers.

This reflects the general global demand for graduates with good statistical skills; a PhD represents the pinnacle of advanced training in statistical methods and is widely recognised by major employers.

  • The need for good PhD-trained statisticians in academia and other scientific research establishments continues to be very strong indeed, with demand out-stripping supply.

  • Demand for statistics PhD graduates outside academia, for example in finance, pharmaceuticals, marketing, internet services and other areas of public activity and commerce, is also very strong.