Environmental Statistics MSc


This Masters in Environmental Statistics will provide you with knowledge and experience of the principles, theory and practical skills of statistics; previous study of statistics is not required.

Key facts

Why this programme

  • The Statistics Group at Glasgow is a large group, internationally renowned for its research excellence.
  • Our Statistics MSc programmes benefit from close links lecturers have with industry and non-governmental organisations such as NHS and SEPA.
  • The University of Glasgow’s School of Mathematics and Statistics is ranked 4th in Scotland (Complete University Guide 2015).
  • Our expertise spans topics including: biostatistics and statistical genetics; environmental statistics; statistical methodology; statistical modelling and the scholarship of learning and teaching in statistics.
  • You will develop a thorough grasp of statistical methodology, before going on to apply statistical skills to solve real-life problems.
  • You will be equipped with the skills needed to begin a career as a professional statistician; previous study of statistics is not required.
  • You will be taught by world-leading experts in their fields and will participate in an extensive and varied seminar programme, are taught by internationally renowned lecturers and experience a wide variety of projects.
  • Our students graduate with a varied skill set, including core professional skills, and a portfolio of substantive applied and practical work.
  • With a 94% overall student satisfaction in the National Student Survey 2014, the School of Mathematics and Statistics combines both teaching excellence and a supportive learning environment.

Programme structure

Modes of delivery of the Masters across the Statistics programmes include lectures, laboratory classes, seminars and tutorials and allow students the opportunity to take part in lab, project and team work.

Core courses (compulsory)

  • Bayesian statistics 
  • Data analysis 
  • Environmental statistics 
  • Generalised linear models 
  • Introduction to R programming
  • Principles of GIS (10)
  • Probability 1
  • Regression models 
  • Spatial statistics 
  • Statistical inference 1
  • Time series 
  • Topographic mapping and landscape monitoring
  • Statistics project and dissertation.

1 Any student who, in the course of study for his or her first degree, has already completed the equivalent of the Probability and/or Statistical inference courses can substitute these courses by any other optional course (including optional courses offered as part of the MRes in Advanced Statistics). The choice of substituting course is subject to approval by the Programme Director.

Summer (May – August)
Statistics project and dissertation (60) - applying statistical methods and modelling to data collected from research in environmental science, assessed by a dissertation.


  • To complete the MSc degree you must undertake a project worth 60 credits. This is a project chosen by you to investigate a challenging statistical problem, where you will investigate the background to the project; identify relevant statistical methodology, formulate and implement an appropriate analysis plan, present your work orally and in a dissertation.
  • The project will integrate the subject knowledge and generic skills that you will acquire during your Masters.
  • We offer a wide range of projects, and each student is allocated an individual project. We take your preferences into account when we allocate the projects.
  • You will also have the opportunity to propose your own project, subject to academic approval.

Please find below some example projects:

  • Water quality in the Clyde
  • Cryptosporidiosis in drinking water
  • Analysis of Surveillance data (2006 - 2012) from Health Protection Scotland

Furthermore for students hoping to continue into research, we have five major research groups:

Most MSc students choose projects offered by these groups, giving them an opportunity to go on to PhD study. You can find details of our research here.

Research environment

  • The research interests of the School covers several areas of Pure and Applied Mathematics and Statistics. These areas are not mutually exclusive and there are considerable benefits from interactions between the different areas that enhance the research environment.
  • All areas are highly rated internationally for their research and most member of the School have ongoing collaborations with mathematicians overseas and elsewhere in the UK, and many overseas mathematicians spend periods in Glasgow working with members of the School.
  • The research group has strong connections with environmental agencies such as the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA), the Environment Agency in England and the Centre for Ecology and Hydrology.
  • These collaborations have led to research secondments for postgraduate students, and other opportunities have seen students travelling abroad to work with high-profile scientific groups such as the Commonwealth Scientific Industrial Research Organisation in Australia.

What our students say

"Having completed my undergraduate degree in Statistics and worked as a Data Analyst in Forestry Sector for one year, I was interested in developing a career as professional statistician in -spatial-temporal modeling.  After extensive research, MSc in Environmental Statistics from University of Glasgow offered the best option, and what further influenced me was the internationally renowned research excellence associated with Statistics group at Glasgow.

The degree was foundational and broad-based in that it offered both theoretical and practical statistical skills ideal for current emerging statistical issues in environment and medical sciences. The degree reinforced my statistical knowledge and adequately equipped me to be a professional statistician and positive experience with department staff and students makes it a place where one always wants to stay or go back.

I would urge prospective Environmental Statistics postgraduates to join University of Glasgow where they will be taught by world leading experts.   The staff members are very supportive and their diverse knowledge and research interests make it possible for students to study a huge range of topics. Also the city of Glasgow is ranked among the most live-able cities in the world,  and coupled by its rich history and friendly people it is the most vibrant and  pluralist place I have ever lived. I therefore recommend Glasgow as a place to live and study."

Eliud M Kibuchi, former Environmental Statistics student, University of Glasgow. Eliud has recently accepted a post as Research Officer Medical Statistics at Kenya Medical Research Institute (KEMRI) Wellcome Trust

Entry requirements

for entry in 2015

Normally, at least a 2.1 Honours degree or equivalent, with a substantial mathematics component (at least equivalent to Level-1 courses in mathematics and Level-2 courses in calculus and linear algebra at the University of Glasgow). Previous study of statistics is not required.

International students with academic qualifications below those required should contact our partner institution, Glasgow International College, who offer a range of pre-Masters courses.

English language requirements

For applicants whose first language is not English, the University sets a minimum English Language proficiency level.

International English Language Testing System (IELTS) Academic module (not General Training)

  • overall score 6.5
  • no sub-test less than 6.0
  • or equivalent scores in another recognised qualification (see below)

Common equivalent English language qualifications

All stated English tests are acceptable for admission for both home/EU and international students for this programme:

  • ibTOEFL: 92; no sub-test less than 20
  • CAE (Cambridge Certificate of Advanced English): 176 overall; no sub-test less than 169
  • CPE (Cambridge Certificate of Proficiency in English):  176 overall; no sub-test less than 169
  • PTE Academic (Person Test of English, Academic test): 60; no sub-test less than 59

For international students, the Home Office has confirmed that the University can choose to use these tests to make its own assessment of English language ability for visa applications to degree level programmes. The University is also able to accept an IELTS test (Academic module) from any of the 1000 IELTS test centres from around the world and we do not require a specific UKVI IELTS test for degree level programmes. We therefore still accept any of the English tests listed for admission to this programme.

Pre-sessional courses

The University of Glasgow accepts evidence of the required language level from the Language Centre Pre-sessional courses. We also consider other BALEAP accredited pre-sessional courses:


What do I do if...

my language qualifications are below the requirements?

The University's Language Centre offers a range of Pre-Sessional Courses to bring you up to entry level. The course is accredited by BALEAP, the UK professional association for academic English teaching; see Links.

my language qualifications are not listed here?

Please contact the Recruitment and International Office: pgadmissions@glasgow.ac.uk


For further information about English language requirements, please contact the Recruitment and International Office: pgadmissions@glasgow.ac.uk

Fees and funding

Tuition fees for 2016-17


Home and EU
Full time fee£6950
Full time fee£16500

Fees are subject to change and for guidance only


The University requires a deposit to be paid by International (beyond the EU) applicants in receipt of an offer to this programme: please see: Deposits for entry in 2015/16

Funding opportunities

Career prospects

Our graduates have an excellent track record of gaining employment in many sectors including medical research, the pharmaceutical industry, finance and government statistical services, while others have continued to a PhD.

Graduates of this programme have gone on to positions such as:
Research Officer Medical Statistics at Kenya Medical Research Institute (KEMRI) Welcome Trust.

How to apply

We ask that you apply online for a postgraduate taught degree. Our system allows you to fill out the standard application form online and submit this to the University within 42 days of starting your application.

You need to read the guide to applying online before starting your application. It will ensure you are ready to proceed, as well as answer many common questions about the process.

Guide to applying online

Do I have to apply online for a postgraduate taught degree?

Yes. To apply for a postgraduate taught degree you must apply online. We are unable to accept your application by any other means than online.

Do I need to complete and submit the application in a single session?

No. You have 42 days to submit your application once you begin the process. You may save and return to your application as many times as you wish to update information, complete sections or upload additional documents such as your final transcript or your language test.

What documents do I need to provide to make an application?

As well as completing your online application fully, it is essential that you submit the following documents:

  • A copy (or copies) of your official degree certificate(s) (if you have already completed your degree)
  • A copy (or copies) of your official academic transcript(s), showing full details of subjects studied and grades/marks obtained
  • Official English translations of the certificate(s) and transcript(s)
  • Two supporting reference letters on headed paper
  • Evidence of your English Language ability (if your first language is not English)
  • Any additional documents required for this programme (see Entry requirements for this programme)
  • A copy of the photo page of your passport (Non-EU students only)

If you do not have all of these documents at the time of submitting your application then it is still possible to make an application and provide any further documents at a later date, as long as you include a full current transcript (and an English translation if required) with your application. See the ‘Your References, Transcripts and English Qualification’ sections of our Frequently Asked Questions for more information.

Do my supporting documents need to be submitted online?

Yes, where possible, please upload the supporting documents with your application.

How do I provide my references?

You must either upload the required references to your online application or ask your referees to send the references to the University as we do not contact referees directly. There is two main ways that you can provide references: you can either upload references on headed paper when you are making an application using the Online Application (or through Applicant Self-Service after you have submitted your application) or you can ask your referee to email the reference directly to pgadmissions@glasgow.ac.uk. See the 'Your References, Transcripts and English Qualifications' section of the Frequently Asked Questions for more information.

What if I am unable to submit all of my supporting documents online?

If you cannot upload an electronic copy of a document and need to send it in by post, please attach a cover sheet to it that includes your name, the programme you are applying for, and your application reference number.

You may send them to:

Recruitment & International Office
71 Southpark Avenue
G12 8QQ
Fax: +44 141 330 4045

Can I email my supporting documents?

No. We cannot accept email submissions of your supporting documents.

What entry requirements should I have met before applying? Where can I find them?

You should check that you have met (or are likely to have met prior to the start of the programme) the individual entry requirements for the degree programme you are applying for. This information can be found on the ‘entry requirements’ tab on each individual programme page, such as the one you are viewing now.

What English Language requirements should I have met before applying? Where can I find them?

If you are an international student, you should also check that you have met the English Language requirements specific to the programme you are applying for. These can also be found on the ‘entry requirements’ tab for each specific programme.

Further Information

Please see the Frequently Asked Questions for more information on applying to a postgraduate taught programme.

Guidance notes for using the online application

These notes are intended to help you complete the online application form accurately, they are also available within the help section of the online application form. If you experience any difficulties accessing the online application then you should visit the Application Troubleshooting/FAQs page.

  • Name and Date of birth: must appear exactly as they do on your passport. Please take time to check the spelling and lay-out.
  • Contact Details: Correspondence address. All contact relevant to your application will be sent to this address including the offer letter(s). If your address changes, please contact us as soon as possible.
  • Choice of course: Please select carefully the course you want to study. As your application will be sent to the admissions committee for each course you select it is important to consider at this stage why you are interested in the course and that it is reflected in your application.
  • Proposed date of entry: Please state your preferred start date including the month and the year. Taught masters degrees tend to begin in September. Research degrees may start in any month.
  • Education and Qualifications: Please complete this section as fully as possible indicating any relevant Higher Education qualifications starting with the most recent. Complete the name of the Institution (s) as it appears on the degree certificate or transcript.
  • English Language Proficiency: Please state the date of any English language test taken (or to be taken) and the award date (or expected award date if known).
  • Employment and Experience: Please complete this section as fully as possible with all employments relevant to your course. Additional details may be attached in your personal statement/proposal where appropriate.
  • References: Please provide the names and contact details of two academic references. Where applicable one of these references may be from your current employer. References should be completed on letter headed paper and uploaded on to your application.

Standard application deadlines

  • International applications (non-EU): 22 July 2016 
  • UK and EU applications: 26 August 2016

Classes start September 2016 and you may be expected to attend induction sessions the week before.

Apply now