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Bachelor of Science (Statistics)

Key facts

  • Available at Manawatū
  • Available via Distance Learning
  • Available for international students studying in NZ or via distance learning

Making sense of the world

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

Find out more about the Bachelor of Science parent structure.

What is it like?

We live in an information-rich age. Vast quantities of data are collected on almost every conceivable subject. We use statistical methods to make sense of this raw data, turning it into knowledge.

Science of evidence

Statistics is the science of evidence. It allows us to quantify risk and make effective decisions even when we are uncertain about the world around us. Is this new treatment effective against breast cancer? What adverts should my website display in order to increase my revenue? How can I better interpret that weak distress signal coming from a vessel far out at sea?

Sought-after skills

The Bachelor of Science (Statistics) from Massey will give you these sorts of skills - skills that are sought-after by employers from many different industries. 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. Careful analysis of underlying questions and critical examination of the sources of data are part of the art of statistics. Modelling the variability in data to calculate the reliability of answers is part of its science.

Learn from the best

Our lecturers are actively researching and bring that research to your learning. One of our senior lecturers is a leading authority on the use of apps on mobile devices for teaching and learning statistics.

You also benefit from Massey’s broader expertise - we link in with areas like our marine ecology in Auckland and veterinary science in Manawatu. This gives you the opportunity to gain a practical understanding of the many different applications for statistics across different industries.

Leading in data mining

In an information age, big data plays a crucial role in helping businesses to maximise the sale and reputation of their products and services. Being able to work with large data sets to discover patterns and draw useful conclusions is a sought-after skill for many employers and an area of expertise at Massey. 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.

A global impact

Your Bachelor of Science (Statistics) lecturers are experts in their field, leading international statistical research, with practical applications for worldwide issues.

One of our lecturers is developing computational techniques to understand and forecast the spread of diseases, thereby reducing the impact of infectious disease outbreaks on our society. During the UK foot and mouth epidemic in 2001 epidemic data was analysed to improve the efficiency of disease control with the results fed into government policy.

Another of our statistics professors is developing statistical models of poverty and malnutrition in third-world countries. His work is being used by the World Bank to more effectively distribute food where it is needed.

Theory and practical relevance

As a Massey statistics student you will learn the key theories of statistics, and the quantitative skills to conduct robust statistical analyses that are effective in the real world. You have the option of completing a double major or minor in a wide range of subjects, from volcanology and earth sciences, to infectious diseases and population ecology.

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.

Complementary skills that set you apart

If you are studying other science subjects or looking at studying business, studying statistics as a complementary subject is a great idea. The extra quantitative skills that you get from the statistics qualification can set you apart from other graduates when applying for jobs.


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.


New Zealand’s science institutions want employees who know their industry and therefore invest in the future workforce by providing scholarships to students. Why not have a crack at helping fund your study with a share of hundreds of thousands of dollars on offer every year? For more information visit:

The Ministry for Primary Industries also offer undergraduate scholarships in quantitative marine biology particularly those interested in a double major in mathematics or statistics combined with biology or marine biology.

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
Ellie Johnson
Bachelor of Science (Statistics)
Junior Statistician, Biolumic

“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…”

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. Also, since Massey has quite close connections with the science organisations across the road I was able to get a few summer positions which were really useful in helping me decide what I wanted to do.

I went on to complete the Masters of Applied Statistics. While I was completing my master’s I worked part-time as a Junior Data Analyst at a start-up agritech company, Biolumic and am now a Junior Statistician with the company.

The role involves analysis of agricultural trial data as well as statistical consulting. I really wouldn't have gotten the position if I hadn't studied at Massey. Due to the agricultural nature of the job, it was the courses I had taken that gave me the relevant skills and experience.

Working for a start-up is incredibly rewarding in itself, everything is new ground and it's amazing to be a part of that. In addition to that, the work at Biolumic is based on a clean, green, world-first technology which really appeals to my sense of wanting to work for a company that has some net benefit to the world.

I really couldn't have done any of it without the lecturers who make up the statistics department. They have so much infectious passion for what they do and such a willingness to share it. Their support has been so fundamental to me completing both my undergraduate and postgraduate degree.


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

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