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Professional Certificate in Practical Statistics

This certificate will introduce you to key ideas in statistics and equip you with the skills to explore, summarise and analyse data to solve practical problems. You'll gain an appreciation of the breadth of statistical applications and of the role of variability in today's world, and learn when to recognise the limitation of statistical analyses. You'll also experience using statistical software packages.

Key features of the course

  • Covers key topics from exploratory data analysis to statistical modelling techniques
  • Uses statistical software packages for analysis, including linear and generalised linear modelling
  • Develops your ability to communicate and critically comment on the results of statistical investigations and data analyses
  • Teaches you the skills necessary to use statistics at work

Course Summary

Certificate

Certificate

  • Qualification unique to The Open University.
  • Focus on a particular profession or subject area.
  • Study for interest or career development.
  • A wide range of subjects and levels.
Course code
S03
Credits

Credits

  • Credits measure the student workload required for the successful completion of a module or qualification.
  • One credit represents about 10 hours of study over the duration of the course.
  • You are awarded credits after you have successfully completed a module.
  • For example, if you study a 60-credit module and successfully pass it, you will be awarded 60 credits.
120
How long it takes
Part time – 2–4 years
Full time – N/A
Time limit – 7 years
Study method
Distance learning

Course details

This certificate has one stage, comprising 120 credits.

  • You’ll start Stage 1 with a 30-credit introductory module followed by two 30-credit modules at OU level 2 and a 30-credit module at OU level 3.

Optional Access module – visit Am I ready? to find out about starting this course with a preparatory Access module.

Stage 1 (120 credits)

This certificate comprises four modules – the first is a level 1 module, the next two are level 2 modules and the last is a level 3 module. You should have a good understanding of the topics covered at each level before moving on to the next level.

We regularly review our curriculum; therefore, the qualification described on this page – including its availability, its structure, and available modules – may change over time. If we make changes to this qualification, we’ll update this page as soon as possible. Once you’ve registered or are studying this qualification, where practicable, we’ll inform you in good time of any upcoming changes. If you’d like to know more about the circumstances in which the University might make changes to the curriculum, see our Academic Regulations or contact us. This description was last updated on 21 March 2018.


Accessibility

We make all our qualifications as accessible as possible and have a comprehensive range of services to support all our students. The Professional Certificate in Practical Statistics uses a variety of study materials and has the following elements:

  • studying a mixture of printed and online material – online learning resources may include websites, audio/video media clips, and interactive activities such as online quizzes
  • using mathematical and scientific expressions, notations and associated techniques
  • using and producing diagrams and screenshots
  • undertaking practical work
  • using specialist software

For more detailed information, see the Accessibility Statements on individual module descriptions. If you feel you may need additional support, visit our disability page to find more about what we offer. Contact us as soon as possible to discuss your individual requirements, so we can put arrangements in place before you start.


Learning outcomes, teaching and assessment

This qualification develops your learning in four main areas:

  • Knowledge and understanding
  • Cognitive skills
  • Practical and professional skills
  • Key skills

The level and depth of your learning gradually increases as you work through the qualification. You’ll be supported throughout by the OU’s unique style of teaching and assessment – which includes a personal tutor to guide and comment on your work; top quality course texts; e-learning resources like podcasts, interactive media and online materials; tutorial groups and community forums.

Read the detailed learning outcomes here

Credit transfer

If you have already studied at university level, you may be able to count it towards your Open University qualification – which could save you time and money by reducing the number of modules you need to study. At the OU we call this credit transfer.

It’s not just university study that can be considered, you can also transfer study from a wide range of professional or vocational qualifications such as HNCs and HNDs.

You should apply for credit transfer before you register, at least 4 weeks before the registration closing date. We will need to know what you studied, where and when and you will need to provide evidence of your previous study.

For more details of when you will need to apply by and to download an application form, visit our Credit Transfer website.


On completion

On completion of this undergraduate course, we'll award you the Professional Certificate in Practical Statistics.

Recognition in your country

If you intend to use your Open University qualifications to seek work or undertake further study outside the UK, we recommend checking whether your intended qualification will meet local requirements for your chosen career. Read recognition in my country.

Regulations

As a student of The Open University, you should be aware of the content of the qualification-specific regulations below and the academic regulations that are available on our Essential Documents website. 

Entry requirements

There are no formal entry requirements to study this qualification, but it’s very important you’re well prepared to study mathematics at this level.

We recommend that you have previous experience in mathematics before studying Introducing statistics (M140). In particular, you should be confident with the following topics:

  • arithmetic of numbers, including negative numbers and fractions
  • powers of numbers including square roots
  • using your scientific calculator effectively for the above topics, and for working with brackets
  • using simple formulas
  • drawing and interpreting simple charts and graphs

To successfully complete Analysing data M248, you’ll need to be:

  • confident using mathematical notation and manipulating algebraic expressions
  • familiar with mathematical functions, including the logarithmic and the exponential functions
  • able to perform simple integration and differentiation

Check you’re ready, with our self-assessed quiz.

How much time do I need?

  • Most of our students study part time, completing 60 credits a year.
  • This will usually mean studying for 16–18 hours a week.

Counting previous study

You could save time and money by reducing the number of modules you need to study towards this qualification if you have:

  • already studied at university level (even if you didn't finish your studies)
  • other professional or vocational qualifications such as HNCs and HNDs.

Find out more about credit transfer

Your next step

Call us on +44 300 303 0266 or book a call back. Our friendly team of advisers will discuss your study options with you, and help you decide on the best starting point for you.

In this section:
How much will it cost?
Ways to pay for your qualification and other support

How much will it cost in England?

We believe cost shouldn’t be a barrier to achieving your potential. That’s why we work hard to keep the cost of study as low as possible and have a wide range of flexible ways to pay to help spread, or even reduce, the cost.

  • Fees are paid on a module-by-module basis – you won't have to pay for the whole of your qualification up front.
  • A qualification comprises a series of modules, each with an individual fee. Added together, they give you the total cost.
  • If, like most OU students, you study part time at a rate of 60 credits a year, you'll take six years to complete an honours degree.
  • Our current fee for 60 credits is £2,928*.
  • Our current fee for 120 credits – which is equivalent to a year's full-time study – is £5,856*.
  • At current prices, the total cost of your qualification would be £5,856*.
  • .

*The fee information provided here is valid for modules starting before 31 July 2019. Fees normally increase annually in line with inflation and the University's strategic approach to fees.


Skills for career development

Statistics lie at the heart of many activities, from everyday problem solving and decision making to the formulation of economic policy and the advancement of science and technology. A wide variety of employers seek ability in data analysis – this certificate will equip you with the skills and knowledge for many jobs that require the use of data, and will enhance the following valuable and transferable and skills, such as:

  • communicating statistical ideas clearly and succinctly
  • understanding statistical texts
  • thinking logically
  • interpreting statistical analyses in real-world terms
  • conducting statistical investigations and analyses of practical problems
  • using professional software

Career relevance

The art of analysing data is applicable to jobs in virtually any discipline, including actuary, biology, economics, education, engineering, environmental studies, finance, forensic science, government, logistics, medicine, pharmaceuticals, meteorology, market research, sport, and the growing area of data science – to name but a few.

Exploring your options

Once you register with us (and for up to three years after you finish your studies), you’ll have full access to our careers service for a wide range of information and advice, including: online forums, website, interview simulation and vacancy service, as well as the option to email or speak to a careers adviser. Some areas of the careers service website are available for you to see now, including help with looking for and applying for jobs. You can read more general information about how OU study enhances your career.

In the meantime, if you want to do some research around where this qualification might take you, we’ve put together a list of relevant job titles as a starting point (note that some careers may require further study, training and/or work experience beyond your qualification):

  • actuary
  • business analyst
  • business manager
  • climate scientist
  • data scientist
  • environmental scientist
  • financial consultant
  • health professional
  • marketing professional
  • meteorologist
  • policy maker
  • research analyst
  • sport scientist
  • teacher

Register for this course

Start dates
Credit transfer: apply by 16/08/2018
Credit transfer: apply by 06/12/2018

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