Elementary Statistical Theory

This information is for the 2013/14 session.

Teacher responsible

Dr James Abdey COL.7.09


This course is compulsory on the BSc in Actuarial Science, BSc in Business Mathematics and Statistics, BSc in Econometrics and Mathematical Economics, BSc in Economics, BSc in Economics and Economic History, BSc in Economics with Economic History, BSc in Mathematics and Economics, BSc in Mathematics with Economics and BSc in Statistics with Finance. This course is available on the BSc in Accounting and Finance and BSc in Philosophy and Economics. This course is available as an outside option to students on other programmes where regulations permit and to General Course students.

This course cannot be taken with ST103 Statistical Methods for Social Research or ST107 Quantitative Methods (Statistics).


A-level Mathematics

No previous knowledge of statistics is assumed.

Course content

The course provides a precise and accurate treatment of introductory probability theory, statistical ideas, methods and techniques. Students will also be exposed to the MINITAB statistical package. Descriptive statistics including some exploratory data analysis. Probability: axiomatic probability, conditional probability, Bayes' Theorem, independence, combinatorial methods. Random variables: discrete and continuous random variables, expectation and variance, joint and conditional distributions, the moment generating function. Important distributions of statistics, including the Binomial, Poisson, Uniform and Normal distributions. Sampling distributions of statistics and the Central Limit Theorem. Concepts of statistical inference; Point estimation: method of moments estimation, least squares estimation and maximum likelihood estimation; Interval estimation; Testing statistical hypotheses: one-sample tests and two-sample tests; Inference for correlation coefficients and variances; Rank-based nonparametric tests and goodness-of-fit tests; Contingency tables; Linear regression analysis: model estimation, hypothesis testing, and prediction; Regression and ANOVA with Minitab.


20 hours of lectures, 8 hours of classes, 9 hours of workshops and 8 hours of help sessions in the MT. 20 hours of lectures, 10 hours of classes, 10 hours of workshops and 10 hours of help sessions in the LT. 3 hours of lectures, 3 hours of classes and 4 hours of workshops in the ST.

Formative coursework

Students will be given weekly exercises on which they are to work and then are handed in to class teachers for marking and advice. The exercise material will form the basis of the workshops and classes.

Indicative reading

All course materials made available via Moodle, including notes to accompany the lectures, but this can be supplemented with additional background reading. Recommended supplementary text is:

Larsen R. J. and Marx, M. L. (2011) An Introduction to Mathematical Statistics and Its Applications (5th edition), Prentice Hall (earlier editions are also fine).


Exam (100%, duration: 3 hours) in the main exam period.

Key facts

Department: Statistics

Total students 2012/13: 524

Average class size 2012/13: 14

Value: One Unit

Guidelines for interpreting course guide information

PDAM skills

  • Problem solving
  • Application of numeracy skills