Elementary Statistical Theory

This information is for the 2016/17 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, BSc in Philosophy and Economics and BSc in Philosophy, Politics 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 ST107 Quantitative Methods (Statistics) or ST108 Statistical Methods for the Social Sciences.


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. Topics covered are data visualisation and descriptive statistics, probability theory, random variables, common distributions of random variables, multivariate random variables, sampling distributions of statistics, point estimation, interval estimation, hypothesis testing, analysis of variance (ANOVA), linear regression, nonparametric tests, goodness-of-fit and independence tests. 


22 hours of lectures, 9 hours of classes and 10 hours of workshops in the MT. 22 hours of lectures, 11 hours of classes and 11 hours of workshops in the LT. 2 hours of lectures and 1 hour of classes in the ST.

Students will finish off new material or revise in week 11.

Formative coursework

Weekly exercises will be set and students are expected to submit solutions to their class teacher each week for feedback. 

Indicative reading

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

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


Exam (75%, duration: 3 hours) in the main exam period.
Exam (25%, duration: 1 hour, reading time: 10 minutes) in the LT week 0.

Student performance results

(2013/14 - 2015/16 combined)

Classification % of students
First 44.9
2:1 17.1
2:2 14.5
Third 12.8
Fail 10.7

Key facts

Department: Statistics

Total students 2015/16: 551

Average class size 2015/16: 14

Capped 2015/16: No

Lecture capture used 2015/16: Yes (MT & LT)

Value: One Unit

Guidelines for interpreting course guide information

PDAM skills

  • Problem solving
  • Application of numeracy skills