What’s it like to do a PhD in Statistics?
On a PhD level, you’ll be using your existing knowledge of the models and methods in Statistics to work on a unique project that offers significant contribution to the field. Statistics is a vast area of study and you can look at one of some of these popular research topics in Statistics:
- Bayesian statistics
- High dimensional data
- Computation techniques
- Extreme value theory
- Probability theory
Statistics also has applications in other areas like Biology, Medicine, Finance or Physics. You can, therefore, also decide to focus on a particular application of Statistics. For example, you can have a special focus on statistics within biomedical or social science.
Akin to many other STEM subjects, Statistics PhDs are usually advertised with a research objective. You can also propose your own research projects and they might be considered if they meet the over-arching objectives of the department.
In the UK, a PhD will end with submitting a thesis of around 80,000 words followed by an oral examination where you will defend your research in front of an academic panel. It is also likely that you’ll be asked to enroll as an MPhil student at the beginning of your programme. You can upgrade to a PhD, after a review at the end of the first year, if your supervisor feels your work meets certain standards
Since a PhD is a purely research-based degree, there are no compulsory teaching hours. You’ll work on a mutually decided schedule with your supervisor. However, because of the transdisciplinary nature of the field of Statistics, you might be encouraged to take on some taught modules, that cover certain transferable skills, in your first year.