Topics you can expect to encounter on a statistics degree program include: probability theory, algebra, calculus, number theory, data collection and sampling methods, and statistical modelling.
Fields of specialization will vary between courses, but may include:
Statistical computing: This involves not only learning to use computer programs in data analysis, but also understand how they work. If you specialize in this field, you’ll become competent in reading and writing the code used to run the programs, and to identify and resolve any problems or areas for improvement.
Game theory: Also referred to as decision theory, this involves learning to analyse, understand and predict individual and group behaviour, through the study of different types of game – with different sets of players, strategies, moves and payoffs. Game theory is used in a wide range of fields, including economics, politics, sociology, psychology and biology.
Statistical mechanics: Here you’ll learn to use probability theory to understand the thermodynamics (heat energy and its relation to other forms of energy) of large physical systems. This brings you into the realm of physics, with key concepts being entropy, free energy and partition functions.
Some courses will also include modules relating to specific industries and roles, such as financial reporting and forecasting, medical statistics, forensic statistics, insurance and hedging.