Master of Science in Statistics

Programme objectives

The objective of the Master’s degree in Statistics is to train students to become independent statisticians ready to enter and operate in the professional environment. Professions are becoming increasingly multidisciplinary. It is no longer enough to master only one technological or managerial field, it has become necessary to know how to combine aspects from several disciplines in order to manage a coherent body of information and data. The field of statistics plays an important role in this sense because it helps us “to sort out” information and to keep only the essential in order to draw relevant conclusions. The importance of statistical tools becomes clear when one considers the steadily increasing flow of raw data that needs to be processed.

Statistics also plays an important role in health fields, especially in epidemiology and medicine. In epidemiology, vaccination programs have been the subject of statistical studies. Here, the aim is to determine the population segments most susceptible to a disease, the rate of virus transmission, and the consequences of vaccination. In medicine, clinical trials are particularly useful in comparing various treatments to demonstrate the effectiveness of new medication.

Acquired skills

Evidently, statistical methodology and applications are indispensable. Training in statistics must combine experimental, practical and theoretical aspects. The Master’s degree in statistics is particularly designed to equip students with these vital skills. The programme provides a solid training in statistical theory and applied methods in practical experience. It is catered to both university students and professionals.

Course structure

The Master’s degree programme is divided into two semesters, each lasting 14 weeks. It is comprised of regular courses, seminars and applied research projects. Courses will be taught in a concentrated part of the week. The programme is organised as follows: each course corresponds to a given number of credits. Students earn these credits by passing the final exam/project for that course. The Master’s degree is earned when students have obtained 60 course or seminar credits and have written a thesis that passes review by a thesis committee (the thesis is worth 30 credits). A total of 90 ECTS credits are therefore needed in order to obtain the Master’s degree. In the first year, students must register for at least half of the credits offered each term. In addition, studies cannot exceed three years, thesis included.

Interactive teaching

Courses in the MScSTAT programme are taught by internationally recognised visiting professors and the faculty of the Institute of Statistics (ISTAT). Research interests encompass sampling, estimation, semi/non-parametric methods, multivariate statistics, data mining and complex data analysis. ISTAT maintains a constant and productive collaboration with the Swiss Federal Statistical Office.

Person in charge of the programme

Prof. Yves Tillé

tel. + 41 32 718 14 75

Detailed curriculum


Additional offer