STATS 705 : Topics in Official Statistics


2020 Semester Two (1205) (15 POINTS)

Course Prescription

Official statistics, data access, data quality, demographic and health statistics, other social statistics, economic statistics, analysis and presentation, case studies in the use of official statistics.

Course Overview

STATS 705 describes the Official Statistics system in New Zealand, the uses to which official statistics are put, and discusses legal, ethical, and analytic issues in relation to the use of official statistics.  The skills developed in this course are particularly useful for those wishing to have a career in government or business in which an understanding of official statistics (of New Zealand, especially) is an asset.  Students undertaking this course will gain a better understanding of New Zealand society  and how it is measured.

Topics covered include: Overview, Administrative data & Official Statistics System, Demography, Health Statistics, Legal & Ethical Framework, Record Linkage, GIS, Macroeconomics, Environmental Statistics and Time Series.
Please note that this course does require a high level of English language proficiency.

Course Requirements

No pre-requisites or restrictions

Capabilities Developed in this Course

Capability 1: Disciplinary Knowledge and Practice
Capability 2: Critical Thinking
Capability 3: Solution Seeking
Capability 4: Communication and Engagement
Graduate Profile: Master of Science

Learning Outcomes

By the end of this course, students will be able to:
  1. Describe the key aspects of Official Statistics, as distinct from other branches of statistics (Capability 1 and 4)
  2. Describe and understand the legal and ethical constraints on organisations producing Official Statistics (Capability 1, 2 and 4)
  3. Describe the principal methods for data collection, analysis and interpretation of health, social and economic data, including spatial data (Capability 1, 2 and 3)
  4. Use and apply methods for presenting and preparing commentaries on Official Statistics. (Capability 1, 2 and 4)


Assessment Type Percentage Classification
Assignments 100% Individual Coursework
Assessment Type Learning Outcome Addressed
1 2 3 4

Key Topics

Survey Data in Official Statistics
Administrative Data
Legal and ethical framework for official statistics
Record Linkage
Health Statistics
Data Visualisation and GIS
Macroeconomic Statistics
Environmental Statistics
Time Series

Learning Resources


Special Requirements

This course is taught across several universities in New Zealand, so the teaching dates and mid semester break have been chosen with all universities in mind, and do not match the University of Auckland term dates.  Lectures start and finish two weeks earlier than lectures for most other University of Auckland courses, and mid semester break is also two weeks earlier.  Lecture and mid semester break dates are detailed below:

15-Jul Official Statistics, Survey Data

22-Jul Administrative Data

29-Jul Demography 1

5-Aug Demography 2 

12-Aug Legal and ethical framework

19-Aug Record Linkage



9-Sep Health Statistics 1

16-Sep Health Statistics 2

23-Sep Data Visiualisation and GIS

30-Sep Macroeconomic Statistics

7-Oct Environmental Statistics

14-Oct Time Series

Workload Expectations

This course is a standard 15 point course and students are expected to spend 10 hours per week involved in each 15 point course that they are enrolled in.

For this course, you can expect 2 hours of lectures, 2-4 hours of reading and thinking about the content and 4-6 hours of work on assignments per week.

Digital Resources

Course materials are made available in a learning and collaboration tool called Canvas which also includes reading lists and lecture recordings (where available).

Please remember that the recording of any class on a personal device requires the permission of the instructor.

There will be a secure google drive for students to be able to access materials subject to copyright.
A course facebook page will be set up for students to engage across the various universities participating in this course.


The content and delivery of content in this course are protected by copyright. Material belonging to others may have been used in this course and copied by and solely for the educational purposes of the University under license.

You may copy the course content for the purposes of private study or research, but you may not upload onto any third party site, make a further copy or sell, alter or further reproduce or distribute any part of the course content to another person.

Academic Integrity

The University of Auckland will not tolerate cheating, or assisting others to cheat, and views cheating in coursework as a serious academic offence. The work that a student submits for grading must be the student's own work, reflecting their learning. Where work from other sources is used, it must be properly acknowledged and referenced. This requirement also applies to sources on the internet. A student's assessed work may be reviewed against online source material using computerised detection mechanisms.

Inclusive Learning

All students are asked to discuss any impairment related requirements privately, face to face and/or in written form with the course coordinator, lecturer or tutor.

Student Disability Services also provides support for students with a wide range of impairments, both visible and invisible, to succeed and excel at the University. For more information and contact details, please visit the Student Disability Services’ website at

Special Circumstances

If your ability to complete assessed coursework is affected by illness or other personal circumstances outside of your control, contact a member of teaching staff as soon as possible before the assessment is due.

If your personal circumstances significantly affect your performance, or preparation, for an exam or eligible written test, refer to the University’s aegrotat or compassionate consideration page:

This should be done as soon as possible and no later than seven days after the affected test or exam date.

Student Feedback

During the course Class Representatives in each class can take feedback to the staff responsible for the course and staff-student consultative committees.

At the end of the course students will be invited to give feedback on the course and teaching through a tool called SET or Qualtrics. The lecturers and course co-ordinators will consider all feedback.

Your feedback helps to improve the course and its delivery for all students.

Student Charter and Responsibilities

The Student Charter assumes and acknowledges that students are active participants in the learning process and that they have responsibilities to the institution and the international community of scholars. The University expects that students will act at all times in a way that demonstrates respect for the rights of other students and staff so that the learning environment is both safe and productive. For further information visit Student Charter (


Elements of this outline may be subject to change. The latest information about the course will be available for enrolled students in Canvas.

In this course you may be asked to submit your coursework assessments digitally. The University reserves the right to conduct scheduled tests and examinations for this course online or through the use of computers or other electronic devices. Where tests or examinations are conducted online remote invigilation arrangements may be used. The final decision on the completion mode for a test or examination, and remote invigilation arrangements where applicable, will be advised to students at least 10 days prior to the scheduled date of the assessment, or in the case of an examination when the examination timetable is published.

Published on 08/07/2020 12:43 p.m.