STATS 705 : Topics in Official Statistics


2023 Semester Two (1235) (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.

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. Understand and describe 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


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Key Topics

  • Administrative data & Official Statistics System
  • Demography
  • Health Statistics
  • Legal & Ethical Framework
  • Record Linkage
  • Data Visualisation and GIS
  • Macroeconomics
  • Environmental Statistics
  • Time Series

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. Teaching dates may not match the University of Auckland term dates.

Workload Expectations

This course is a standard 15 point course and students are expected to spend 12.5 hours per week involved in each 15 point course in which they are enrolled.

For this course, a typical weekly workload includes:

  • 2 hours of lectures
  • 3-5 hours of reviewing the course content
  • 5-7 hours of work on assignments and/or test preparation

Delivery Mode

Campus Experience or Online

This course is offered in two delivery modes:

Campus Experience

Attendance is optional at lectures (note that 8 of 12 lectures will be delivered from outside of the University of Auckland, and so cannot be attended in person).

Lectures will be available as recordings.

The course will include live online events including lectures.

There is no test or exam.

The activities for the course are scheduled as a standard weekly timetable.


Attendance is expected at scheduled online lectures (note that 4 of 12 lectures will be delivered from the University of Auckland, and so can be attended in person).

The course will include live online events including lectures.

There is no test or exam.

Where possible, study material will be released progressively throughout the course.

This course runs to a specific timetable and all the associated completion dates and deadlines will apply.

Learning 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.

No specific learning resources are required.  Lecturers may assign readings and indicate learning resources for their lectures and assignments and these will be made available through the course canvas page. 

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 feedback did not indicate that any changes needed to be made to the course for future years.

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.

Class Representatives

Class representatives are students tasked with representing student issues to departments, faculties, and the wider university. If you have a complaint about this course, please contact your class rep who will know how to raise it in the right channels. See your departmental noticeboard for contact details for your class reps.


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.

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

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.

Learning Continuity

In the event of an unexpected disruption, we undertake to maintain the continuity and standard of teaching and learning in all your courses throughout the year. If there are unexpected disruptions the University has contingency plans to ensure that access to your course continues and course assessment continues to meet the principles of the University’s assessment policy. Some adjustments may need to be made in emergencies. You will be kept fully informed by your course co-ordinator/director, and if disruption occurs you should refer to the university website for information about how to proceed.

The delivery mode may change depending on COVID restrictions. Any changes will be communicated through Canvas.

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 students may be asked to submit 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. In exceptional circumstances changes to elements of this course may be necessary at short notice. Students enrolled in this course will be informed of any such changes and the reasons for them, as soon as possible, through Canvas.

Published on 28/10/2022 11:28 a.m.