STATS 710 : Probability Theory


2021 Semester Two (1215) (15 POINTS)

Course Prescription

Fundamental ideas in probability theory; sigma-fields, laws of large numbers, characteristic functions, the Central Limit Theorem.

Course Overview

This course will provide an introduction to probability theory, including the classical limit theorems of probability & statistics. It will cover fundamental theory, models and methods in probability whilst providing a solid mathematical foundation for research or advanced work in probability, statistical theory, statistical physics, or stochastic modelling in business, finance, economics, mathematical biology, computer science and engineering. Students taking this course may also take related courses such as STATS 720, 723, and 730 and MATHS 730, 764, and 769.

Course Requirements

Prerequisite: B+ or higher in STATS 225 or 15 points from STATS 310, 320, 325

Capabilities Developed in this Course

Capability 1: Disciplinary Knowledge and Practice
Capability 2: Critical Thinking
Capability 3: Solution Seeking
Capability 4: Communication and Engagement
Capability 5: Independence and Integrity
Graduate Profile: Master of Science

Learning Outcomes

By the end of this course, students will be able to:
  1. Apply the main results and techniques of probability theory. (Capability 1, 3 and 4)
  2. Solve a variety of problems in probability using rigorous mathematical arguments. (Capability 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5)
  3. Perform calculations and work effectively with sigma-algebras, probability measures, conditional expectations as random variables, and generating functions. (Capability 1, 3 and 4)
  4. Apply the classical limit theorems, convergence theorems and main inequalities of probability. (Capability 1, 2, 3 and 4)
  5. Distinguish between and determine the various types of convergence for random variables. (Capability 1, 2, 3 and 4)
  6. Develop rigorous arguments and clear explanations, as appropriate. (Capability 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5)


Assessment Type Percentage Classification
Assignments 40% Individual Coursework
Final Exam 60% Individual Examination
Assessment Type Learning Outcome Addressed
1 2 3 4 5 6
Final Exam

Key Topics

Topics include: Probability measures, event spaces, sigma-algebras, Borel sets, continuity of probability. The Fundamental model of uniform probability measure on [0,1] and Lebesgue-Borel Theorem. Independence. Borel-Cantelli Lemmas. Random variables. Expectation. Monotone and Dominated Convergence Theorems. Inequalities for expectations. Conditional expectation as a random variable. Discrete time martingales. Generating functions, including Characteristic functions and Laplace transforms. Convergence of generating functions. Types of convergence. Sequences of independent random variables. Weak and Strong Laws of Large Numbers, and the Central Limit Theorem. Other topics, models or applications of probability.

Special Requirements

Attending tutorials to improve problem solving skills is highly recommended.

Workload Expectations

This course is a standard 15 point course and students are expected to spend 150 hours overall in each 15 point course that they are enrolled in.

For this course, you can typically expect 36 hours of lectures, 12 hours of tutorials, 36 hours of reading and thinking about the content and 66 hours of work on assignments and/or exam preparation.

Delivery Mode

Campus Experience

Participation is strongly recommended at scheduled activities including tutorials to successfully complete the course.
Lectures will be available as recordings. Other learning activities such as tutorials will not typically be available as recordings, but the course may additionally include live online tutorials. Online Q&A help will also be available via Piazza on the course Canvas site. All course materials will be made available online via Canvas.
Coursework may be submitted online via Canvas. The final exam will normally be on campus.
The activities for the course are scheduled as a standard weekly timetable.

Learning Resources

We suggest "Knowing the Odds: An Introduction to Probability" by John Walsh as a recommended, but not required, textbook.

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.

Based on student feedback in previous years, this year's course will expand the weekly tutorials, in which students can practice skills from the course with supervision and support from the instructors.

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.

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.


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 your assessment is fair, and not compromised. Some adjustments may need to be made in emergencies. You will be kept fully informed by your course co-ordinator, and if disruption occurs you should refer to the University Website for information about how to proceed.

Level 1:  Delivered normally as specified in delivery mode.
Level 2: You will not be required to attend in person.  All teaching and assessment will have a remote option.
Level 3 / 4: All teaching activities and assessments are delivered remotely.

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 28/01/2021 11:25 a.m.