STATS 780 : Statistical Consulting


2020 Semester Two (1205) (15 POINTS)

Course Prescription

Students will learn about the practicalities of statistical consulting. Students will carry out a statistical consulting project, including the writing of a report, under the supervision of a member of the academic staff.

Course Overview

The aim of the course is for students to gain experience and understanding of the process of statistical consulting. Major emphases of the course will be on relating to the client and understanding their problem, communicating the results of your analysis to the client in both written and verbal form, and on carrying out your analysis of the data from the client's problem and presenting statistical results. Each consulting project will be carried out by a group of 2 to 3 students.

Three additional assignments are set, to support the learning necessary to successfully completing the consulting projects.  In addition, a mark is given for class contribution and communication, to emphasise the need for teamwork.

Students undertaking this course will develop the skills necessary for work in statistical support work across a wide variety of businesses/industries. The principles of consultation and collaboration learned in this course are essential for any working statistician.

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
Capability 5: Independence and Integrity
Capability 6: Social and Environmental Responsibilities
Graduate Profile: Master of Science

Learning Outcomes

By the end of this course, students will be able to:
  1. Learn and apply the key elements of conducting interviews to assess client needs (Capability 1 and 4)
  2. Learn and apply the principles of project management as they apply to statistical consulting projects (Capability 1, 3 and 4)
  3. Develop statistical project plans and proposals (Capability 1, 3 and 4)
  4. Identify and obtain key data and data sources to enable solution to client problems in the context of statistical projects (Capability 1, 2, 3 and 4)
  5. Explain and critically evaluate the results of statistical analyses, and present these in a manner comprehensible to selected audience types (Capability 1, 2 and 4)
  6. Understand and apply ethical responsibilities of the statistician as applied in the context of statistical project management (Capability 1, 4, 5 and 6)
  7. Diagnose and create a statistical analysis plan to meet Client requirements for statistical analysis and develop solutions, either using standard methodologies, or by conducting research and creating novel approaches. (Capability 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5)


Assessment Type Percentage Classification
Coursework 100% Individual Coursework
Assessment Type Learning Outcome Addressed
1 2 3 4 5 6 7

Key Topics

Interviewing for Statistical projects
Statistical project management
Report writing
Assessing statistical work
Dealing with clients/managing client expectations
Statistical graphics
Researching a topic and obtaining data
Ethics in Statistical consulting
Practitioners' views: Experience of consulting
Presenting statistical work

Learning Resources

No specific learning resources are required; a good knowledge of internet searching applications such as Google is helpful.  A reference list is supplied

Special Requirements

No special requirements.  An additional workshop on the use and application of Microsoft Excel is usually offered, but attendance is not compulsory.

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, a [2] hour tutorial, [2] hours of reading and thinking about the content and [4] hours of work on assignments, and project  meeting/work

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.


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 13/07/2020 11:59 a.m.