STATS 780 : Statistical Consulting


2021 Semester Two (1215) (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 for the client’s problem and presenting statistical results. 

There is no final exam.

Course Requirements

Prerequisite: STATS 330 or 762

Capabilities Developed in this Course

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

Learning Outcomes

By the end of this course, students will be able to:
  1. Explain and apply appropriate statistical methods to practical research problems (Capability 2)
  2. Communicate the findings from projects to an audience (Capability 4)
  3. Apply statistical skills they have learned about in their undergraduate courses to address a wide variety of client requirements (Capability 1)
  4. Create appropriate software programs to create output tables according to client prescriptions, using the capabilities of whatever software is appropriate (or required) to create the desired statistical reports (Capability 1)


Assessment Type Percentage Classification
Assignments 30% Individual Coursework
Professional Development 15% Individual Coursework
Project 55% Group Coursework
Assessment Type Learning Outcome Addressed
1 2 3 4
Professional Development

There will be no final exam. The major part of the assessment will be derived from one or more consulting projects carried out for clients. The proposal and reports for these projects will comprise 55% of the mark for the course. There will be 3 other assignments, comprising 30% of the assessment. Attendance and contribution to class discussion will make up the remaining 15%.

Consulting Project 

Each consulting project will be carried out by a group of 2 to 3 students. Performance in the consulting project will be on the basis of three items:

  • Preliminary report/proposal. 
  • Final report (due following final presentation)
  • Seminar describing the problem (and possible solution) to the client, the class and (some of) the Statistics Department Faculty for 20 - 30 minutes. This will be held during class time or possibly at another venue/time, to be arranged.

Marks for the project presentation are based on audience assessment, and consultant assessment, on the following basis: Structure/organisation, clarity, presentation, timing, delivery.

Marks for the project report are based on client assessment, and consultant assessment, on the following basis: Structure/organisation, Clarity, Presentation, Professional behaviour.

Individual Assignments 

There will be three (individual) assignments.

The first is to respond to a client request for some preliminary work, and to write a proposal for continuing statistical work for the client. 

The second is to write a report detailing your experience in assisting with/reviewing the Statistics Department’s Statistical Consulting Centre (SCC). Each student team will arrange two two-week periods within which they must arrange to spend two hours with the assigned consultants. This will not begin until the third week of lectures. 

The third is a research assignment. You will be required to carry out some statistical work, which may involve the investigation of a statistical procedure, writing a description of it suitable for a client, and also perhaps finding some data of the sort that may be required for a project. 

Class Discussion

Each student will be assigned a mark for attendance and contribution to class discussion.


We maintain strong links with the maths-stats Tuākana program and encourage students into this program: 

Key Topics

Statistical consulting
Presentation of statistical results

Special Requirements


Workload Expectations

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

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

Delivery Mode

Campus Experience

Lectures will be available as recordings.

Online (Zoom) office hours can be arranged as required.

The course will not include live online events including group discussions/tutorials.

Attendance on campus is required for the project presentations.
The activities for the course are scheduled as a standard weekly timetable.

Learning Resources

Course notes are supplied to students via CANVAS.

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.

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.

Course materials are made available in 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. 
Online resources include:
Lecture recordings
Case studies with example reports  

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.
Levels 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 16/02/2021 11:54 a.m.