This Statistics course is designed primarily for candidates who wish to study the applications of statistical techniques to biology, business studies, economics, management and the humanities.
The emphasis in Statistics is on uses of mathematics, rather than the logic, style and rigour of Pure Mathematics. This course is not suitable for students who will be studying Mathematics or certain types of Engineering at university.
Statistics is the branch of Mathematics which is used in situations involving variability or uncertainty, such as weather forecasting, finance or assessing the effects of medicines. The course builds on descriptive statistics, such as averages, and leads on to testing whether an observed result is statistically different from what might be expected; for example, is the proportion of babies born with birth defects significantly higher in the neighbourhood of a nuclear power plant or not?
Paper 1: Data and Probability
Using data collection, handling and analysis to determine probabilities of events occuring.
Paper 2: Statistical Inference
Testing hypotheses about populations based on statistics calculated from samples.
Paper 3: Statistics in Practice
Applying statistical enquiry skills to real-world situations.
Each paper is equally weighted.
You will have a test at the end of each topic to ensure that you have understood the concepts. Statistics is a cumulative subject, so if you have not understood one idea, you will not understand those that follow on.
Statistics workshops are held each week and teachers are always on hand to answer questions if there is anything that you need more help with.
You will need to have a good standard of skill at arithmetic, for example multiplying decimals, and some skill at algebra, for example solving simultaneous equations. It is also essential to be good at reading with understanding, so you can pick out the essential facts and interpret calculations in context.
There are no compulsory trips but occasionally there are opportunities for visits or lectures by visiting speakers. There will be an element of primary data collection and research required.
Some students with A Level Statistics have gone on to train as accountants.
Many students have found A Level Statistics valuable when taking degrees in Psychology, Business Studies, Geography, Biology and Anthropology. You develop the ability to follow complicated formulae and instructions accurately, and this is a very transferable skill in a wide range of mathematical and non-mathematical contexts.