Programme structure


Year 1

The courses in the first semester are focused on theory and practice of survey methodology and multivariate data. Techniques are explored to measure population values using sample data, where different sampling designs are considered. Optimal ways of retrieving information and making inferences about a finite population are discussed. Furthermore, multivariate techniques are discussed to explore relationships between multiple variables, where the object of inferences concerns multiple statistical outcomes. Statistical theory is discussed to learn the fundamental basics of statistical decision making, where sample data are used as the source of information. The popular statistical software package R is introduced together with theory and applications of simulation and estimation processes.

A course in the second semester cover research designs used in a clinical setting. Statistical inferences are made under optimal designs to make correct inferences, while taking control over the costs.  In another course, a different statistical philosophy is explained, where the object is to include prior information, beside data information, to improve statistical inferences. Furthermore, real data from experimental and observational studies are often complex and require sophisticated statistical models to make inferences. Driven by real data applications, several complex data structures are discussed. In the courses, applications in behavioral, biomedical and social sciences are used to illustrate the theory and/or to introduce relevant research questions, which motivate the required statistical  techniques.

Year 2

In the second year, you will start to specialise in the research area that interests you most. Typically, this will be in a collaborative project with other disciplines/organisations, where you will prepare for and write a thesis. You can choose to follow one of the offered set tracks, or you can pursue your own, free track. If desired, you can go abroad for this part of your programme. In addition, you will be involved in the statistical consultancy activities of our departments.


EMOS track

From 2015-2016 onwards, we offer a track in Official Statistics, i.e. statistics as it is carried out at statistical bureaus such as Statistics Netherlands and planning bureaus. EMOS stands for European Master of Official Statistics, which is a EUROSTAT initiative, and Utrecht is the only Dutch University who has been awarded the label to offer EMOS. Within this track, you will follow an extended elective course taught mainly by Statistics Netherlands, and you will also prepare and write your thesis under the supervision of SN employees.

Survey track

One of the tracks the Methodology and Statistics Master’s programme offers is a Survey track. This track contains electives taught by PhD-credentialed staff members from Statistics Netherlands, CentERData, market research companies, the municipality of Amsterdam

Educational Measurement track

The programme offers an Educational Measurement track with electives (and corresponding internships and theses topics) taught by PhD-credentialed staff members from CITO and RCEC.

Biomedical track

Beginning in 2017-2018, the programme will offer an official biomedical track. Currently a biomedical track can already be constructed via the free track with an elective consisting of courses from the master epidemiology and a thesis written under the supervision of members of the department of biostatistics.

Free track

In the second year of the programme, students can choose an elective course and corresponding (preparation for) thesis in their own field of interest. It is encouraged that students follow their own interests.

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