Statistical Ecology (PGDip/MSc) University of St Andrews




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Course info


In this course, you will learn the modern statistical methods currently used by professionals in ecology. You will learn to formulate problems, conduct appropriate analyses and effectively communicate results to a variety of audiences. To balance theory and application, placement opportunities will be available with partner organisations within the UK and abroad.

Course information

The MSc in Statistical Ecology is a one-year taught programme run by the School of Mathematics and Statistics.

This course aims to give you a sound understanding of the statistical foundations of modern methods in statistical ecology, to give you the skills to use these methods effectively, and to give you experience of applying them to real-world problems, under the supervision of experts, some of whom are leading researchers in this field.


  • Introduces key concepts and methods in statistical ecology and provides an overview of the field.
  • Taught by staff at the Centre for Research into Ecological and Environmental Modelling (CREEM), who have more than two decades’ experience developing, using and teaching methods in statistical ecology.
  • Core modules in Semester 1 provide a solid statistical foundation for specialist modules later in the course.
  • Optional placements with collaborators in the UK and abroad as part of a supervised summer research dissertation; connects theoretical training with real field studies and professionals.
  • Flexible dissertation format, which can include producing a podcast, web page, poster, field report, training materials, or a short film.


Statistical skills are highly valued in ecology and conservation, with modern ecological methods becoming increasingly quantitative. The course is therefore excellent preparation for a career as a scientist in:

  • government environment agencies
  • industry
  • consultancies
  • conservation organisations.

Graduates may also work as wildlife managers, using their analytical skills to better inform management decisions.

Course options

Here are the different ways in which you can study Statistical Ecology (PGDip/MSc).

Full Time (1 year)

Tuition fees

£20,370.00 (21,03,168) per year




University of St Andrews

College Gate,

St Andrews,

KY16 9AJ, Scotland

Entry requirement for international students

Students should have the following qualifications: a good 2.1 undergraduate Honours degree in a relevant discipline (e.g. biological sciences, ecology, mathematics, statistics, environmental science or computer science) or a 2.2 in a relevant discipline and equivalent work experience (for example, at least 12 months working in a relevant field). They should also have undergraduate training in mathematics and statistics at SCQF Level 8, or equivalent experience. IELTS (Academic): 6.0 Minimum component scores (Listening, Reading, Writing, Speaking) and 7.0 minimum overall score; TOEFL IBT: 94 minimum overall score with Listening: 12; Reading: 13; Writing: 21; Speaking: 18.

* Please check with your chosen school for the exact entry requirements for your programme.


Here are some scholarship that are available at University of St Andrews.

MSc Statistical Ecology Scholarship

Value of scholarship


Application details:

As part of the application you will be asked to provide a personal statement, in which you may want to say how your application relates to these criteria, and/or provide other details in support of your application. This scholarship is available for application through the Scholarships and Funding catalogue. You can access Scholarships and Funding through My Application after you have applied for the MSc Statistical Ecology. You should wait until the next working day after submission before attempting to access My Application. Scholarship application deadline Thursday 29 April 2021 Applicants should expect an outcome by 28 May 2021.


Expected April 2022

Eligibility requirements:

In the selection process for these scholarships we will give consideration to a variety of criteria, including, but not limited to the following: We may give preference to applicants from “Developing economies” as defined by the United Nations; We may give preference to applicants with an outstanding academic record; We may give preference to applicants with a record of using statistical ecology methods in their work; We may give preference to applicants who can demonstrate that what they learn on the MSc will have an impact on some specific problem(s) in statistical ecology.

Who can apply:

All international

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